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Report: Pell ignored as MPs take Communion

June 10, 2007

From Brisbane Times:

Catholic MPs, including the Deputy Premier, John Watkins, and the Nationals’ Adrian Piccoli, ignored warnings from the Archbishop of Sydney, George Pell, and received Communion at Mass yesterday.

Mr Watkins and Mr Piccoli last week voted to support embryonic stem cell research despite Cardinal Pell warning they faced “consequences” in their religious lives for supporting the research.

The MPs received Communion as Cardinal Pell stepped up his warning to MPs who backed the stem-cell bill, telling them they should seriously consider receiving the sacrament.

“Certainly, every Catholic politician who voted for this bill should think twice and examine his or her conscience before next receiving Communion,” Cardinal Pell wrote yesterday in a newspaper column. He said Catholics who rejected the church’s teachings should not be “comforted” for their views.

Mr Watkins said he went to Mass with his family and received Communion as he does every weekend.

The Transport Minister said he had a discussion with his parish priest, who was happy for him to receive Communion despite Mr Watkins supporting an expansion of stem cell research.

“I wrote to all parishes in my electorate with an outline of the legislation, and explaining why I voted for it. I offered for this to be made public to any parishioners who asked about this issue,” he said.

“Within half an hour of sending it I heard back from one of my parishes, saying I was welcome there any time.

Full report here.

See also:
Catholic World News: Cardinal Pell warns lawmakers on support for cloning
Catholic World News: Prelate’s words on cloning prompt government probe
Brisbane Times: Faithful in lock step behind the cardinal
Sydney Morning Herald: It’s all about human life: the real message in the stem cell debate

Update:
Catholic World News: Cardinal Pell repeats warning to Catholic politicians

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