Pell faces demotion in Rome, Vatican expert says

Sydney Morning Herald

By Nick Miller

2 May 2018

London: Cardinal George Pell is likely to be replaced as head of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy now that he has been committed to stand trial on sexual assault charges, an experienced Vatican observer says.

“The great likelihood is that he’s never going back to Rome, at least as head of the Secretariat,” said John Allen jnr, editor at Crux and a long-time reporter and author on Catholicism and the Vatican.

Before charges were laid and Pell left for Australia last year, he was one of the most powerful men in the Vatican.

He led the Secretariat, tasked with cleaning up the Vatican’s finances, rooting out corruption and embezzlement, and auditing the corners of the Holy See where money has been secreted with minimal accountability or transparency.

But that body is now on “autopilot”, Allen said.

Since Pell’s absence, it has been run by his second in command, who is not a cardinal. And it could be another 18 months before Pell is free to return, whether or not he is found guilty at trial.

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