The Pope is set to appoint Cardinal Pell of Australia as the Prefect for Bishops.
Pell is one of those who will not stand for any child abuse nonsense, and this is yet another appointment of a man who will help clean up the crud in the church.
For, according to authoritative sources in Rome, the Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney (a Benedict loyalist), is to succeed Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re (not a Benedict loyalist) as Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. That will give him a significant degree of authority over the world’s 5,000 Catholic bishops. He will be able to “nudge” them – for example, to observe the conservative liturgical reforms for which he is partly responsible, such as the new English translation of the Missal.
And he will also have a huge say in who becomes a bishop in England Wales, a Church whose maladministration in recent decades has concerned him greatly. He knows this country well, and from an interesting perspective: while he was studying for his doctorate in church history at Oxford he served as chaplain to Eton. One of his best friends is Fr Alexander Sherbrooke, the OE parish priest of St Patrick’s, Soho, and one of the finest evangelists in London.
He himself was accused of abuse by a man in 2002; an inquiry found the man lacked credibility, because he was a drug dealer, a career criminal, and had been up on charges at least 39 times.