Ethics push shows hostility to religion: Cardinal Pell


The push for secular ethics to be taught in state schools by the St James Ethics Centre shows a general hostility toward religion, said Cardinal George Pell.

Despite figures that show at least 60 per cent of Australians identify themselves as being Christian, he said, "public discourse often proceeds as though nearly everybody was irreligious ... So you have a few people who suggest that religious considerations are inappropriate in public life."

He said the push to have secular ethics taught as an alternative to Christian education was another example of this at work, The Catholic Weekly reports.

"Our state schools are free, compulsory and secular; there's no reason whatsoever as part of the normal curriculum that secular ethics mightn't be taught," he is cited saying.

"I do think that we are suffering a bit of a push to radically diminish what is one of the glories of the Sydney Church," he said, referring to the work of catechists, 2000 of whom work in the archdiocese.

The cardinal was speaking at the launch of his new book, Test Everything: Hold Fast to What is Good, in the crypt of St Mary's Cathedral.