CARDINAL PELL: God does not have favourites, says Archbishop Costelloe

02 Feb 2023

By The Record

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB has this week Wednesday 1 February celebrated a Mass for the Dead ahead of the burial of Cardinal George Pell at St Mary’s Cathedral Sydney.

Cardinal Pell passed away Tuesday 10 January, aged 81. Sources close to Cardinal Pell told The Record that he had been talking with the anaesthetist in hospital following the procedure when he suddenly went into cardiac arrest, at Salvator Mundi hospital in Rome and passed away shortly before 9 pm local time.

Born in Ballarat in June 1941, Cardinal Pell entered the seminary in Werribee 1960 and was ordained a priest in 1966 in Rome by Cardinal Gregorio Pietro Agagianian.

He quickly became a rising star in the Australian church and went on to have a prominent ecclesial career, being appointed as auxiliary bishop for Melbourne in 1987 and as then as Archbishop in 1996.

In 2001, Cardinal Pell was appointed Archbishop, going on to be made Cardinal in 2003 now St (Pope) John Paul II in 2003, participating in the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI, who passed away 31 December at the age of 95.

Speaking at the 1.10pm Mass in Sydney, Archbishop Costelloe said we are all equally brothers and sisters in the communion of the Church, and all equally children of our one Father in heaven.

Mass for the Dead - Cardinal Pell
The coffin of Cardinal George Pell lies in state at Sydney’s St Mary’s Cathedral, Wednesday 1 February. Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB celebrated Mass for the Dead, ahead of the Pontifical Funeral Mass, scheduled for Thursday 2 February. Photo: Giovanni Portelli/Archdiocese of Sydney.

“As Saint Paul reminds us in his Letter to the Romans, “God does not have favourites”,” Archbishop Costelloe said.

“This is why we find, at the heart of every Catholic funeral, a focus on the mystery of death and on the Church’s trusting faith in the promise of eternal life and in the certainty of God’s mercy and compassion,” he said.

Click Here to read Archbishop Costelloe’s Homily.

Huge turnout is expected for final farewell

The Archdiocese of Sydney is pulling out all stops to remember and pray for Cardinal George Pell at a Solemn Pontifical Mass of Christian Burial at St Mary’s Cathedral on Thursday 2 February, including a motet especially composed for the occasion.

Preparations have been underway for the last fortnight at the Cathedral for the event which is expected to draw the largest attendance the country has seen for the burial of any Catholic Church leader since the funeral of Melbourne Archbishop Daniel Mannix in 1963.

The Mass for the individual from Ballarat who rose to be eighth Archbishop of Australia’s senior archdiocese, a cardinal and eventually the first Prefect for the Economy of the Vatican will commence at 11am.