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Catholic jurist says politicians mislead to get power

Leading Australian jurist Tony Fitzgerald, QC, has said politicians regard it as not only legitimate, but clever, to mislead in order to win power.

The former chair of the Queensland inquiry into corruption was speaking at the recent launch of the the Marist Youth Care Helder Camara Lectures Appeal, hosted by Cardinal George Pell.

Yesterday's Catholic Weekly reports his comment that politicians "seem unable or unwilling to establish and adhere to ethical standards, irrespective of which party is in government".

He also attacked the doctrine of self-interest, Australia's participation in a war "without any coherent justification", our failure at reconciliation and the detention of "traumatised" children of asylum seekers.

Mr Fitzgerald said ethical leadership has to be found outside "our adversarial political processes" and hailed the Catholic Church as central to that role.

"Much of the ethical leadership that is vital if we are to maintain the long-standing Australian ideal of an egalitarian compassionate society will have to be found outside our adversarial political processes," he said.

"Moral leaders from outside the political process must participate in the national conversation and influence the national conscience. The Catholic Church has a central role in that task. Australians need the example of authentic lives from leaders of integrity."

Politicians mislead to get power, says jurist (Catholic Weekly 10/9/04)

James Murray: Politics from the pulpit (The Weekend Australian 11/9/04)
Gary Bouma on voting patterns and religion (ABC The Religion Report 8/9/04)
The Catholic Bishop of Parramatta on the Federal election (ABC The Religion Report 8/9/04)
Voter apathy is sin of sloth (Catholic Leader 12/9/04)

13 Sep 2004