He’s set himself a new record, appearing in the national media and, more importantly, here on The Word twice in the same week.

George Pell
Archbishop George “Don’t Cross Me” Pell

It wasn’t enough for him to suggest that all Catholic educators should take the “oath of fidelity and profession of faith” in order to ensure their “religious submission of intellect and will”. (See June 3rd post below). Now the barking mad Archbishop of Sydney has tried to muscle in on Australian secular politics. He’s trying to weigh in like a heavyweight too, with thinly veiled threats.

A bill to expand stem cell research goes before parliament here in NSW soon, following a similar bill passed through the Federal parliament. Mad Dog Pell has come out swinging, saying that any Catholic MPs that backed the bill faced “consequences” in their religious lives. What’s he going to do? Turn the other cheek at them? Or will he actually have the conviction of his anachronistic and hypocritical faith and really do something about it? The threats of excommunication are uppermost, but we all know he won’t actually have the balls to follow up his rhetoric with action.

NSW cabinet minister Nathan Rees, a Catholic himself, has accused Pell of “emotional blackmail” and compared him to “that serial boofhead Sheik al Hilaly”. (Search The Word for some of that idiot’s ravings if you feel so inclined.) I think Rees deserves the Quote Of The Week award for that one.

The sooner people realise that every religious leader, from Pell to the Pope and al Hilaly to the theocrats of Iran, are as bad as each other, the better off we’ll all be.