July 2, 2020
By CLAIRE GIANGRAVÉ
Cardinal George Pell, the former Vatican treasurer who was recently cleared of historic sex abuse charges in his native country of Australia, spoke about his experience in prison, Pope Francis’ financial reform and the need to avoid corruption in a video released on Tuesday.
“In jail, of course, I was there as a Christian, inspired by the teachings of Christ,” Pell said, adding that his time in prison offered plenty of opportunity to pray every day. “And that I did,” he said.
The cardinal was sentenced to six years in prison by the County Court of Victoria, Australia, in late 2018 for the sexual abuse of minors when he was bishop in Melbourne between 1996 and 1997. Pell had vehemently denied all charges against him and, in April, the highest court in Australia dropped all charges for lack of sufficient proof.
The newly released video is the cardinal’s first public appearance since he was acquitted. In it he said that though prison was “an adventure I would not have chosen,” he had “survived it.”
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