CNA Staff, Jun 15, 2020 / 10:40 am America/Denver (CNA).
Cardinal George Pell told a group of Australian students that his Christian faith helped him persevere through his time in prison, and offered advice on how to overcome grief and stressful situations.
Pell, in one of his first public appearances since his April release from prison, spoke to an online silent retreat hosted June 5 and 6 by the Australian Catholic Students’ Association about suffering and the tools one can use to remain steadfast in faith through hard times.
The cardinal said his 13 months in prison were “difficult and unpleasant,” but not the worst possible form of suffering. He said his time in prison reinforced the truth of Christian view of redemptive suffering, according to The Catholic Weekly.
“I’m still teaching the same Christian message,” said Pell. “And I’m here simply to say that it works. Not in the sense that I was acquitted, but that this Christian teaching helped me to survive.”
Pell was convicted in 2018 of multiple counts of sexual abuse. On April 7, Australia's High Court overturned his six-year prison sentence. The High Court ruled that he should not have been found guilty of the charges and that the prosecution had not proven their case beyond a reasonable doubt.