Don't whinge over Church doctrine, NSW MP tells colleagues

As the stem cell cloning bill moves to the NSW upper house, Liberal MP David Clarke defended Cardinal George Pell's intervention in the debate, telling Catholic MPs who supported the legislation that they do not know better than the bishops and Pope.

The Age reports that Mr Clarke said the cardinal had every right to voice his view, saying it was his duty to give the church's stance on the issue of stem cell research.

"There may be (MPs) walking around thinking they know what the doctrine of the church is or should be, better than bishops, better than the cardinal, better than the Pope himself," he told parliament.

"They think they may know, but they don't."

Mr Clarke said it was up to those MPs who have a different view to reconcile their differences with the church.

"But don't whinge and whine because Cardinal Pell enunciates what the church's stand is and what they need to consider to remain in harmony with the church," he said.

Cardinal Pell's comments will be investigated by the upper house Parliamentary Privileges Committee, which will examine whether his remarks were in contempt of parliament.

The upper house Catholic MP spoke against a bill currently before parliament that would scrap a ban on therapeutic cloning.

Members from all parties and in both houses have been given a conscience vote on the stem cell research legislation, which passed the Legislative Assembly earlier this month.

Members of the upper house are now debating the bill ahead of a vote, expected to take place within the next week.

Catholic MPs 'know better than Pope' (The Age, 21/6/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
David Clarke (Wikipedia)

Don't privatise religion: Christian thinktank (CathNews, 19/6/07)
Pell slams "stalinist" parliamentary contempt probe (CathNews, 18/6/07)
WA speaker raps Hickey (CathNews, 15/6/07)
Pell sticks to stem cell guns (CathNews, 12/6/07)
WA parliament may reprimand Hickey (CathNews, 8/6/07)
Anglicans, Baptists back Pell (CathNews, 8/6/07)
Coast to coast controversy over stem cell vote (CathNews, 7/6/07)
Catholic pols defy stem cell communion threat (CathNews, 6/6/07)
Pell slams "open slather" for stem cell research (CathNews, 5/6/07)
Life office slams human "sub-class" Vic cloning law (CathNews, 11/5/07)
Hart confronts Bracks over cloning legislation (CathNews, 12/4/07)
Bracks defies Pope on cloning (CathNews, 19/3/07)
Archbishop Hart condemns cloning laws (CathNews, 14/3/07)
Christianity not driver in cloning vote: Garrett (CathNews, 19/12/06)
Christian opposition fails to stop cloning bill passage (CathNews, 7/12/06)
Late amendment puts cloning bill passage in doubt (CathNews, 6/12/06)
Premiers face stem cell backlash as Hart criticises debate (CathNews, 24/7/06)
Catholics divided over stem cells (CathNews, 14/7/06)
Don't lift ban on cloning, says Brennan (CathNews, 23/6/06)

21 Jun 2007