“The cardinal has not made clear why religion should get a free pass..”

In the Irish Times there’s a fairly comprehensive rebuttal of Cardinal Séan Brady’s “criticisms of the European Union’s approach to religion” – as previously noted here. Another blow in the Church v State [Lisbon] clash?

A democracy has a duty to make laws in the interests of all. As an entity whose population is religiously diverse, the EU cannot legislate purely on the basis of the theological convictions of a single faith without violating this duty. Furthermore, in democratic public life, individuals must account for their beliefs and will inevitably be criticised for them.

The Cardinal has effectively characterised the imposition on religious bodies of the duties to accept criticism and provide justifications for their political demands as tantamount to excluding religion from public life. Such a resistance to playing by the rules that govern the behaviour of all other organisations in political life would seem to indicate that the Catholic Church still has some way to go in reconciling itself with pluralist democracy.