NSW Parliament Threatens Cardinal Pell, Places Him Under Investigation for “Meddling” in Politics
By Peter J. Smith
SYDNEY, June 18, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – New South Wales’ Parliament has ratcheted up the heat on Sydney Archbishop George Pell, placing him under parliamentary investigation for “meddling” in the lower house’s vote on embryonic stem-cell research.
Greens MP Lee Rhiannon requested that the Cardinal’s “outburst of muscular Catholicism” be referred to the privileges committee for allegedly intimidating Catholic parliamentarians by saying there would be “consequences” for their spiritual lives.
“The archbishop has refused to cease his special brand of meddling,” said Ms. Rhiannon, urging the committee to move since Pell was attempting “to exert influence over the democratic process in NSW.”
“Hopefully this referral will act as a warning to Cardinal Pell that he should refrain from launching a fresh assault on upper house MPs who are yet to cast a vote on this important bill.”
Pell now joins Archbishop Hickey of Perth in facing a parliamentary investigation for admonishing Catholics voting for the cloning/embryonic stem-cell bill to re-examine their consciences before lining up for Communion.
Although Rhiannon and other politicians are trying to silence the Cardinal in this week when the upper house debates lifting the ban on embryonic stem-cell research, human cloning, and human-animal hybrids, Pell remains unbowed in his vigourous defence of human life and Catholic teachings and stated he would be happy to appear in person before a committee.
Pell has continued to fight doggedly for his right and the rights of church leaders to participate in “a free society,” pointing out the double-standard when “anti-Christians like the Green, Lee Rhiannon, have every right to express their views.”
In an exclusive June 17 interview, Pell told Australia’s Sunday Profile, “there is a whiff of Stalinism or perhaps only of Henry the 8th in her attempt to use this referral as a ‘warning’ to me.”
Pell stated that his role in Australia’s pluralist society “is to state what is the Catholic position and to explain the rational basis for that position so that people of no religion, or a lot of religion, or a little religion can at least understand what I’m saying and potentially agree with me.”
“I set out the classic Catholic position, which is that if you violate Catholic moral principles, it has consequences for your relationship with God and the church,” stated Pell, who pointed out that his statements made no definite threats to Catholic parliamentarians about denying Communion except that it remains a “hypothetical possibility.” What he did do was remind them to “think twice” before receiving Communion and make sure they were right with God.
“If [Catholics] deny enough substantial teachings in faith and morals, the question must eventually arise as to well, what’s the benefit of calling myself Catholic if, for example, I don’t believe Christ is divine, I don’t accept the claims of the church for this or that and if, on the whole range of moral issues, such as abortion, euthanasia, I don’t accept those, well what remains?” asked Pell. “The Catholic tag.”
The furor over Communion however, Pell believes, has actually drawn Australians’ attention to the fraud involved with investing in embryonic stem-cell research and human cloning, which have yielded no cures.
“Tens of millions of dollars are being put into embryonic stem cell research and there has not been one established cure so far,” pointed out the Cardinal. “When are the economic rationalists, the hard heads, going to do a little bit of cost benefit analysis on this?”
More “democratic fascism” being displayed here. When it suits them, the Church, the Politicians demand, must “stay out of politics”, but for some strange reason, they want to discipline a Cardinal when he seeks to correct one of his flock on his conduct.
We should stop all of this bullkaka and simply cut them off once and for all.
All of this song and dance with these politicians is useless.
The time for talk is over. The time for action is here.
Pull out the weeds so the garden can grow again.