Features Features > Pell on the ropes

10 March 2016 | by Christopher Lamb

Pell on the ropes


The testimony by Cardinal George Pell to the Australian royal commission on child abuse was momentous for him and for the victims. But it was also highly significant for the reform programme of Pope Francis, whose third anniversary in office is marked this week

His father was a heavyweight boxing champion, a fact that might go some way to explain why Cardinal George Pell has never pulled his punches throughout his rise to the highest echelons of the Church.

The former Archbishop of Sydney and Melbourne – and current prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy – is a straight-talking defender of Catholic teaching and a tough administrator who takes no prisoners. He is presently tasked with the unenviable job of cleaning up the Vatican finances, in which he has shown a steely determination to uncover corruption and mismanagement. Such an approach has earned him powerful enemies.


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