Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re celebrates the funeral of the late Australian Cardinal George Pell, with Pope Francis presiding over the Ultima Commendatio and Valedictio rites.
By Amedeo Lomonaco
St. On Saturday, January 10, offerings were made in St. Peter’s Basilica. Requiem Mass of Cardinal George Pell, prefect emeritus of the Secretariat of Economy, who died suddenly.
In his homily at the funeral, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, Dean of the College of Cardinals, recalled that “the unexpected end of Cardinal George Pell’s earthly life took us all by surprise.”
The late Australian-born cardinal “attended with us to concelebrate the funeral mass of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in the Basilica Parvia and, despite his 81 years, appeared to be in good health”.
Cardinal Pell suffered but trusted in God
Cardinal Re then recalled that the last years of the late Cardinal Pell’s life “were characterized by unjust and painful condemnation.”
“2017 in June he was charged with sexual assault in Australia and the trial ended in prison,” he said. “Cardinal Pell spent 404 days in the cells of two maximum security prisons, in Melbourne and then in Barwon, including a period of solitary confinement.
Then, Cardinal Dean noted, the Supreme Court of Australia in 2020 pardoned Cardinal Pell in April, overturning the conviction.
“He suffered great suffering endured by trusting God’s judgment,” Cardinal Re said, saying it was an example of accepting even unjust punishments with dignity and inner peace.
Faith and prayer, Cardinal Dean added, gave Cardinal Pell great comfort and support during this difficult time.
“To show how much faith and prayer help us in difficult moments of life, as well as to support those who have to suffer unjustly,” Cardinal Re said, “he published a diary written during long days in prison.”
man of god
Finally, Cardinal Re emphasized that the late Cardinal Pell was “a man of God and a man of the Church, characterized by deep faith and great firmness of doctrine, which he always defended without hesitation and courage, concerned only with fidelity to Christ. “
At the end of the celebration of the Eucharist, Pope Francis presided over the Eucharistic rite Ultima Commendatio and Valedictio.