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Cardinal Pell Visits Auckland

media release
6 November 2009

Cardinal Pell Visits Auckland

Cardinal George Pell is in Auckland today, and this evening will deliver Maxim Institute’s Annual John Graham Lecture, on the topic “Free for All: Negotiating freedom in a world of individuals.”

Cardinal Pell will argue that the way we understand freedom is causing immense suffering and placing strain on the foundations of Western societies and economies. Looking at issues such as the financial crisis, he will ask: what should we use our freedom for, and when should we lose it?

“Secular autonomy as it has come to be celebrated and lived out in the West ... pitches adults against children, individuals against communities, minorities against majorities, and secularism against religion,” says Cardinal Pell. “It promises to maximise freedom and to make individuals subject only to the values they alone choose for themselves. This is not a sustainable basis for a just society in the long term.”

Cardinal Pell claims that human freedom is “good and wonderful,” but autonomy “nearly always leads to ruin.” These concepts have to be understood as part of a bigger story.

Cardinal Pell was elevated to the Sacred College of Cardinals in 2003. He was born in Ballarat, Victoria in 1941 and has been a priest for the past 43 years. He has been Archbishop of Melbourne and is currently the Archbishop of Sydney.

Cardinal Pell holds a Licentiate in Theology from Urban University, Rome, a Masters in Education from Monash University, Melbourne, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Church History from the University of Oxford. He was made a Companion in the Order of Australia in 2005.

Since 2001, Cardinal Pell has been a weekly columnist for Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph. He is an excellent communicator who is known for his willingness to speak candidly and clearly about controversial, but important subjects.


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