Mixed reports yesterday about the possibility of Cardinal George Pell, his continent’s representative in the octocards, staying in his Sydney archdiocese and running Vatican finances from afar. It appears to be not the case. The Cardinal will go to Rome.
The significance of Francis’s shake-up lies not just in the many layers of oversight he has now put in place, but in the man he has put in charge of the new operation. Cardinal George Pell is a heavyweight, a man of government like Francis, a leader capable of tough decisions and unafraid to take on vested interests. As a longstanding critic of the curia, he now has a chance to implement changes he has long argued for. He is enough of an outsider not to be anyone’s puppet, but enough of an insider to know where the rot lies.
Cardinal Pell has been active on Vox Clara before this. Very recently, he penned an article on liturgy translations for L’Osservatore Romano. Will he withdraw from the liturgy scene? He seems to have more than enough on his plate with Vatican finances to clean up.
The new Prefect for the Economy of the Holy See will be coming up from Down Under in about a month, so the speculation goes.
The Cardinal has taken it on the chin quite often from both secular strains and from within the Church in his twelve-plus years as the ordinary of Sydney, Australia’s largest city. An analysis here by a detractor at Eureka Street.
One hopes Pope Francis has the right man for the job. I do know his inclusion in the octocards was questioned. George Pell seems more akin to arrogance and a retro-spirit than Pope Francis. Or perhaps that assessment was highlighted by his laid-back Australian environment.
Meanwhile, this story related from a Pope Francis biography highlights what we might expect if Cardinal Pell is of a like mind.