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Australian bishop on the ‘virtue of discrimination’

Catholic World News - March 16, 2011

A month after a Green Party politician called for the defunding of Catholic schools and welfare agencies on the grounds that they engage in “discrimination,” Auxiliary Bishop Julian Porteous of Sydney notes that discrimination, when just, is a virtue.

“It seems ironic that investigations into anti-discrimination run the risk of proposing an unjust discrimination against religion,” he writes. “It should rather be the case that this enquiry includes an affirmation of the fundamental rights that the state upholds – like that of freedom of religion - and then address issues where unjust forms of discrimination exist.”

“There is great value in the lost art of appropriate discrimination,” the bishop adds. “In fact, the future of our society depends upon our ability to discriminate between good and evil, right and wrong and what is or is not acceptable behavior for our society.”

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