Washington, 20 December, 2020 / 11:30 am (ACI Africa).
Cardinal George Pell discussed the surprises, difficulties, and “gift” of everyday life in jail during a press conference this week to mark the publication of the first installment of his prison diaries.
Pell described his stint in prison as a sort of “spiritual retreat,” which he wrote about in his daily journal of incarceration, set to be published in three volumes. The first volume: Prison Journal, Volume 1: the Cardinal Makes His Appeal, was published Dec. 9.
During his 404 days in prison for crimes for which he was eventually acquitted, Pell said he kept the diary as a “historical record of a strange time,” and that he hoped that it would one day be published as a help to others going through hard times.
Due in part to his celebrity and the nature of his offenses, Pell was kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day.
“I felt that my reflections might be able to help people,” Pell explained on Dec. 16, “not just those in jail, but people going through tough times.”