On Thursday, At Cardinal George Pell’s funeral in Australia, but were at times drown out by protesters condemning him to hell when mourners muttered prayers and softly sung hymns.
The Catholic cleric died last of surgery complications the previous month, aged 81 – leaves a complicated legacy.
George was Australia’s top-rank Catholic and one of the former Pope’s
He both concealed & committed child sexual abuse, But unproven allegations tainted his public appearance.
On Thursday, Those allegations loomed large in Sydney. At one point, police outside St Mary’s Cathedral interfere with separating angry mourners from chanting protesters. Before, one protester was arrest.
Inside the Church, where Cardinal Pell served as the city’s archbishop for over a decade, dignitaries, including former Prime Ministers John Howard & Tony Abbott, filled pews. Hundreds more gathered in a forecourt to watch the requested Mass on big screens.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet, himself a devout Catholic, both, were Noticeably absent, and Both sent delegates.
Pope Francis praised Cardinal Pell’s “loyalty to the gospel & to the Church” In a message to the congregation. In contrast, Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher glorified him as a “giant of the Catholic Church in Australia” who had been incorrectly demonize.
Over six decades, Cardinal Pell rose to dominance in the Church as a strong supporter of conventional Catholic values.
In 2014 He took on the role of Vatican treasurer but left in 2017, returning to Australia to face difficulty on child sexual abuse charges. He was condemn, then later acquitted on appeal.
Many of Cardinal Pell’s proponents believe he was unfairly persecut and that his history on the issue of child sexual abuse is part of what earned him greatly.
Mr. Abbott, who said, at the funeral, declared Cardinal Pell had been the first Australian Catholic to sack child abusers and inform them to the police. Others pointed to the landmark – but contentious – compensation scheme he set up.
Mr. Abbott said, “He was the greatest man I’ve ever understood.”
Others who assembled to pay their respects said he was a kind man, quick to offer help and encouragement to those going through problematic times.
One mourner told the BBC he expects the cardinal will be remembered: “for the things he did & not for the things that he was blamed for.”
“He was a good man,” Nathan, 33, counted. “He fought for the rights of multiple people, contrary to popular belief.”
But outside the cathedral yard, child abuse survivors recalled him as someone who had failed to save them.
Some traveled from other conditions to tie ribbons to the church fence – a gesture visited in Australia as a tribute to the Church abuse crisis sufferers. On Wednesday, Most were cut down overnight by supporters of Cardinal Pell.
A landmark investigation into Australian child sexual abuse found Cardinal Pell had privately known of abuse by priests as early as the 1970s & had failed to act. Cardinal Pell denied the findings, saying they were “not reinforce by evidence.”
Maureen, 75, came to lay a ribbon for a close friend who a Catholic teacher had abused.
She told the BBC, “I can’t let today pass without standing for him. He is not sufficiently enough to stand for himself”.
Protesters assembling in parkland opposite the cathedral recalled Cardinal Pell as a “monstrous bigot.”
Organizer Kim Stern told the BBC, “Pell stood for flagrant homophobia, misogyny… covering up abuse within the Catholic Church”.
“We think it’s pretty vile he’s getting a send-off like this.”
“I think there needed to be an individual to take responsibility for all that’s occurr in the Church… there needs to be a face to the sins, and unfortunately, it was his.”