Demonstrators on Thursday denounced the conservative views of Australian Cardinal George Pell, who died in January, during the great funeral mass organized in Sydney by the Catholic Church, which commemorated his “remarkable heritage”.
George Pell, who died on January 11 in Rome at the age of 81, was buried in the crypt of St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney, after a mass and papal funeral in accordance with the traditions of the Church.
Targeted by a series of scandals in the last years of his life, Bishop Pell spent 13 months behind bars for having abused two altar boys in the 1990s. Convicted at first instance and then on appeal, the prelate was finally cleared at the benefit of the doubt by the Australian High Court and released in 2020.
“Pell, burn in hell!”
Outside St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney, thousands of people waited Thursday to pay their respects.
Riot police erected barricades to block access to demonstrators, who on the other side of the road were waving banners, with a message: "Pell, burn in hell".
Outside the Cathedral, where a large police force had been deployed, demonstrators shouted "shame" in the direction of people who came to attend the ceremony.
Once considered the third most influential man in the Vatican, Bishop Pell continues to divide Australia.
His supporters have praised this modern-day "saint", but for victims of sexual violence in the Church, his death has brought back painful memories.