Politics

“Don’t Come Back”: George Pell Is Leaving Australia For Rome Today

"George Pell is allowed to fly to Italy today, while we are under house arrest. Peak 2020 right there."

Cardinal George Pell is flying back to Rome today, five months after his convictions for historical child sexual abuse were overturned.

The 79-year-old served more than 400 days in prison before his convictions were quashed in March. One month later the royal commission into child sexual abuse released formerly-redacted pages from their report, which found Pell knew children were being abused in the Catholic Church and failed to stop it.

Since being released from jail Pell has been living in Sydney, and a spokesperson from their archdiocese confirmed he will fly out today. Australians have been banned from travelling overseas since March, but exemptions are provided to people “providing critical skills in religious or theology fields“.

Pell previously worked as the prefect of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy — essentially making him the financial controller of one of the richest organisations in the world.

Pell’s return coincides the resignation of Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, who has been accused of embezzlement. In a statement Pell welcomed the news, and congratulated the Pope for the “clean up” of Vatican finances.

“I hope the cleaning of the stables continues in both the Vatican and Victoria,” he said.