But how cheering to read that the Foreign Minister, Lord Downer of Baghdad, thoroughly approves of this latest appointment to the Curia.
'The Government regards him as a good choice. We are delighted there is a new Australian cardinal, and such a distinguished Australian,' Lord Downer announced during a visit to the Vatican this week.
'I certainly want to congratulate the Pope on the appointment.'
I am unsure what qualifications the Foreign Minister brings to assessing princes of the Roman rite. He is an Anglican. If I am not wrong, the Downers of South Australia, in all their pomp, were one of the last landed Adelaide families to have a parson's living in their gift, as in Victorian England. Perhaps that is enough.
But no doubt the Pope will be thrilled that his decision to elevate Pell has got such a distinguished thumbs up.
Although the last time I saw the Pontiff on television he looked so pitifully decrepit that I don't think he'd notice if Downer drew up in St Peter's Square atop a caparisoned elephant with a Jamaican steel band and a troupe of acrobats.
I'm not sure what else anyone can say on this subject.