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Australian Cardinal George Pell dies at the age of 81

Headlines 10:13 11 Jan, 2023
Pell’s 2018 conviction on sexual assault charges shocked the Catholic Church, but was later overturned
Australian Cardinal George Pell dies at the age of 81

Australian Cardinal George Pell, a former treasurer of the Vatican who was the most senior member of the Catholic clergy to be convicted of child sex abuse before his convictions were overturned, has died at the age of 81, reports.

Pell died in Rome on Tuesday night, his private secretary said.

He was once the third-highest-ranked Catholic in the Vatican after earlier serving as the archbishop of Melbourne and archbishop of Sydney.

Archbishop Peter Comensoli, the current archbishop of Melbourne, said Pell had died from heart complications following hip surgery.

“Cardinal Pell was a very significant and influential Church leader, both in Australia and internationally, deeply committed to Christian discipleship,” he said in a statement on Facebook.

Pell spent 13 months in prison before Australia’s highest court in 2020 quashed his conviction for sexually assaulting two choir boys in the 1990s.