Shortly before he died on Tuesday, Cardinal George Pell wrote the following article for The Spectator in which he denounced the Vatican’s plans for its forthcoming ‘Synod on Synodality’ as a ‘toxic nightmare’. The booklet produced by the Synod, to be held in two sessions this year and next year, is ‘one of the most incoherent documents ever sent out from Rome’, says Pell. Not only is it ‘couched in neo-Marxist jargon’, but it is ‘hostile to the apostolic tradition’ and ignores such fundamental Christian tenets as belief in divine judgment, heaven and hell.
The Australian-born cardinal, who endured the terrible ordeal of imprisonment in his home country on fake charges of sex abuse before being acquitted, was nothing if not courageous. He did not know that he was about to die when he wrote this piece; he was prepared to face the fury of Pope Francis and the organisers when it was published. As it is, his sudden death may add extra force to his words when the synod meets this October.