Pell says Catholics should confront pro-choice politicians

Cardinal George Pell has said at a college in Virginia in the US that Catholics should engage in charitable dialogue with Catholic politicians who take pro-abortion and other positions not consistent with church teaching.

Cardinal Pell made the comments on 12 May in an interview with LifeSiteNews.com following a baccalaureate Mass at Christendom College, a Catholic liberal arts college in Front Royal, Virginia.

Asked what lay people can do in the face of Catholic politicians who are "clearly, directly contradicting the faith", Cardinal Pell said that "if they're very significant issues, I think the lay people should tell the politicians that they're disappointed, and do it regularly, consistently and reasonably, not with hostility or a lack of charity."

He says that if Catholic politicians contravene Church teachings on a number of "really significant issues", he would have to ask: "to what extent they are straight up and down the line Catholics, and to what extent they remain Catholic."

"I mean," he said, "if they call themselves Catholics and on every significant public issue they don't line up with us, well at the very minimum I think they should go quiet on the Catholic labelling."

However, he said that the question about whether or not they should be refused Communion is difficult.

"I think if a person is regularly supporting pro-abortion legislation in a way that is very, very difficult to divorce that voting from an explicitly pro-abortion attitude I think you should ask them, how come you feel that you're able to go to Communion?"

"I mean," Cardinal Pell added, "we believe that Christ is the Son of God and I believe that if we follow what he says, either popular or unpopular, you're much more likely to be blessed than if you set out to tailor His message - cut bits out of it or improve other bits. The Good Lord has made his instructions," he said.

The Cardinal was also at Christendom College to deliver the Commencement Address on 13 May and to accept his award of Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.

Cardinal Pell to Pro-Abortion Politicians: "How come you feel that you're able to go to Communion?" (LifeSite 19/5/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Christendom College | At Christendom College, Australian Prelate George Cardinal Pell Tells Class of 2006 About New Challenge of Islam

Cardinal Pell on Sexual Abuse Scandal: "Obviously Connected with Problem of Homosexuality" (LifeSite 18/5/06)
Faith And Education In U.S.A. (Sunday Telegraph/Archdiocese of Sydney 21/5/06)

23 May 2006