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Divorce: Archbishops say Pope's advice mistranslated

In separate media interviews yesterday, Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne and Archbishop George Pell of Sydney said the Pope's remarks to Divorce lawyers on Monday had been misunderstood. Arhbishop Hart told The Age the Pope's remarks did not mean Catholic lawyers and judges could not participate in divorce cases. "He doesn't say that," he said. "What he is talking about is a change of attitude so that lawyers don't automatically assume that divorce is the answer."

Archbishop Hart said lawyers should spell out more clearly the implications of divorce, particularly for children, to clients considering divorce.

The Age report also contains reaction from Catholic lawyers working in the Family Court area.

In Sydney, Archbishop Pell told The Sydney Morning Herald: "The English translations are clumsy and somewhat misleading on the role of Catholic judges and lawyers in civil divorce proceedings. Catholics judges [and by inference, lawyers] can participate for the common good in divorce proceedings, for example to help ensure the legal rights of all participants, such as the care of children, the protection of inheritances and distribution of property."

The Ananova report says "Fluent Italian speaker The Most Rev Dr George Pell has been telling Australian lawyers to dismiss the press reports about the speech."

The Age/West Australian