Queensland MP critical of archbishops on schools
A Queensland MP and former Christian Brother yesterday attacked Cardinal George Pell of Sydney and Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne over their criticism of federal Labor's education funding policy.
Labor MP and Queensland government whip Terry Sullivan tabled in State Parliament an open letter to Cardinal Pell and Archbishop Hart attacking their criticism of Federal Opposition Leader Mark Latham's schools funding policy.
Mr Sullivan, who was a Christian Brother for eight years in the 1960s and 1970s and continued to teach in Catholic schools before being elected to Parliament, said the archbishops risk losing the support of the faithful.
"These two bishops must realise that in the post-Vatican era, parishioners will not stomach partisan incursions into party politics by the hierarchy," Mr Sullivan told Parliament yesterday.
"Many of the faithful are experiencing a loss of hope because they see the church focusing on many issues that are irrelevant in their lives," he said. "If Cardinal Pell and Archbishop Hart continue their one-sided forays into party politics, they will alienate their parishioners at an even faster rate."
Mr Sullivan said although the church leaders have a responsibility to comment on all contemporary issues, including the policies of political parties, they should do so from a theological perspective.
He said the archbishops' support of the Liberal party's schools policy represented "a grab for money by those who are already well resourced".
"These two Catholic Archbishops have betrayed the Gospel values and have chosen to involve themselves in party politics to help John Howard," he said.
MP slams archbishops (Daily Telegraph/AAP 5/10/04)
Ex Christie MP attacks Pell, Hart (Online Catholics 6/10/04)
George Megalogenis: Clerics test the faith on ALP schools call (The Australian 6/10/04)
Gerard Henderson: Abbott, Pell and the new sectarianis (The Age 5/10/04)
Labor, religion and a little history (The Age 6/10/04)
Pell denies collusion with Abbott (Sunday Telegraph 3/10/04)
Parliament of Queensland Hansard - Tuesday 5 October 2004 (search for Cardinal G. Pell)
Terry Sullivan (Queensland Parliamentary Library)
Paul Kelly: Media can't handle truth (The Australian 6/10/04)
Janet Albrechtsen: Meddlesome priest unwise (The Australian 6/10/04)
6 Oct 2004