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Church intervenes in NSW cloning bill

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 Contents - Jul 2007AD2000 July 2007 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Church intervenes in NSW cloning bill - Peter Westmore
Pastoral Plan: Cardinal Pell's blueprint for the future in the Sydney Archdiocese - Michael Gilchrist
Interview: He could no longer explain why he wasn't Catholic - Tim Drake and Francis Beckwith
News: The Church Around the World
Letters Section
Events: Archbishop Chaput in Australia - Melbourne 4 July
Education: New Wagga Wagga schools take their 'leap of faith' - Bill Andrews
Events: Canberra 6-8 July - Australian Catholic Students' Association 2007 Conference - Patrick Giam
Why truth and charity are inseparable - Alice von Hildebrand
Marian magazine from Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate
Poetry: A legacy of virtue: the remarkable Craig sisters - Fr John Lea McDaniels FSSP
Priesthood: Praying for priests: The Society of Christ Priest and Victim - Barry O'Brien
Books: A Catholic Replies to Professor Dawkins, by Thomas Crean OP - Tim Cannon (reviewer)
Books: ILLUSTRISSIMI: Letters of Pope John Paul I, by Albino Luciani - Tim Cannon (reviewer)
Books: The Seven Capital Sins, by Fulton J. Sheen - Tim Cannon (reviewer)
Books: AD2000 Books
Reflection: Bishop Robert Finn on what it means to be a Catholic priest - Bishop Robert Finn

A torrent of verbal abuse has descended on Cardinal George Pell, following his statement at a news conference that there would be unspecified 'consequences' if Catholic politicians voted in favour of a NSW bill to legalise destructive human cloning and embryo experimentation.

Despite intense media pressure, Cardinal Pell was careful not to spell out what the consequences might be. 'I don't believe', he said, 'in crossing bridges before you get to them and I am hoping all the Catholic politicians here in New South Wales will do the right thing.' The media hysteria was a 'beat-up'.

In the event, he was denounced not only by editorial writers, but by a number of Catholic state and federal Parliamentarians.

The controversy distracted attention from the position of all 10 Catholic bishops in New South Wales on the issue.

'A matter of such dramatic ethical and social import should not be rushed through Parliament in a week,' Cardinal Pell said. 'The general public and our parliamentary representatives have been given little or no information or warning about this legislation. We should not blindly follow the lead of other parliaments in passing such unethical legislation.'

The NSW bishops pointed out that the Church, through grants and through its hospitals and research institutes, is a promoter of ethical research on adult, including umbilical cord, stem cells. 'But allowing scientists open slather on human embryos for unethical research is not the best way forward.'

The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen, and the head of the NSW Council of Churches, David Crawford, also reaffirmed their opposition to the legislation. The Council of Churches represents the Anglican Church, the Baptist Union of NSW, the Christian Reformed Churches of Australia (NSW), the Churches of Christ in NSW, the Fellowship of Congregational Churches, NSW, the Presbyterian Church of Australia (NSW), and the Salvation Army (Eastern Territory).

Our church leaders deserve our support and gratitude for their efforts to protect human life at its most vulnerable point.

Peter Westmore is Publisher of AD2000.

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 20 No 6 (July 2007), p. 2

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