In his Easter message, Cardinal George Pell chose to share his views on the hidden meaning that may manifest itself through suffering in the world.
Cardinal Pell was recently found not guilty of sexually abusing two choirboys more than two decades ago. The cardinal was released from prison on April 7 after Australia’s High Court quashed five convictions for child sexual abuse over claims that he assaulted the two boys at a Melbourne Cathedral in the 1990s.
“Every person suffers. None escapes all the time,” he wrote in the message published in The Australian newspaper titled, ‘In the suffering, we find redemption.’
“Everyone is confronted with a couple of questions. What should I do in this situation? Why is there so much evil and suffering? And why did this happen to me? Why the coronavirus pandemic?
“Easter provides the Christian answer to suffering and living,” he wrote.
Cardinal Pell went on, saying that the sexual abuse crisis has damaged thousands of victims.
“From many points of view the crisis is also bad for the Catholic Church, but we have painfully cut out a moral cancer and this is good.
“So too some would see COVID-19 as a bad time for those who claim to believe in a good and rational God, the Supreme Love and Intelligence, the Creator of the universe,” he added, while recognizing the pandemic from the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus as a unique moment for people of his generation and younger.
While the virus could be compared to the Spanish flu pandemic of the Black Death, we have the capacity now to fight the infection intelligently and mitigate its spread, he said.
The cardinal also wrote of his experience of more than 400 days behind bars.
“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. 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.”
He ended his Easter message saying, “Kiko Arguello, co-founder of the Neocatechumenal Way, claims that a fundamental difference between God-fearers and secularists today is found in the approach to suffering.
“Too often the irreligious want to eliminate the cause of the suffering, through abortion, euthanasia, or exclude it from sight, leaving our loved ones unvisited in nursing homes. Christians see Christ in everyone who suffers—victims, the sick, the elderly—and are obliged to help.
“That is part of the Easter message of the Risen Christ.”