Cardinal George Pell will hand in his resignation to the Pope today having reached the age of 75. However, it is expected he will continue his work as the Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy for a further three years.
Catholic bishops are required to submit their resignations at 75, but heads of Vatican departments often serve beyond that age.
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.
After Pope Francis visited the Secretariat’s headquarters in April, Cardinal Pell’s office released 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 not resign unless the Pope asked him to.
“No, I wouldn’t resign,” he said in an interview with 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.”