The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, has welcomed a report clearing him of contempt of the New South Wales Parliament over remarks about MPs voting for stem-cell research legislation.
Cardinal Pell was referred to the Upper House Privileges Committee in June after he remarked Catholic politicians voting for the Human Cloning Bill would face consequences for their place in the life of the Church.
He described the legislation to overturn a ban on therapeutic cloning as grotesque, saying it would legalise the creation of human-animal hybrids.
Cardinal Pell was criticised by MPs inside and outside Parliament, including practicing Catholics like Premier Morris Iemma, Deputy Premier Morris Iemma and Nationals MP Adrian Piccoli.
They argued politicians had a greater responsibility to their constituents than to their faith.
The Archbishop has released a statement saying the committee's decision is no surprise and a "win for religious freedom".
"Christians in Australia have long played an important part in ensuring that fundamental human rights are respected," he said.
"My contribution to the public discussion on human cloning was made in this spirit and tradition.
"To prevent religious leaders from publicly stating their claims to truth would stifle religious freedom and hamper open debate on matters of public interest."
The NSW Parliament passed the legislation on June 26.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Cardinal Pell cleared of contempt
~This shows the ugliness of the 'tolerance and diversity' movement....tolerance for my diversity, but not for thee. From ABC