George Pell dies: Catholic Cardinal was homophobic to the end

Australian catholic cardinal george pell in 2022
Image: EWTN News

HCardinal George Pell, Australia’s highest-ranking Catholic and for years a face of religious intolerance in the Australian Catholic Church, has died.

Melbourne Archbishop Peter Comensoli confirmed Pell had died in Rome at age 81 from heart complications following hip surgery.

In 2018, Cardinal Pell was convicted of sexually abusing the two 13-year-old choirboys at St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1996 while Archbishop of Melbourne.

But after he spent 13 months in jail, Pell walked free in 2020 after the High Court quashed the convictions.

Earlier, George Pell made multiple appearances at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Pell spoke regarding the church’s response to abuse allegations within the archdiocese and his establishment of the controversial “Melbourne Response” to investigate allegations and compensate victims.

In 2020, unredacted documents from the royal commission declared Pell knew of sexual abuse by the clergy but failed to take adequate action to address it. However Pell disputed that.

George Pell described homosexuality as ‘much greater health hazard than smoking’

Conservative hardliner George Pell spent decades opposing homosexuality and LGBTIQ+ law reform. The Catholic Cardinal was notorious for his anti-LGBTIQ views and statements for years right up until to his death.

In 1990, he said, “Homosexuality – we’re aware that it does exist. We believe such activity is wrong. For the good of society it should not be encouraged.”

In 1999, Pell described homosexual activity as “a much greater health hazard than smoking” after gay Catholics laid a memorial wreath outside a Melbourne cathedral for gay students in Catholic schools who suffered homophobic abuse and died of suicide.

“If [the suicides] are connected with homosexuality, it is another reason to be discouraging people going in that direction,” he said.

Pell made headlines for refusing communion to gay parishioners in Melbourne in 2002 and again in Sydney in 2007.

“God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve and important consequences follow from this,” Pell said in 2002.

“Our Judeo-Christian religious tradition allows men and women sexual expression within the bounds of family life, a sexuality which is life-giving.

“Homosexual acts are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. These teachings are givens from our Christian point of view.”

In 2002, Pell caused outrage after describing abortion as “one of worst – it is the worst – of evils”.

He also caused outrage for declaring abortion “a worse moral scandal” than child sex abuse by Catholic clergy.

“Because [abortion] is always a destruction of human life,” Pell said.

In 2009, health advocates slammed George Pell after he said condoms “encouraged promiscuity and irresponsiblity” and falsely claimed they worsened the spread of HIV.

“The idea that you can solve a great spiritual and health crisis like AIDS with a few mechanical contraptions like condoms is ridiculous,” he said.

George Pell said accepting homosexuality will destroy the Catholic Church

In March 2022, George Pell demanded the Vatican reprimand two German bishops who urged the Church to ease up on its stance on gay relationships.

The Catholic Church condemns same-sex attraction as “objectively disordered” and homosexual acts as immoral.

Pell lashed out last year at the German bishops for breaking ranks. The bishops argued the current church teachings on homosexuality are “no longer correct,” and not based on science.

But Pell called for the bishops to face a “clear reprimand”. He said the church cannot follow “the changing dictats of contemporary secular culture”.

“This is a path to self-destruction for the Church,” he said in a statement.

“[The stance] not only rejects the ancient Judaeo-Christian doctrines against homosexual activity, but undermines and rejects the teaching on monogamous marriage, the exclusive union of a man and a woman.

“The Catholic Church is not a loose federation where different national synods or gatherings and prominent leaders are able to reject essential elements of the apostolic tradition and remain undisturbed.

“Not one of the Ten Commandments is optional. All are there to be followed, and by sinners.”

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Read also: Benedict XVI: thoughts and prayers for vile former pope

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia


  1. Cool Pete
    12 January 2023

    And THIS is who Tone the Botty farted was a great person and that Australia had lost a great son?! FML!

  2. Peter Turner
    13 January 2023

    Good riddance to a poor excuse of a human being.
    If anything destroyed the reputation of the Catholic Church it was the tolerance of paedophile clergy and they’re practise of moving them around to commit further abuse.
    Both of which Pell was guilty.

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