Fr Frank Brennan SJ (The Australian, 27 August 2004) has got it wrong regarding the crisis of faith in Australia. Lack of religious practice by young Catholics is not because of a "rule book" emphasis, clerical celibacy or a failure to respect the primacy of conscience.
Rather, the youth exit comes from the absence of "black and white" in forming religious commitment. As my eldest sibling said to me many years ago, "When the Church really gets serious, then I will return. Until then, I'll do it my way."
Cardinal Pell is unpopular with some because he remains solid on Church teachings. He does not pander to society by softening the Church's position, but rather challenges it to change; he places a strong focus on revitalising the Church's priorities of regular sacramental participation; revisiting the prime purpose of a Catholic school education - turning out practising Catholics.
The Cardinal may not be liked by the luke-warm, but he has the courage to stand up against those who have forgotten the Holy Spirit's guarantee that the Church will not err in its teachings on faith and morals.
ERROL P. DUKE
Elizabeth East, SA