SYDNEY, October 25, 2004 ( – George Cardinal Pell, the outspoken head of the Catholic archdiocese of Sydney, Australia has called for Christians to become fully responsible in public life. In his editorial in Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph, Cardinal Pell responds to accusations of ‘interfering’ in politics often leveled at the Catholic bishops. He says, “Sometimes a bishop has a moral duty to speak.”  Pell writes that Christians have a right to involve themselves in party politics and defend and promote the issues important to them. “Recently, I was interviewed on radio about the role of religion in public life. The suggestion seemed to be that if you were irreligious, that was okay, that being secular meant you were fair and reasonable, but religious principles should not intrude into public affairs.”

The Cardinal pointed out, “Christians (have) the same rights as anyone else in our democracy and (can) propose whatever policies they chose. If people didn’t like their policies, they could vote for another party.”  The timing of the Cardinal’s editorial follows the Australian election just passed that elected the pro-Bush John Howard for another term. With the US election just days away, Pell’s high profile endorsement of Christian principles in political life could lend strength to Americans opposed to John Kerry’s strong support for abortion and same sex ‘marriage.’

Referring to George Bush’s traditional Christian morality, the Cardinal commented in the interview, “it was a consolation if a world leader was trying to do God’s will rather than setting out to do whatever he could get away with.”

The Cardinal added, “Isn’t it better, I asked, to have a leader who believes that in the next life, he will have to answer for the decisions he makes in the here and now?”  Read the full editorial:,9353,11164923-28783,00.html   ph


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