From THE AGE:
Last month, well-informed Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli wrote in Il Giornale that Cardinal Pell had been approved to head the bishops congregation, one of the most important Vatican posts. The announcement was expected this month, when Pope Benedict XVI returns from summer holidays, the traditional time.
But now, according to Tornielli, Cardinal Pell has declined the post and "everything seems to be in doubt". He said the Vatican was quoting age and health reasons but the Pope might still try to persuade Cardinal Pell to take the post.
However, another well-informed journalist, Marco Tosatto, wrote on his blog that the health reasons were a diplomatic veil. "Pell was blocked by elements in the Vatican because of the abuse allegations against him from the early 1960s," he said.
Cardinal Pell stood down as Archbishop of Sydney in 2002 after he was accused of abusing a teenager at a church camp in the 1960s, but an independent investigation by a retired non-Catholic judge cleared him. According to the complaint, the cardinal, then a seminarian, several times stuck his hand down a youth's pants and fondled his genitals at a church camp at Phillip Island. The inquiry, by retired Victorian Supreme Court judge Alec Southwell, found the complainant and the cardinal were honest witnesses, and concluded he could not be satisfied the complaint was established.