CNA Staff, Apr 10, 2020 / 14:35 pm
Cardinal George Pell said Friday that suffering can be offered to God for good, and that Christians see Christ in the suffering, and are obliged to help them. His message came days after his release from prison, and amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
"The sexual abuse crisis damaged thousands of victims. From many points of view the crisis is also bad for the Catholic Church, but we have painfully cut out a moral cancer and this is good. So too some would see COVID-19 as a bad time for those who claim to believe in a good and rational God, the Supreme Love and Intelligence, the Creator of the universe," Pell wrote in an Easter message published by The Australian April 10.
"It is a mystery; all suffering, but especially the massive number of deaths through plagues and wars. But Christians can cope with suffering better than the atheists can explain the beauty and happiness of life," the cardinal added.
Pell was convicted in December 2018 of sexually assaulting two choirboys at the Melbourne Cathedral in 1996. On April 7, the Australian High Court unanimously ruled that the evidence presented during the trial would not have allowed the jury to avoid reasonable doubt and ordered Pell's acquittal and release after more than 400 days in prison.
The High Court's Tuesday decision marked the end of a nearly three-year legal process which began in June 2017, when the cardinal was charged with several counts of sexual assault dating back decades. The majority of these charges were dropped before they could be brought to trial.