Cardinal writes in the Australian that ‘God-fearers’ are better able to deal with evil and suffering than atheists
Christopher Knaus with agencies
Sat 11 Apr 2020
Cardinal George Pell arrives at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd in Sydney on Thursday after being released from jail on Tuesday. He has written about spending ‘13 months in jail for a crime I didn’t commit’. Photograph: Bianca de Marchi/AAP
Cardinal George Pell has used an Easter opinion piece to argue “God-fearers” are better able to deal with evil and suffering than atheists, pointing to his own experience of “13 months in jail for a crime I didn’t commit”.
Pell was released from prison on Tuesday after Australia’s high court quashed five convictions for child sexual abuse, over allegations he assaulted two choirboys at a Melbourne cathedral in the 1990s.
In a piece published in the Australian, Pell wrote that everyone suffered, prompting the questions “Why is there so much evil and suffering? And why did this happen to me?”
But he said that “a fundamental difference between God-fearers and secularists today is found in the approach to suffering”. Pell used his imprisonment to further the point.
“I have just spent 13 months in jail for a crime I didn’t commit, one disappointment after another,” he wrote.
“I knew God was with me, but I didn’t know what He was up to, although I realised He has left all of us free,” Pell wrote. “But with every blow it was a consolation to know I could offer it to God for some good purpose like turning the mass of suffering into spiritual energy.”