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Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Cardinal Pell’s coffin lies in state in Rome

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Cardinal George Pell’s coffin is now lying in state in the church of Santo Stefano degli Abissini (St Stephen of the Abyssinians) in the grounds of the Vatican.

Among the mourners who it is understood have paid their respects are Archbishop Georg Ganswein, former Prefect of the Papal Household and longtime secretary and advisor to Pope Benedict XVI, American Cardinal Raymond Burke and numerous other church leaders.

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Since its arrival there has been a steady stream of visitors keeping vigil and praying, many visibly distressed and grieving.

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB of Perth, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, has travelled to Rome for the funeral as well as many Australians who knew and/or worked extensively with Cardinal Pell throughout his life.

Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, the dean of the College of Cardinals, will celebrate Cardinal Pell’s funeral Mass at 9:30pm Sydney time today in St Peter’s Basilica, with Pope Francis presiding over the final rite.

Cardinal Pell’s death leaves the College of Cardinals with 223 members, 125 of whom are under the age of 80 and eligible to vote in a conclave.

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