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Cardinal Pell: “The Gospel helped me survive the difficult time in prison”

The former Metropolitan Archbishop of Sydney took part in a retreat for the Australian Catholic Student Association. He talked about suffering and how to keep the faith during a difficult trial. The ecclesiastic spent thirteen months in prison. He was accused of molesting teenage choristers but acquitted on the 7th of April by a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court.


The Australian Bishop admitted that it was a difficult and unpleasant experience in which faith turned out to be helpful.

In prison, he was convinced that the message of the redemptive power of suffering came true in practice. “Not in the sense that thanks to this I was acquitted, but it was Christian teaching that allowed me to survive,” Cardinal Pell explained.

He also admitted that there were other natural factors that helped him during his imprisonment. They can be helpful to everyone when they have to face suffering, mourning or painful loss. In such situations, physical exercise, avoiding a large amount of alcohol, eating healthy and regular food, getting a regular number of hours sleep and rising at the same time are all important.

Cardinal Pell added that this routine helped him in prison and it would be good if everyone could learn it as early as possible. “In this way it is easier to face difficult life challenges,” added the former Metropolitan Archbishop of Sydney during  a retreat for Australian youth.


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