George Pell: leader of the Catholic Church in Australia, confessor to Tony Abbott. David Marr: the nation's leading biographer and investigative journalist. Cardinal George Pell is the most prominent Catholic leader in Australia at a time when the Church's handling of sexual abuse is being closely investigated. He is also the confessor of prime-minister-in-waiting Tony Abbott.
In Quarterly Essay 51, David Marr investigates the character and actions of George Pell: How does he wield his authority? How did he rise to prominence? How has he handled abuse claims in the past? What is the source of his authority? How deep does his political influence go?
This will be a news breaking and definitive portrait of Pell, at a time of maximum tension and scrutiny for both him and the church. Following up the explosive Political Animal, Marr's essay is certain to be one of the most discussed pieces of writing of the year.