Extremist Sydney cleric Cardinal George Pell yesterday made another in what has been a series of interventions into state and federal politics, threatening  NSW politicians with undisclosed consequences if they allowed the passage of stem-cell research legislation through the State Parliament.

”No Catholic politician — indeed, no Christian or person with respect for human life … should vote in favour of this immoral legislation,” the Cardinal said.

“If this bill is passed, the enemies of human life will soon be back with further proposals, disguised with sweet words and promises of cures, to roll back the few remaining barriers to the regular destruction of early human life.”

The Cardinal would not say whether he would refuse communion to the bill’s sponsor, NSW Premier and Catholic Morris Iemma. “Catholic politicians who vote for this legislation must realise that their voting has consequences for their place in the life of the church.”

Prominent tabloid columnists and morning radio talk hosts are expected to demand the Cardinal’s expulsion from the country for pursuing a religiously bigoted and fundamentally ”un-Australian” agenda. Soon. Any day now.