Card. Pell on small-c catholic politicians

From CNA:

Cardinal Pell corrects politicians who claim to be Catholic but vote differently

Sydney, Australia, Jan 5, 2011 / 05:31 am (CNA).- As the country faces intense legislative debate this upcoming year over same-sex “marriage” and euthanasia, Cardinal George Pell of Sydney blasted politicians who claim a Catholic identity, yet consistently defy Church teachings on major issues.

In a Jan. 4 interview with the Sunday Herald Sun, Cardinal Pell gave a sharp rebuke to Australian members of parliament who “fly under the Christian or Captain Catholic flag” but “blithely disregard Christian perspectives” in their actions.

“If a person says, ‘Look, I’m not a Christian, I’ve a different set of perspectives,’ I disagree but I understand,” he said. “If a person says to me, ‘Look, I’m nominally a Christian but it sits lightly with me,’ I understand that.”

“But it’s incongruous for somebody to be a Captain Catholic one minute, saying they’re as good a Catholic as the Pope, then regularly voting against the established Christian traditions.”

Cardinal Pell called out politicians who endorse secular stances on issues while insisting that they’re Catholics, saying, “if you’re espousing something that’s not a Christian position, don’t claim Christian backing for that.

The Catholic Church “doesn’t teach the primacy of conscience,” he said, explaining that a person’s conscience doesn’t trump Church teaching. “You know if somebody said apartheid was all right, nobody would say, ‘Yes you can say that because of the primacy of conscience.’”

“To the extent that on a significant number of issues you depart from Christian teachings you know it’s incongruous to be billing yourself as a champion of Christian rights,” he said.

“I’m not telling people how to vote,” he underscored during the interview. “I’m telling people how I think they should vote. I’m an Australian citizen and I have as much right to do that as any other citizen.”

Card. Pell for Secretary of State… just for few years, …. please?

I would like to hear his views on can 915.

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21 Responses to Card. Pell on small-c catholic politicians

  1. Supertradmum says:

    One great man speaking what many of us would like to hear from the USCCB as a whole, as well as bishops individually. Scandal from non-practicing and dissenting Catholic politicians must stop. God bless Cardinal Pell.

  2. EXCHIEF says:

    So which US Bishop will step up and show the same leadership?

  3. New Sister says:

    Yes, liberal politicians masquerading as “Catholic” cause scandal, but our Bishops are far more powerful than they, and therefore (IMO) *most culpable* for the sins, injustice, and immorality promoted by the formers’ politics. e.g., just look at how Bishop Tobin’s pastoral correction cast a Kennedy out of office post-haste… Kennedy didn’t even try to respond, but packed up his office and left… why is he so exceptional?

    Yet …. just as the silence, slippery language, and liturgical abuses occasioned and permitted by Catholic Bishops most injures the world, the witness of faithful Bishops and Priests (even if few in number) is far, far more powerful to save us from them all – Deo gratias!

  4. On Cardinals in Cabinet… the last one I remember was Thomas Cardinal Wolsey. Maybe there have been more, but for memorable

    Just sayin’.

  5. mike cliffson says:

    Sorry, clarity, lack of:
    That’s an email from a same sex marriage advocate o the Primate,(of Oz) and his superb reply.

  6. TJerome says:

    Too bad we don’t have someone as straight talking and direct as Cardinal Pell in the American heirarchy. The US bishops have been a disgrace in not dealing with fake Catholics like Nancy Pelosi. She should have been told to recant years ago or face excommunication. I sometimes wonder if the US bishops are waiting for folks like Pelosi to pass from the national scene in the hope of maintaining a facade of unity. However, it is a huge mistake. The cancer continutes to grow when not excised. If Cardinal Cushing had threatened Ted Kennedy with excommunication in the 1970s instead of giving him a pass, the Democratic Party might not have taken the path it has to become known in Cardinal Burke’s words as “the party of death.”

  7. Agnes says:

    Burke, Chaput, Neinstedt, Dolan…. are these apostles not vocal enough? Pray for these men and ALL bishops. I think many voice themselves a-plenty, but the media and politicians do much to keep the Church nice and quiet and in its comfortable corner of separation from the State. Certainly an organized statement from the USCCB is called for, but don’t slam the hierarchy for not doing enough. Instead ask yourselves, just how much noise are the faithful laity making? Or the voters? I think it’s less a problem of ecclesial outcry and more a problem of apostates sticking their fingers in their ears.

  8. Agnes, don’t forget Bishop Rober Vasa of the Diocese of Baker; Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix; and Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. I just recently heard from a reliable source that, like Bishop Olmsted in Phoenix, Bishop Vasa has also stripped a Catholic hospital of its claim to the name of Catholic, and for similar reasons.

  9. TJerome says:

    Ladies, wake me up when there are public excommunications. Otherwise, it’s the same old, same old. Lots of pious musings. Words without action are meaningless.

  10. kallman says:

    He gets a very hard time from Catholics (including clerics) and those in secular life for speaking like this, it is not easy to do. The liberals in the Australian Church have well and truly got it in for him.

  11. Gabrielle says:

    There’s a vacancy in the diocese of Westminster (other side of the pond)…… for an auxilliary…… better than nothing though.
    Shame.

    Now, if we could make him sound less Australian….

  12. Ed the Roman says:

    Pell for State? Well, he’a a foreinger, but he’d probably be more pro-American that most of the career Foreign Service.

