Australian cardinal criticizes departing pope




SYDNEY – Australia’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, criticized outgoing Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday, describing his historic resignation as destabilising and questioning his governance skills.

Pell, Australia’s representative at next month’s secret conclave to elect a successor, said Benedict was a “brilliant teacher” but “government wasn’t his strong point” in a candid interview on the eve of the pope’s departure.

“I think I prefer somebody who can lead the Church and pull it together a bit,” Pell told commercial television.

He pointed to the so-called “Vatileaks” scandal, in which Benedict’s butler leaked secret papal memos revealing intrigues between rival groups of cardinals, though he said it was “very easy to be wise after the event”.

“I think the governance is done by most of the people around the Pope and that wasn’t always done brilliantly. And I’m not breaking any ground there — this is said very commonly,” Pell added in a later radio interview from the Vatican.

Australia’s most senior Catholic cleric also said the 85-year-old pontiff’s decision to resign — the first pope to do so since the Middle Ages — set a worrying precedent for the Church.

“People who, for example, might disagree with a future pope, will mount a campaign to get him to resign,” suggested Pell.

He said the German pontiff, formerly Joseph Ratzinger, had been “well aware that this was a break with tradition, slightly destabilising.”

Asked what he would be seeking in the next pope, Pell said he wanted somebody “who’ll maintain the tradition, both in faith and especially in morals, where it’s under attack.”

“I want somebody who is able to speak to the world,” he said.

“And also I would like somebody with strong pastoral experience in a diocese who is able to lift the morale of the Roman Curia, and perhaps provide a bit more discipline.”

Benedict bid an emotional farewell Wednesday to some 150,000 pilgrims in St Peter’s Square, speaking of the “stormy waters” of multiple scandals and Vatican infighting that have plagued his tenure.

The scourge of paedophile priests and cover-ups by their superiors cast a dark shadow over Benedict’s papacy, combined with a longstanding money-laundering scandal at the Vatican bank and the Vatileaks controversy.

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  • Luigi Flores

    How I wish Cardinal Pell kept these to himself.

  • Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

    What Cardinal Pell said is the truth. He is human, after all.  And some leaders may be great in inspiring other people to a common vision, but maybe weak in the day to day trivial activities of government.

    He also did site some possible scenarios about dissent, which could favor reinstating the old pope, especially if those who dissent believe in Benedict XVI’s ways rather than the new pope’s decrees.  But Benedict did address this, by implying that he would be recluse, sequestered, so to speak. And that he would no longer be available to comment on the next pope’s administration, lest be identified as undermining the successor.

  • Populovich

    We need a pope to lead us all to Jesus Christ and away from idol-icon worshipping.  We need a pope who can teach us to be transformed into Christ-like faithfuls.  We need a pope whose center of worship and adoration is God alone and only God.  We need a pope whose teaching is based on the Holy Bible, the Word of God.  We need a pope who is not acting as Jesus Christ on earth or vicar, but a servant of the Most High.  We need a pope who follows the tradition of God and not the tradition of men.  These must be the qualifications of the next pope.  

    2 Peter 2:1-3 1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.  2 Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; 3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

    • bugoybanggers

      No need, wasakin na ang RELIGION.

      • Arvin

        You are really insane….

    • branlem

      If you want to worship your way, do it …no one is stopping you..i just find it strange why you need to make Catholics follow your manner of praying..we have the solid basis for everything we do that has been carried down through generations,,,,tradition is one of the strong pillars of our religion…now do your research about icon bashing…you are a classic iconoclast!!! thats no original at all!! it was started by the islamists…listen to your conscience bro and try to be discerning about what your pastors tell you — it would help a lot in your spiritual maturity.. 

      • okayayonip

        saan ka…batas ng Diyos o batas ng tao (tradition) ?

  • mangtom

    Alan Luigi Ladrera Flores: why mask the truth? This has been the style of the Catholic church for decades. Just keep your mouth shut and swallow every thing the Damaso rams down your throat. What is wrong with speaking out one’s feelings? You must be the “yes, sir” type of an individual.

  • bugoybanggers

    Ipasa na ang ANTI-CATHOLICISM BILL para maging batas. Kung naging batas, lahat ng mga SIMBAHANG KATOLIKO Gibain, wasakin ang mga schools na kontrolado nila. Lahat ng mga nagsilbi sa pag kaKATOLIKO, ikulong at akusahang nagmolestia ng sanggol (Para mas mabigat). Firing Squad lahat ng mga Pare at Madre. Lahat ng rebolto pasagasaan sa PISON. Ano pa, pagandahan na lang ba ng SULAT at daldal. Yung mga kontra, larga na simulan na ninyo.. dinadaan lang kasi ninyo sa kaduwagang paraan. Tirahin na ninyo..patatagalin pa ba ang dami na ninyong sinabi?

    • Arvin

      Your should be prudent in your comments….it reflect your personality……

    • riza888

      “To end Evil one must reject the source of Good.”  Your solution will fail. 
      We already suffer the effects of many who have embraced that concept.

  • bugoybanggers

    Mag kanya kanya na lang.. go with sectarian. Matira ang matibay. Iyan ang GUSTO ng nakararami.

  • droccu

    Pow! Cardinal George Pell’s open commentary is what has been missing  during this whole sordid affair of this unprecedented Papal resignation in Modern times. These Cardinals should start speaking out their minds on what they think of this decision for the Church to survive during these crucial times. I believe Cardinal Pell is speaking of things already in the minds of majority of the Cardinals and most of us Roman Catholics that there is more to this resignation than merely loss of the Pope’s physical, mental and spiritual strength to continue the Papacy. The real reasons should be discussed in the conclave and shared to the public in order to come up  with a more credible change in leadership. Otherwise the Church will surely weaken further with more diminution of membership. I am personally saddened by this sudden resignation as I feel that it further weakens my Church as an institution specially now that it seems to be lagging and NOT keeping up with the times…

    • riza888

      Yes, why would Pope Benedict not work himself to death, when that will deliver him to Heaven a little quicker?

      • droccu

        Riza, your response is a bit morbid but is sad, true and has a point…This resignation sort of perplexes me specially seeing Pope Benedict up and about and obviously in control of all his senses in comparison to how our beloved Pope John Paul II left us in his deathbed. We all knew full well that JPII was really sick with Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, heart problems, etc. in his last years in office. He was really suffering in his last few months in office (he even had a tracheotomy in place just so he can breath in his last few weeks) yet he NEVER resigned! One on line joke that really hits me related to this resignation goes like this: “CHOSEN BY GOD….RESIGNS/QUITS!” Am I the only Catholic cringing with this seemingly innocent jab/joke directed at our Pope and our Church? 

      • okayayonip

        “CHOSEN BY GOD”?  cardinals are not god they are only humans,  ofcourse they will tell ‘inspired by the Holy Ghost’. amen.

  • kilabot

    there goes the pope’s infallibility. 
    looks like pell is campaigning for himself.

  • Hein S

    SEX SCANDALS brought down the pope.

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