Weigel: How Cardinal Pell reformed much of the Australian church

When Pell became archbishop of Melbourne in 1996, Catholic Lite was the order of the day throughout the country, with the usual results: goofball liturgy (one bishop celebrated Mass made up as a clown); dumbed-down catechesis; a collapse in religious vocations and seminary applications; the Church bureaucracy joined at the hip to the hard left in Australian public life. Reversing this drift toward theological and moral incoherence and public irrelevance was going to be very hard work.

Then Pell caught a break: when his seminary faculty threatened to resign en masse because he insisted that the seminarians attend daily Mass, Pell called their bluff, accepted their resignations, filled the seminary with new faculty — and never looked back.

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