The Requiem Mass for Cardinal George Pell, Prefect emeritus of the Secretariat for the Economy, who died on 10 January from heart complications following a hip operation, was celebrated on Saturday, 14 January, at the Altar of the Chair in Saint Peter’s Basilica.
In his homily at the funeral, the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, recalled that “the unexpected end of Cardinal George Pell’s earthly life took us all by surprise”.
The late Australian-born Cardinal “was present with us to concelebrate the funeral Mass for Pope emeritus Benedict xvi on the parvis of the Basilica and, despite his 81 years, he seemed in good health”.
Faith and prayer, added the Cardinal Dean, were of great comfort and support to Cardinal Pell during that difficult time.
Cardinal Re emphasized that Cardinal Pell was a “man of God and a man of the Church characterized by a deep faith and great steadfastness of doctrine, which he always defended without hesitation and with courage, concerned only with being faithful to Christ”.
At the conclusion of the Eucharistic celebration, Pope Francis presided over the rites of the Ultima Commendatio and Valedictio.