Ik verwees reeds naar kardinaal George Pell als één van mijn favoriete bisschoppen wegens zijn stijl én inhoud.
Hier is een voorbeeld van zijn moedig spreken. Deze column heeft in Australië hevige controverse uitgelokt.
Stem cell debate a question of conscience
By Cardinal George Pell
June 10, 2007
The Catholic Church supports adult stem cell research and remains opposed to the destruction of human life at any stage after conception.
Embryonic stem cell research requires such destruction.
While I regret the Legislative Assembly passed the cloning bill and hope the Legislative Council will decide differently, we all accept the parliament makes the laws.
Some supporters of the cloning bill made little attempt to argue that it was right to create and then destroy human embryos, but claimed that this evil was outweighed by the cures for diseases which would follow.
This is not a justifiable line of argumentation, but the promised cures have nowhere materialised from embryos.
Seventy-two diseases and conditions have been helped by stem cells, but they were all adult stem cells.
As well as arguments about whether it is right to destroy early human life for some real or hoped-for gain, another controversy erupted over whether bishops, or the Pope, have any rights to point out Catholic teaching to the public and remind the politicians, especially Catholics, that public acts usually bring public consequences.
Some seemed to suggest that while a football club, a political party or a business certainly could in some circumstances sack or exclude a member or employee, it was totally out of order to suggest a Christian church might even consider a similar possibility.
Certainly, Pope Benedict teaches that an unrepentant abortionist should not receive Communion.
A few intolerant politicians want to ban religious argument in public life, so that the only permissible reasoning will be irreligious or anti-religious.
The views of Barry Hickey, the Catholic Archbishop of Perth, which are similar to Pope Benedict's, have been referred to the WA state parliamentary privileges committee for investigation by the speaker Fred Riebeling, who sees the possible application of Catholic discipline as a "threat".
The debate also raised interesting questions about what it means to be a Catholic follower of Jesus Christ.
A few politicians, trumpeted their Catholicity as they publicly rejected Catholic teachings; this is not good logic.
The Catholic Church is not a duty-free assembly of free-thinkers. Neither is it a group of people who loyally follow their conscience. Every person has to do that.
A Catholic is someone who believes Christ is Son of God, accepts His teachings and lives a life of worship, service and duty in the community.
Catholics are not created by the accident of birth to remain only because their tribe has an interesting history.
All Catholics who continue to reject important Catholic teachings - even in areas such as sexuality, family, marriage, abortion, euthanasia, cloning where "liberals" claim the primacy of conscience rules - should expect to be confronted, gently and consistently, rather than comforted and encouraged in their wrongdoing.
Certainly, every Catholic politician who voted for this bill should think twice and examine his or her conscience before next receiving Communion.