Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources





Pell says Islam could be the new communism

Sydney's Cardinal George Pell recently told an audience in the United States that Islam could be the "communism of the 21st century", and that democracy is not a good in itself.

The Age reports that Cardinal Pell told the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty last month that secular liberal democracy is empty and selfish, and Islam was emerging as an alternative world view that attracted the alienated.

In a speech in which he also attacked his critics for suggesting that conservative Christians were a danger to democracy, Cardinal Pell said communism has shown how the emptiness of the secular approach could be filled with something darker.

"The small but growing conversion of native Westerners within Western societies to Islam carries the suggestion that Islam may provide in the 21st century the attraction which communism provided in the 20th, both for those who are alienated or embittered on the one hand, and for those who seek order or justice on the other."

Dr Pell told the Institute that secular democracy could not stop the rise of intolerant religion and in fact worsened it. He said democracy is not a good in itself. Its value depends on the moral vision it serves.

"The past century provided examples enough of how the emptiness within secular democracy can be filled with darkness by political substitutes for religion."

Dr Pell said the "democratic personalism" he advocates, based on the dignity of the person, is the last alternative to secular democracy available to the West.

Democracy must change to counter Islam: Pell (The Age 12/11/04)

Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty
Why we need a better version of democracy (The Age 12/11/04)
Islam could be new communism, Pell tells US audience (Sydney Morning Herald 12/11/04)
Towards a transformative democracy founded on dignity (Sydney Morning Herald 12/11/04)
'Church growth centred on Jesus' (Catholic Weekly 14/11/04)

12 Nov 2004