George Pell removed from Pope Francis’s cardinal advisory body
George Pell is one of three “more elderly cardinals” who have been removed by Pope Francis from his advisory body following a Vatican meeting this week.
- Cardinal Pell had been on leave from his advisory role to defend himself against historical child sex abuse charges
- Cardinal Errazuriz has been accused by Chilean abuse survivors of covering up child sex abuse, which he denies
- No move has been made to replace three outgoing cardinals from the advisory body
A Vatican News report on a meeting of the Pope’s Council of Cardinal Advisers this week said 77-year-old Cardinal Pell would no longer sit on the council.
“In October, the Pope had written to three of the more elderly cardinals: Cardinal Pell from Australia, Cardinal Errazuriz from Chile and Cardinal Monsengwo of Congo thanking them for their work,” Holy See press office director Greg Burke said.
“After a five-year term, these three have passed out for the moment.”
Mr Burke said the Pope had not named new cardinals to replace them on the advisory council, which was established in 2013 to help lead reform in the Vatican’s bureaucracy.
In May, Cardinal Pell pleaded not guilty to multiple historical sexual offence charges.
He had taken an indefinite leave of absence from his role as head of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy in order to defend himself against those charges.
In a separate, unrelated matter, Javier Errazuriz, 85, has been accused by Chilean abuse survivors of having covered up for predator priests while he was archbishop of Santiago, a charge Cardinal Errazuriz has denied.
The third cardinal, 79-year-old Lauren Monsengwo Pasinya, had recently retired as archbishop of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.