High-ranking Catholic cardinal details spiritual reflections of time spent in solitary confinement while unjustly accused of wrongdoing
SAN FRANCISCO — In the second volume of Cardinal George Pell’s prison journal trilogy, PRISON JOURNAL, VOLUME 2: THE STATE COURT REJECTS THE APPEAL (Ignatius Press), the incarcerated Cardinal learns that his appeal was rejected and he must remain in prison. The unprecedented work chronicles Cardinal Pell’s life in an Australian prison as he continues to prove his innocence against unjust accusations of sex abuse. The first volume, PRISON JOURNAL, VOLUME 1: THE CARDINAL MAKES HIS APPEAL, was released last year.
PRISON JOURNAL, VOLUME 2: THE STATE COURT REJECTS THE APPEAL covers the time period of July 14, 2019, through November 30, 2019. In this second of three volumes, Cardinal Pell receives the terrible news that his first appeal is rejected. With the same grace, wisdom and calm perseverance displayed in Volume 1, he continues his quest for justice by appealing to the Australian High Court. Glimmers of hope emerge as more legal experts, including non-Catholics, join the chorus of those demanding that this miscarriage of justice be reversed.
Cardinal George Pell, as prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, which had been newly created by Pope Francis to manage the finances of the Vatican, was accused of sexually assaulting choir boys in his former cathedral during the 1990s. So sure that the charges were false, the cardinal voluntarily left Rome for Australia to stand trial. The trial ended in a hung jury, but when the case was retried, Cardinal Pell was found guilty and sentenced to six years in prison. He spent 404 days in solitary confinement until his appeal was unanimously overturned by the Australian High Court.
“Two lessons emerge from this astonishing work. The first lesson is the length to which a hate-filled judicial process will go against an innocent man — a process redeemed ultimately by Australia’s High Court, but not before soiling the credibility of a nation’s legal system,” said Charles Chaput, OFM Cap, Archbishop Emeritus of Philadelphia. “The second is the power of a good man’s endurance in the face of humiliation and poisonous deceit. Cardinal Pell is a superb writer and an articulate witness to an inexcusable abuse of law, but also to the triumph of God’s grace. His journal is a marvel.”
For more information, to request a review copy or to schedule an interview with Cardinal George Pell, please contact Lisa Wheeler (866-777-2313, ext. 700 or [email protected]) of Carmel Communications.
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