By: Carlo Guidowendo, SCCB Italy
Vatican City - It was expected that the high-profile Prefect for the Secretariat for the Economy and member of the Council of Cardinals would come under close scrutiny by the media, but few expected things to get this bad.
Some are calling this week's developments the beginning of Cardinal Pell's fall from grace. As is now well-known, the cardinal is reeling from the discovery of a receipt from a visit he made to a Starbucks in Sydney back in 2008.
Active Church-critic, Josh Freeney, who runs the website, Churchdumdumevil.com, describes the matter, "Pell is living on a scale that would even make Renaissance cardinals ashamed. Not only did he order a grande frappucinno - with chocolate sprinkles, I might add - but he ordered one of their elitist ham sandwiches, you know, the one's that are like eight bucks. And to top it all off, he bought a pound of Kenya medium roast: non fair-trade coffee, people! It was probably a gift for his mistress!"
Apologists for the cardinal have been active offering a defense for what is being called by some "the worst thing that has ever happened in the history of the Australian Catholic Church."
The spokesman for the Sydney Archdiocese, Fr. Thomas Archibald, said he would be making an official statement on the matter later in the week. However, critics have shown little equivalent hesitancy:
"I guess we know who the real 'bishop of bling' is now," added Freeney. "How does he think he can reform the Vatican when he has his face so deeply in the trough?"
"I say the time has come to sell the Vatican and end world hunger once and for all."