Shock death of Pell draws mixed response


"He over many years has been a forthright defender of the faith, a great gospel man. There probably has not been a churchman in Australia quite like the cardinal" - Melbourne Archbishop Peter Comensoli

"This news comes as a great shock to all of us. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Cardinal Pell, for comfort and consolation for his family and for all of those who loved him and are grieving him at this time" - Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher

"There is a continued divide going on between the clerical church and the rest of us. Unfortunately, many of the archbishops and Cardinal Pell included need to carry responsibility for that" - Francis Sullivan, chief executive of the Church's Truth, Justice and Healing Council, on ABC TV

"This will come as a shock to many. This was a hip operation and the consequences of it, unfortunately, have been the cardinal has lost his life" - Prime Minister Anthony Albanese

"Shine Lawyers is progressing a civil claim on behalf of the father of a former altar boy who alleged he was sexually abused by George Pell. A civil trial likely would have provided the opportunity to cross examine Pell, and truly test his defence against these allegations" - Shine Lawyers chief legal officer Lisa Flynn

"His incarceration on charges that the High Court ultimately, scathingly, dismissed was a modern form of crucifixion; reputationally at least a kind of living death" - former prime minister Tony Abbott

"He stood for his conservative values and suffered persecution along the way, but he never waived. The High Court decision said it all - 7 zip" - former NT chief minister and friend Shane Stone

"Today would be a very difficult day for the cardinal's family and loved ones. But also a very difficult day for survivors and victims of child sexual abuse and their families" - Victorian minister Steve Dimopoulos

"He was a man of deep faith and great integrity. He was blessed with fortitude, courage, determination and intellect. He was proudly Australian" - former federal treasurer and US ambassador Joe Hockey

"His deep and compassionate faith sustained him during more than 400 days in prison for alleged crimes which many, me included, believed should never have been the subject of charges" - former prime minister John Howard

"I wish he had lived for another 10 years of deserved public opprobrium" - former senator and child protection advocate Derryn Hinch

"Pell long kept silent about clergy sex crimes, was charged with abuse himself, and covered it all up. Pell manipulated the news to walk out of jail a free man. His true sentence begins with death" - spokesperson for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

"The Church and its institutions in Australia and abroad are indebted to Cardinal Pell for his leadership and contribution to our community. His death will be felt by many in the Australian church and the wider community" - Australian Catholic University Chancellor Martin Daubney

"Cardinal Pell's death will heighten similar intense feelings and distress, as survivors relive their own journeys in which they battled secrecy, silence and denial. For many, justice, redress and support remain elusive, and every day can remain a struggle just to feel and be safe" - Blue Knot Foundation Cathy Kezelman

"He was to suffer greatly for his strong stand on many issues and experienced, no doubt, much personal pain during his time of trial and imprisonment, especially due to the level of public vilification" - Hobart Archbishop Julian Porteous

"Cardinal Pell's impact on the life of the Church in Australia and around the world will continue to be felt for many years" - Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe

"Survivors will remember George Pell as not adopting a very compassionate response to that, but instead being offensive about it and protecting the church" - Melbourne solicitor Viv Waller, who represented Cardinal Pell's surviving accuser

"I don't think he deserved what he got. He was better appreciated overseas than he was here, particularly in Melbourne" - Cardinal Pell's brother David told the Herald Sun