Prison Journal, Volume 1

The Cardinal Makes His Appeal

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Available January, 2021.

Innocent!

That final verdict came after Cardinal George Pell endured a grueling five years of accusations, trials, conviction, humiliation, character assassination, and finally more than a year of imprisonment, having been convicted by an Australian appellate court for a crime he didn't commit.  

Led off to jail in handcuffs and with shackles binding his ankles following his trial on March 13, 2019, the 78-year old Australian prelate began what was to be a six-year imprisonment for"historical sex abuse". After Cardinal Pell endured more than 13 months in prison, eight of those in solitary confinement, the Australian High Court voted 7-0 to overturn his original conviction. His victory over an extreme travesty of justice was not just personal, but one for the entire Catholic Church.

Bearing no ill will toward his accuser, judges, prison workers, journalists, and those harboring and expressing hate for him, the Cardinal used his time in prison as a kind of "extended retreat".  He eloquently filled pages with spiritual insights, his daily activities, personal thoughts, love for his fellow man, and beautiful, moving prayers, among other details.

This is the first of three volumes of Cardinal Pell's extraordinary testimony to strength, perseverance, love, and grace is.

"These prison diaries should never have been written. That they were written is a testament to the capacity of God's grace to inspire insight, magnanimity, and goodness amidst wickedness, evil, and injustice. That they were written so beautifully bears witness to the Christian character that divine grace formed in their author, Cardinal George Pell."
— George Weigel, from the Introduction

Cardinal George Pell

George Cardinal Pell, formerly Archbishop of Sydney (2001-2014), and of Melborne (1996-2001), Australia, was appointed in 2014 by Pope Francis as Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy at the Vatican. He also served on Pope Francis' Council of Cardinals. After being publicly humiliated, ridiculed, and finally convicted for a crime he didn't commit, Cardinal Pell was sentenced to six years of imprisonment, of which he served 13 months, eight of which were spent in solitary confinement. In 2020 the Australian High Court voted 7-0 to overturn his conviction.

Cardinal Pell received a Licentiate of Sacred Theology from Urbaniana University, and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Oxford University. His previous books include Test Everything, Issues of Faith and Morals and an authorized biography by Tess Livingston, George Pell: Defender of the Faith Down Under.

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