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Cardinal Pell expected to continue as Vatican finance chief despite reaching retirement age

Cardinal George Pell (CNS)

Cardinal George Pell will tender his resignation to the Pope today as he turns 75, however, it is expected he will continue his work as the Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy for a further three years.

Rules introduced by the Pope in 2014 oblige cardinals to offer their resignations at 75, however Francis does not have to accept.

Cardinal Pell was appointed head of the newly created Secretariat for the Economy in February 2014, charged with the task of reforming the Vatican financial structures.

In April, Pope Francis visited the Secretariat for the Economy, with the cardinal’s office subsequently releasing a statement saying he would “be continuing with his current role for the full five-year term”.

“The Holy Father said he fully supported (the Secretariat’s) work and re-emphasised the ongoing need for transparency in continuing with their reforms,” the statement added.

After giving evidence to Australia’s royal commission on child abuse in March, Cardinal Pell said he would only resign if Pope Francis asked him to.

“No, I wouldn’t resign,” he told Sky News Australia. “That would be taken as an admission of guilt.”

“I mean, if the Holy Father asked me too, I’d point this out, but I’d do whatever he wanted.”

Cardinal Pell told the commission that he should have done more about rumours of child abuse in the 1970s.