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CANBERRA, May 18, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A left-liberal think tank, the Australia Institute, based in Canberra, has called for the removal of protection from Catholic schools which they accuse of “discrimination.”  Private schools in New South Wales and Victoria are exempt from anti-discrimination laws that would prevent Catholic schools from upholding and defending their Catholic character. Religious schools are seen as problematic for secular-minded reformers when the schools refuse to adhere to secular values such as abortion and homosexual “rights”. In Canada, Catholic institutions have often been forced to cave in to pressure from homosexual advocacy groups and abortion ‘rights’ supporters on the grounds of “anti-discrimination.”  The Australia Institute, in conjunction with the Australian Education Union, have called for the exemption to be rescinded. George Pell, Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney, has upheld the right of Catholic schools to be Catholic. Pell says the Catholic Church should not be coerced into implementing other values.  Cardinal Pell has defended religious freedom in Australia saying, “We have a right to teach our Christian teachings and to follow out the consequences of that.”“Nobody is forced to send their children to Catholic schools,” he said, “parents send children to Catholic schools because they know they will get a certain set of values there.”

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