What is your view of those avowedly Catholic politicians who adopt public stances in clear opposition to Church teaching on key moral issues like abortion or same-sex marriage?
Cardinal Pell: Some politicians like to dine at the Catholic cafeteria—picking and choosing Church teachings that suit their political views while claiming to be defenders of the faith. While they fly under the Christian or “Captain Catholic” flag, they blithely disregard Christian perspectives when they vote in Parliament on moral issues.
If a person says, “Look, I’m not a Christian, I’ve a different set of perspectives,” I disagree but I understand. If a person says to me, “Look, I’m nominally a Christian but it sits lightly with me,” I understand that.
But it’s incongruous for people to be Captain Catholics one minute, saying they’re as good a Catholic as the Pope, then to turn around an regularly vote against the established Christian traditions.
In England, if you’re anti-Catholic—say, writing for The Guardian or The Independent—you wear that anti-Catholicism or anti-Christianity as a badge of honor. Here in Australia, politicians who regularly espouse anti-Christian positions—whether on euthanasia, abortion, same-sex marriage, or funding for religious schools—won’t concede that they’re anti-Christian.
Catholic politicians can’t have it both ways on sensitive moral issues.
Did you notice how he spoke directly in plain English, and didn't skirt the issue?
The politicalese of the bishops is one of my pet peeves. A bishop should tell it like it is. He's not a politician, he's a shepherd of souls and his speech should reflect that.
We need him as pope. I really think we do.