  13. kate_rub says:

    Whether the Cardinal plans any (rather belated) action is indeed the question.

    The Premier of NSW (including Sydney), Kristina Keneally for example, a self-proclaimed committed catholic with a masters in theology voted last year in support of gay adoption for example, and has publicly stated her support for women’s ordination.

    Odds are the people will toss her out in elections in a few months time so justice will be served one way or another. In fact the Cardinal’s words in the lead up to an election, so long after the fact of her actions, runs the risk of looking very party politically motivated for maximum impact on the election.

    Personally I’d prefer the Church to use the proper ecclesial approaches (private warnings, public warnings, canon 915) first for its own members – that way it is clear that the concern is first and foremost the salvation of the politician concerned.

  14. Emilio III says:

    Ed, I think Fr Z is thinking of a replacement for Tarcisio Bertone rather than Hillary Clinton. :-)

    I read a recent post by a Spanish bishop asking those politicians who voted for the recent abortion law why don’t they just leave the Church if they can’t follow her precepts. He added that he would be in favor of formally excommunicating those who did not repent. Unfortunately he’s retired (to the missions in Peru, where he hears confessions for an average of six hours on Sundays and a few hours on weekdays).

  15. jflare says:

    Hey Emilio,
    I rather agree regarding which office of Sec of State Fr Z made reference to.
    Even so, ..can’t hurt to dream, can it?
    OK, so there’re obvious complications related to a priest/bishop filling a political role in a public administration that wishes to make believe that it’s distinctly secular.
    I get that.

    Could we at least prod the US Dept of State into hiring him as a part-time consultor?
    Yes, I’m really dreaming now, but what the heck.

  16. Norah says:

    ask yourselves, just how much noise are the faithful laity making? Or the voters? I think it’s less a problem of ecclesial outcry and more a problem of apostates sticking their fingers in their ears.

    Well said Agnes.

    As for Cardinal Pell I second what Kallman said, ” the liberals [dissidents] in the Australian Church (and they are in the majority) have it in for him.”

    But when you have the Australian Bishops Commission supporting on their website a discussion board which is the most anti-Catholic in Australia waddya do?

  17. uncommonsense says:

    Congratulations to His Eminence Cardinal Pell on being appointed as a member of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care and on being appointed as a member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation.

  18. irishgirl says:

    Bravo, Cardinal Pell!

  19. Jane says:

    This article comes from a longer article which I read in a Sydney secular newspaper. It was great to see an article like this in a run of the mill newspaper, because it is not only going to be seen by Catholics, but by other people as well.

    Some of us are tired of listening to certain Australian politicians parading themselves as Catholics and even sprouting their “theology”, which us ordinary Catholics who follow the church are not up to date with, and don’t intend to be either!

    The longer article mentioned a certain politician who sprouts such theology while loudly proclaiming her Catholicism, and another dissenting Catholic politician, who does not hide behind wafflings of “primacy of conscience” to justify all sorts of things.

    Cardinal Pell did not point the finger at any particular politician, but even the newspaper reporter knew of one such politician and put the question to him whether he was talking about that person.

    Cardinal Pell said that he was not talking about any particular politician, but if the cap fits, why should we not be compelled to wear it.

    I thought that the article was very balanced and good. In the same newspaper Cardinal Pell is a guest columnist (on a regular basis) and always has some fun things to say. He is particularly incisive and humorous when dismissing the global warming nonsense. A lot of people (myself included) love his straight talk and analysis, but I disagree with him on the Harry Potter books debate. He sees them as encouraging children to read. Yes that is correct, but they also encourage witchcraft, so perhaps children could be encouraged to read something else.

    On the subject of reading I am having a final attempt to teach my autistic daughter to read. She turned 24 yesterday and has a little reading ability. I am making a few novenas to aid this process. I ask the readers for a Hail Mary to support this project. I will include your intentions in my prayers also. Thank you.

  20. Jane says:

    Public excommunication would be appropriate for some Australian politicians. Some of them might have already excommunicated themselves because of their support of abortion. I will exercise my right to say goodbye to them at the ballot box.

  21. vivaldi says:

    The Leader of the Opposition in the Australian Federal parliament (Tony Abbot) is a Roman Catholic. In fact, he was a seminarian for 3 years during his twenties. He is a man of principle and broke with his party to argue and vote against the introduction of RU486 to Australia and as Minister of Health in the previous Government did all he could to stop it.

    His parental leave scheme is designed to ensure Mothers are best equiped financially to have Children and thereby reduce the amount of abortion in this country.

    Abbot and Cardinal Pell are said to meet on a regular basis. It is also said that Cardinal Pell has advised Mr Abbot with particular regard to Education policy.

    It is true however that most Australian Priests and Bishops are hopeless liberals and Pell’s real battle isn’t with the politicians but with the mad nut cases that sprung forth from the warped seminaries of the 70s 80s and 90s!

    When Pell took over as Rector of the Seminary in Melbourne it was optional for seminarians to attend Mass, there was no daily rosary, there was a homosexual sub culture and the faculty were bordering on teaching Heresy. We have a lot to thank His Eminence for indeed! He fixed Melbourne and Sydney, he’s set the example for Perth and Wagga and well the rest….pretty much no vocations there cause nothing’s changed!