Pell not in contempt: NSW Parliament finds

A NSW Upper House committee has ruled that Cardinal George Pell was not in contempt of the State Parliament when he warned Catholic MPs they would face "consequences" if they voted in support of a stem cell-related bill.

The Age reports that the privileges Committee of NSW's Upper house released its findings following an investigation into comments made by the cardinal earlier this year.

The committee said it had considered the context of his comments amid repeated questioning from reporters.

It also said the comments appeared to have no impact on MPs' consideration of the Human Cloning and Other Prohibited Practices Amendment Bill 2007. The Bill was passed with a "sizeable majority" to end the state's ban on stem cell research in line with a federal move.

Cardinal Pell released a statement welcoming the decision, which he said was "no surprise and a win for religious freedom".

He added: "Christians in Australia have long played an important part in ensuring that fundamental human rights are respected."

"My contribution to the public discussion on human cloning was made in this spirit and tradition (and) to prevent religious leaders from publicly stating their claims to truth would stifle religious freedom and hamper open debate on matters of public interest."

Pell's warning not contempt: committee (The Age, 20/9/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Defending his right to speak: Cardinal George Pell (Sunday Profile 17/6/07
Barry Hickey (Wikipedia)
Cloning (Wikipedia)
George Pell (Wikipedia)

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)

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