- Cardinal George Pell criticizes Pope Francis’ encyclical stating “But the church has no particular expertise in science … the church has got no mandate from the Lord to pronounce on scientific matters. We believe in the autonomy of science,” Pell told the Financial Times on Thursday (July 16).
Until now, Pell had remained quiet on the contents of the encyclical, despite gaining a reputation in Australia as a climate change denier. In 2011, he clashed with the then-head of Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, Greg Ayers, who said Pell was “misled” in his climate change views
- The Australian Bishops’ Conference released a 9 page booklet on 28th May, entitled “Don’t Mess with Marriage”, which was distributed to all parishes and to all Catholic schools in various states.
- Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, on 12th July, celebrated the inaugural Annual Marriage Mass with Renewal of Vows at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney.
Following are excerpts of his homily:
… In our first reading today, the Prophet Amos is warned to get out of Bethel because the locals would tolerate his prophesying no longer (Am 7:12-15). So too the stories of the couples celebrating significant anniversaries at this time are “signs of contradiction” for our prevailing culture. Marriage, as traditionally understood, … meant a comprehensive bodily, psychological and spiritual union between a man and a woman whereby they become “one flesh” and so found a family. That’s why these couples did not promise to become ‘spouses’ or ‘partners’ but to become ‘husband’ and a ‘wife’. That’s why they promised to be faithful (‘for better, for worse’, ‘to the exclusion of all others’) and fruitful (open to new life) and final (indissoluble, ’till death do us part’). These dimensions of real marriage make it a prophetic sign today, a sign of contradiction, because some want to reduce marriage to no more than a public statement of a physical-emotional bond between any two people. …. Marriage brings together and attempts to hold together things that otherwise tend to fall apart: man and woman, sex and love, love and babies, parents and children…
But there are voices in our culture that no longer think marriage need be for life, or be open to children, or be exclusive, or be between man and wife. They write off as benighted and bigoted those who stand by marriage as traditionally understood. As a result Christian couples today can find themselves in a position like Amos; so too can faithful pastors and single people who stand by them and the institution of marriage. This can be an uncomfortable position, for some politically, culturally and commercially powerful forces are determined to silence any alternative to the politically correct position in this matter; to bully us all into accepting the deconstruction and redefinition of a fundamental institution; and to relegate questions of what marriage is and is for as secondary to an homogenizing ‘equality’.
… So real marriage illuminates our understanding of the Christ-to-Church relationship. In turn, it strengthens our resolve to support marriages, so they really can be faithful, fruitful, final unions of people of opposite sex, while also supporting and loving people in other situations too. Thank-you dear married couples for your prophetic role in teaching us all how to love and to bear witness to Christ. May God bless you abundantly! May you all reach 75 years of marriage and die in each others arms!
- Australia’s bishops reaffirm marriage – and get reported to governmentBy Kevin J. Jones See for full article: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/australias-bishops-reaffirm-marriage-and-get-reported-to-government-54284/
Hobart, Tasmania, Jul 8, 2015 / 03:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a recent pastoral letter on marriage, Australia’s Catholic bishops reaffirmed Catholic teaching. And one of the bishops has countered a leading same-sex marriage activist who said the pastoral letter should be reported to the Tasmanian government for illegal bias.
“The Catholic Church in Tasmania is exercising its right to freedom of opinion, just as opponents to the Church’s views on marriage are also exercising their rights,” Archbishop Julian Porteous of Hobart said, according to the Catholic Leader newspaper.
His comments concern the booklet “Don’t Mess with Marriage,” a pastoral letter the Australian bishops’ conference released May 28. He said the booklet “explains the meaning of marriage enshrined in our laws from a religious perspective.”
Australian political leaders are considering whether to define marriage in law to recognize same-sex unions as civil marriages.
“A document defending the current law in our nation could hardly be called discrimination,” Archbishop Porteous said.
“We are being asked to abandon the plan of God for marriage and family (and) this would be a disastrous step to take.”
The pastoral letter was sent home with students of Catholic high schools in several archdioceses, including Hobart. It stressed both respect for all and respect for the unique nature of marriage as a union of man and a woman.
Randy Croome, national director of the gay marriage advocacy group Australian Marriage Equality, claimed the booklet is illegal under the law of the Australian state of Tasmania. His group cited laws that bar offensive conduct, inciting hatred, and publishing notices that promote or express discrimination.
“The booklet likely breaches the Anti-Discrimination Act and I urge everyone who finds it offensive and inappropriate, including teachers, parents and students, to complain to the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner,” Croome said June 24.
A formal complaint against the archbishop has been filed with the commissioner, according to the newspaper The Australian.
Lyle Shelton, a spokesman for the non-denominational group The Christian Lobby, said Croome’s effort was an “outrageous” attempt to “dictate what a private religious school can and cannot say about marriage.”
“Where have we come to as a society when the political activists for redefining marriage want to use the law to stop children in religious schools from being taught that religion’s teaching?” he said June 25.
“If a family sends their child to a Christian school they should not be surprised if their children are taught the faith and morals of the school’s religious identity.”
Australian Marriage Equality has attracted powerful allies in its push to redefine marriage. These include major businesses such as Google. Polls indicate a majority of Australians at present support redefining marriage.
“Also we see schools as part of the evangelizing mission of the Church, not apart from it,” he told the Catholic Leader. He said advocacy of marriage redefinition is “saturating mainstream and social media.”
“There is very little given to the opposing viewpoint,” he said.
The pastoral letter itself rejected claims that Australian law and Catholic teaching on marriage wrongly discriminate.
“If marriage is an institution designed to support people of the opposite sex to be faithful to each other and to the children of their union it is not discrimination to reserve it to them,” the bishops wrote. They compared marriage to programs that specially target Aborigines, refugees, children, athletes, and those with disabilities.
“As Christians we must be willing to present the truth about marriage, family and sexuality and to do so charitably and lovingly.”
See full article at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-24/catholic-church-attacks-businesses-over-gay-marriage-support/6570082
- Catholic Church in Sydney is writing to businesses backing same-sex marriage, outlining ‘grave concerns’
The World Today
By Mandie Sami
Updated 25 Jun 2015, 8:43am
The Catholic Church in Sydney is sending letters to companies that publicly support same-sex marriage, expressing its “grave concern” about their stance.
The Archdiocese of Sydney has targeted some of the 150 businesses that put their names and logos to recent newspaper advertisements supporting gay marriage.See: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3125631/Anti-sex-marriage-letter-titled-Don-t-Mess-Marriage-handed-Catholic-schools
- Various campaigns are being promoted, such as Rosary campaigns and letter writing campaigns to politicians to keep up the pressure before parliament makes a final decision on the bill that was introduced by a private member.
- Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP will deliver a lecture to assist Australian Catholics to understand and articulate their Faith. The Archbishop will be talking on an issue of great contemporary importance, covering Marriage and Family and their role in the social fabric.The lecture is to be held in St Mary’s Cathedral College Hall on Tues. 22 JUly. (This is Supported by the Order of Malta NSW in conjunction with the Archdiocese of Sydney)