It was headlined with the cardinal's remark about how wonderful it is to be able to speak freely in front of Pope Francis, which I think was similarly
It may not be so much about praising the Holy Father as about getting in more digs at someone else, or at least implying that maybe some other popes were mean, you had to watch what you said around, not namin' names, other popes.
And what the real point of his answer was letting the press know that anyone with half a brain knew that what the press reported wasn't worth yesterday's rubbish - and he managed to say it with charm!
So much for his false modesty in claiming to be a "novice" in their ways, he seems wonderfully conversant in romanita.
But me, I think the most important thing His Eminence had to say was that he, Cardinal Pell, would not presume to speak for the Holy Father. (He did not finish with, "unlike some of my brother princes of the Church," such a diplomatic people the Australians, who knew?)