Cardinal George Pell, one of the most zealous orthodox Catholic bishops in recent years, has died. Pell’s passing is particularly significant as it comes soon after Pope Benedict XVI’s death and just as Pell’s condemnation of modernism and woke politics infiltrating the Catholic Church was to be published.

Many people just remember Pell as the cardinal convicted of sexual abuse. The allegations turned out to have been false, possibly a response to Pell’s aggressive investigation into the Vatican Bank under Pope Francis. Rod Dreher wrote for The American Conservative that Pell was reportedly uncovering both homosexual and financial corruption in the Curia and Vatican Bank. In any case, the Australian High Court evidently believed the evidence was in Pell’s favor because it overturned his conviction and exonerated him.

Pell did many good deeds in his life, as Church Militant described, and it is sad that he had to suffer so much for what were evidently false charges. Pell tried to fight corruption and uphold Catholic teaching and tradition in an age where church leaders and Christian leaders in general are beginning to adopt secular leftist beliefs.

The Spectator noted that Pell wrote an article for the outlet “[s]hortly before he died on Tuesday.” It was a call to face reality and stay true to doctrine in the face of leftist, Marxist-influenced secularism:

The Catholic Synod of Bishops is now busy constructing what they think of as ‘God’s dream’ of synodality. Unfortunately this divine dream has developed into a toxic nightmare despite the bishops’ professed good intentions.

They have produced a 45-page booklet which presents its account of the discussions of the first stage of ‘listening and discernment’, held in many parts of the world, and it is one of the most incoherent documents ever sent out from Rome.

Pell then dissected the main points and problems of the booklet, entitled “Enlarge the Space of Your Tent.” As he said, it was not an invitation for everybody to come learn the truth and commit to a Christian life. It was the leftist notion of “inclusiveness” where no change is necessary or even desired, “where the distinction between believers and unbelievers is rejected.“ Pell related with concern, “The document does not urge even the Catholic participants to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:16-20).” Woke politics are replacing theology, he indicated.

What is one to make of this potpourri, this outpouring of New Age good will?… Continued meetings of this sort deepen divisions and a knowing few can exploit the muddle and good will. The ex-Anglicans among us are right to identify the deepening confusion, the attack on traditional morals and the insertion into the dialogue of neo-Marxist jargon about exclusion, alienation, identity, marginalisation, the voiceless, LGBTQ as well as the displacement of Christian notions of forgiveness, sin, sacrifice, healing, redemption.

Whether you are a Catholic as I am or not, I think we can all agree with Pell that “neo-Marxist jargon” and woke politics are only going to hurt, not help, Christianity and a world that so badly needs God. That was the final message of Cardinal Pell, his wise last words to the world.

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