Australian Cardinal George Pell, 79, has released a new book through Ignatius Press: Prison Journal, Volume 1: The Cardinal Makes His Appeal. Composed of three volumes, the Cardinal offers daily reflections on his conviction and imprisonment in solitary confinement for the abuse of a minor, as well as reflections on the meaning of suffering in the life of a Christian and the divine command to forgive one’s enemies. Pell maintained his innocence throughout, and after 13 months of confinement, Australia’s high court overturned the conviction on a 7-0 vote and released him from prison.
George Weigel wrote the introduction for Prison Journal, and served as moderator for a virtual press conference held December 16th. In his introduction of the Cardinal, Weigel opined that Prison Journal was “a book that should never have been written [but having been written] is a grace and a blessing, as it introduces to a world audience to the soul, heart and keen mind of a great churchman.”
Weigel noted that he had known Pell for 53 years, and had thought he’d known him well, but that Prison Journal gave him a glimpse into Pell’s interior life that he had not yet had before. He said, “The book invites readers to meet the soul of a public man, a rare thing indeed, all the more precious for its rarity, even more impressive when allowed to meet the soul when it is being purified and strengthened through suffering.”
Pell’s perspective of his imprisonment, he continued, was that he was on an extended retreat, “that is exactly what he did, he went on a retreat, in conversation with Our Lord. The result is this striking book.”
Read more at Catholic World Report