ACU founding member Cardinal Pell to take senior role in Rome.
His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed His Eminence George Cardinal Pell DD AC as Prefect for the Economy of the Holy See and Vatican City State. One of the most senior Vatican roles, Cardinal Pell will be responsible for preparing and overseeing the Vatican budget and for instituting economic control and vigilance.
No Australian Cardinal has been appointed to such a senior Vatican role before.
In 1989 the Cardinal was appointed Chairman of the committee tasked with setting up Australian Catholic University (ACU) and, in 1991-95, he served as the University’s Foundation Pro Chancellor. He assisted in the establishment of our Melbourne campus and has remained as President of ACU’s board of owners since 1996.
ACU Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven said, "ACU and, more widely, Catholic education in Australia, owes much to Cardinal Pell for his foresight, dedication and commitment to its development."
Cardinal Pell has credited his decades of work in Australia for preparing him for the role, including working alongside former business manager of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, and ACU’s Pro Chancellor Ted Exell AM.
The successful management of Australia’s two largest dioceses in Melbourne and Sydney, along with his experience running Caritas Australia and overseeing the building of Domus Australia in Rome, ensures that Cardinal Pell is well qualified for his new role.
As Archbishop both in Melbourne and Sydney, Cardinal Pell was involved in leading pilgrimages of Australians – including students and staff from ACU – to the World Youth Days in Rome, Toronto, Cologne, Madrid and Rio.
The Australian Government awarded Cardinal Pell the Centenary Medal in April 2003 in recognition of his service to the Australian community through the Catholic Church. In the same year he was created Knight Grand Cross of the Order to mark his elevation to the Sacred College of Cardinals. In 2005, he was made a Companion in the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours for service to the Catholic Church in Australia and internationally, to raising debate on matters of an ethical and spiritual nature, to education and to social justice.
The Cardinal is one of the 'Group of Eight', the Council of Eight Cardinals established to advise the Pope on governance, and also of the committee of 15 cardinals who oversee the Church’s financial affairs. Both groups have endorsed the findings of an expert panel established a year ago by Pope Francis on how to improve the operations of the Vatican.
In departing for Rome, Cardinal Pell will leave his post as the eighth and current Archbishop of Sydney. He will leave the Archdiocese in a strong position, with two full seminaries for training priests, two Catholic universities, and extensive support programs for families, students and those on the margins of our society.