Cardinal George Pell departs the Melbourne Magistrates Court. AAP Image/Joe Castro
Cardinal George Pell departs the Melbourne Magistrates Court. AAP Image/Joe Castro

The Vatican’s full statement about George Pell

AUSTRALIAN Cardinal George Pell has been removed from his role with the Pope's Council of Cardinal Advisors. Here is the full statement released by the Vatican.


December 12, 2018


The Council of Cardinals met for three days Monday 10th, Tuesday 11th, Wednesday 12th of December. Present were Eminent Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga SDB, the Eminent Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Eminent Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley OFM, the Eminent Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, the Eminent Cardinal Osvald Gracias.

The Secretary Cardinal of State Pietro Parolin was not present because he represented the Holy See at the Intergovernmental Conference for Formal Adoption for member states of the United Nations at the Global Compact for Migration that was held in Marrakech from the 10th to the 12th of December. The Holy Father as always has participated in the meeting, even if he was absent this morning for the general audience.

Following the request expressed from the cardinals, at the end of the 26th meeting of the Council of Cardinals, following a reflection on the work, the structure and the composition of the same council, keeping also in consideration the advanced age of some members, the Holy Father at the end of October, has written to his Eminence Cardinal George Pell, to his Eminence the Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz and to his Eminence the Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya thanking them for their work in the past five years.

Considering the timing of the work of the council it is not planned to nominate new members at the moment.

The session of work happened in the morning from 9am until 12.30pm and in the afternoon from 4.30pm to 7pm.

The group of cardinals discussed different themes, amongst them how to restrict the costs of the Holy See, the meeting with the President of the Episcopal Conferences of the Catholic Church on the theme of the "protection of minor,'' that will happen in the Vatican between 21st and 24th February 2019, and the Apostolic Constitution of the Roman Curate.

To add to this, the cardinals have discussed in detail matters relative to the Ministry for Communications.

Monsignor Marco Mellino, nominated last October as Adjunct Secretary of the Council of Cardinals to help the Pope in governing the universal church and to study the revision project of the constitution Pastor Bonus on the Roman Curate, was presented to the Cardinals by Pope Francis.

A new proposition of the Apostolic Constitution, whose provisional title is Predicate Evangelium, has been given to the Holy Father.

The Eminent Cardinal Reinhard Marx, co-ordinator of the Council of Economy, has dealt with the question relative to the reduction of the operating costs of the Holy See.

The main cost is without doubt represented from the cost relative to the personnel.

It has been reiterated that there is no plan or intent to proceed with removing people who are eventually found to be surplus, but they have to provide job descriptions to make the ministerial work more productive, keeping in consideration the possibility of moving people or where possible retiring early.

The sense of responsibility requires a long-term plan to reduce the costs and Cardinal Marx has suggested the elaboration of multi-year budgets so that the Council for Economy could formulate projections at five and 10 years to give a more clear idea of the situation and how to approach it.

The Cardinals also discussed the next meeting with the President of the Episcopal Conferences on the protection of minors program for February, underlining the importance of it.

The Council of Cardinals has listened to the Doctor Paolo Ruffini that, after having illustrated the state of advancement of the reform that has created the Ministry of Communication, has spoken about the next step to realise to bring it to a conclusion according to the Motu Proprio of the 27th of June 2015, putting together all the involved institutions and guaranteeing a coordinated handling and more efficient collaboration of resources also thanks to the new technological instruments.

The Prefect has underlined the value of different media, radio, TV, web, social, in the actual multi-media context and the important of an integrated synergy between them.

Doctor Ruffini has then illustrated the criteria to guarantee a unified strategy of communication of the Holy See, underlying the unique value of the multi-linguistic offering of the Vatican media.

Finally, the Professor Vincenzo Bonomo, Rector of the Pontificia Universita Lateranese and Councillor for the State of the City of the Vatican, has informed the Cardinals about the new law for the government of the State of the City of the Vatican.

The next meeting will be 18, 19 February, 2019.

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