Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney (Australia), was born on June 8, 1941 in Ballarat, Australia. He was ordained on December 16, 1966 and holds a licentiate in theology from the Urbaniana University of Rome, a master’s degree in education from Monash University and a doctorate of philosophy in Church History from the University of Oxford. Cardinal Pell served as Director of the Aquinas Campus of the Institute of Catholic Education (1974-84) and Principal of the Institute of Catholic Education (1981-1984). He was Episcopal Vicar for Education in the Diocese of Ballarat and a founding member of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria.
On March 30, 1987 he was elected titular Bishop of Scala and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, and received episcopal ordination on May 21, 1987.
From 1988-1997 he was Chairman of Caritas Australia. During that same period, he was member of the National Catholic Commission and from 1994-1997 he was Secretary to the Bishops’ Committee for Education. In 1989, Cardinal Pell was appointed Chairman of the committee charged with setting up the new Australian Catholic University, and in 1991-1995 he served as pro-chancellor of the University’s Foundation. From 1985-1987 he was Rector of Corpus Christi College, the Provincial Seminary for Victoria and Tasmania. In 1990, he attended the Synod of Bishops in Rome on the preparation of priests, where he served as one of the Synod spokesmen and on the committee which prepared the final Synod message. He was appointed Apostolic Visitor to the National seminaries of New Zealand (1994), Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands (1995), the Pacific (1996) and Irian Jaya and Sulawesi (1998) by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in the Vatican.
On July 16, 1996, Pope John Paul II appointed him Metropolitan Archbishop of Melbourne. He was installed as Archbishop on August 16, 1996 in a ceremony at the Exhibition Buildings, and received the Pallium from the Pope at St. Peter’s in Rome on the feast of Sts Peter and Paul, June 29, 1997.
In November 1998, Cardinal Pell attended the Synod for Oceania. He was appointed by Pope John Paul II to represent the Bishops of Australia and Oceania at the Special Synod for European Bishops in 1999 and the Synod of Bishops held in 2001.
In April 2002, he was named President of the Vox Clara committee for the English translations of liturgical texts.
On March 26, 2001, the Holy Father appointed Cardinal Pell the eighth Metropolitan Archbishop of Sydney. He was installed as Archbishop at St. Mary’s Cathedral of May 10, 2001, and the following month received the Pallium for the second time at St. Peter’s in Rome on the feast of Sts Peter and Paul.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the consistory of October 21, 2003, of the Title of S. Maria Domenica Mazzarello (St. Mary Domenica Mazzarello).
- Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments;
- Pontifical Councils: for Family; for Justice and Peace;
- Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Economic Affairs of the Holy See;
- XI Ordinary Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.