The appointment Thursday of the Rev. Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves, a 60-year-old Spanish economist, came one day after Australia’s Supreme Court agreed to hear Pell’s appeal of his conviction that he molested two youths in the 1990s. Pell denies the charges.
Francis created the Secretariat for the Economy, and named Pell its prefect, as a key part of his financial reform plans after being elected pope in 2013. Pell tried to wrestle the Holy See’s opaque finances into order, but his efforts were rebuffed repeatedly by the Vatican’s old guard.