Moment of liberation: cheers, prayers and a juicy steak
It seems the Cardinal gave his first exclusive interview to the American Catholic News Agency. Good choice.
“I was watching the television news in my cell when the news came through,” Pell told CNA, in an exclusive interview shortly after his release on Tuesday.
“First, I heard that leave was granted and then that the convictions were quashed. I thought, ‘Well that’s great. I’m delighted.’”
“Of course, there was no one to talk to about it until my legal team arrived,” Pell said.
“However, I did hear a great cheer from somewhere within the jail and then the three other inmates near me made it clear they were delighted for me.”
After his release, Pell said he spent the afternoon at a quiet location in Melbourne, and enjoyed a steak for his first “free” meal in more than 400 days.
“What I am really looking forward to is celebrating a private Mass,” Pell told CNA before he had the opportunity to do so. “It has been a very long time, so that is a great blessing.”
The cardinal told CNA that he had lived his time in prison as a “long retreat,” and a time for reflection, writing, and, above all, prayer.
Few 78 year-olds could walk out of a maximum security jail after being put through years of torturous abuse by corrupt politicians, officials and media identities. I can think of no greater example of manly fortitude in recent Australian history. Daniel Andrews was too cowardly to even mention Cardinal Pell yesterday and too morally insipid to apologise. I recollect also the leave taken by desk copper and VicPol Commissioner, Graeme Ashton, a few years ago for “mental and physical exhaustion.” Both identify as male but they’re not men – not as George Pell is a man. There is something to be drawn from his example by the entire Catholic clergy.
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