“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“.
Man, George Pell gets to fly to Rome and I’m trapped in Melbourne. 2020, who would’ve thought. https://t.co/mX6Sp1LvHO
— Osman Faruqi (@oz_f) September 28, 2020
George Pell is allowed to fly to Italy today, while we are under house arrest.
Peak 2020 right there.#melbournelockdown
— Benny Rollins (@citizenkawala) September 28, 2020
How did George Pell get permission from Border Force to leave Australia?
I wasn't even allowed to go to NZ, much safer than Italy, for my dying mother-in-law, a fortnight ago.
I can only presume it means that he's not expected back.
— David Peetz (@PeetzDavid) September 28, 2020
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.
When they were trying to get Pell back to Aus, there were all sorts of “illnesses” preventing him. Strange how there are now no illnesses preventing him from going back to Rome.
— Bryan (@exchalk) September 28, 2020
Guessing the PR company that worked for Pell is now working for that school on the North Shore.#scum
— Order No.227 (@AnthonyCole68) September 23, 2020
I’m usually annoyed when someone gets special treatment just because they are mates with an LNP politician. You know, Dutton and the au pair, Ruby Princess, selling land worth $3m to the gov’t for $30m, etc. A special travel permit for George Pell? Good! Don’t come back.
— Shane Morris (@MrSheenAgain) September 28, 2020
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.