19 Sep 2017
Letter from Bishop Michael Kennedy of Armidale
Marriage Postal Survey
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Catholic teachings on marriage and on homosexuality are quite well known, at least in general if not in detail: That marriage is the covenant by which a man and a woman establish a partnership for the whole of life for their mutual well-being and for the purpose of founding a family; and for baptised Christians marriage is given particular dignity as a Sacrament by Jesus, that is, a means of grace in the life of the couple.1
That homosexual persons must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity; that every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided; but homosexual actions cannot be approved because they do not proceed from a genuine sexual complementarity. The Church also teaches that with prayer, God’s grace, and the support of friends, homosexuals can and should approach Christian perfection.2
19 Sep 2017
Letter from Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP of Sydney
and Dr Dan White, Executive Director, Sydney Catholic Schools
Dear Parents and Carers
In the coming weeks you will have the opportunity to participate in the postal survey on marriage, and to consider whether marriage should be redefined in Australian law so that individuals of the same sex can marry. We realise that you will all be reflecting on this question and respect your right to do so. However, given the significance of this issue and its implications for you, our Church and our Catholic schools, we thought we should write to you directly.
19 Sep 2017
Pope Francis, Marriage and the Plebiscite
Marriage postal plebiscite
Australians are being asked to vote in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey (plebiscite) to determine whether the legal definition of marriage should be changed to include same-sex unions. Ballot papers will be sent out from Tuesday, 12 September and all votes must be received back by Tuesday, 7 November 2017.
This brochure provides an overview of Pope Francis’ teaching on marriage and the family for you to reflect upon. Please consider voting to keep marriage as a unique relationship between a woman and a man.
19 Sep 2017
Marriage Law Survey (additional safeguards) Act 2017
The Marriage Law Survey (Additional Safeguards) Act 2017 came into force on 14 September 2017, and will continue to operate until the completion of the marriage survey on 15 November 2017. We have set out below a high-level summary of the key requirements of the Act.
Here is the Act: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2017A00096
Here are the ABS Frequently Asked Questions: https://marriagesurvey.abs.gov.au/safeguards
19 Sep 2017
Deception on freedom of religion key to SSM Yes case
The Australian | September 13, 2017 | Paul Kelly
With the Yes case positioned to win the postal plebiscite, it is more important than ever the misleading and false claims of its advocates – that there is no religious issue at stake – be confronted and the ramifications put on the table.
These claims are made by senior Coalition and Labor politicians. Indeed, it seems they think rejection of the religious argument is fundamental to the success of their campaign. This is alarming because it implies the Yes case depends on persuading the public of a false proposition.
The government and parliament, despite years of emotional debate, declined to address the wider religious freedom question. The political class engaged instead in a great pretence: that the only such issue concerned the wedding ceremony and protections in the Marriage Act for clergy and celebrants, an extremely narrow view of religious freedom.
13 Sep 2017
Letter from Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane
Towards the Marriage Vote
I’ve been told people are looking for guidance on same-sex marriage as we move towards the postal vote. That may be so, though I suspect that most people have already made up their mind on the issue and, if they’re looking for anything, they’re wanting some authority to support their position publicly. But that’s not really what I want to do here. By now the arguments for and against same-sex marriage are well enough known to those who want to know them, even if much of the debate has been too shallow or slick to do justice to the deeper issues. So there’s no need for me to go over well-trodden ground. But in a debate where the language has often been slippery it may help to clarify a few points that can be unclear. I wrote something like what follows a while ago. In the meantime, the debate has become more complex and heated, so I’ve made a few changes to take account of that.
12 Sep 2017
Opinion piece by Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney
Same-Sex Marriage: Let's avoid confusion
MARRIAGE is taking quite a beating right now. Many people are muddled about what marriage is, have lost confidence in its achievability, or have given up even trying.
Those who do take the plunge often feel unsupported as spouses and undermined as parents by our culture, politics and economy.
So what is marriage all about?
Is marriage about bringing together two people of opposite sex so that, when they do what men and women do, any resulting children will have a mum and a dad for the long haul?
31 Aug 2017
Letter from Bishop Peter Comensoli of Broken Bay
We proclaim a crucified Christ
The Federal Government has announced its intention to hold a national postal survey, seeking the opinion of Australians before it considers changing the legal definition of marriage by an Act of Parliament to include same-sex couples.
Whatever the outcome of this significant development in the life of our country, the Church's understanding of marriage will remain – that marriage is a covenant of love between a man and a woman for life, and open to life. Our teaching is about the nature of marriage itself, not its legal status.
30 Aug 2017
Letter from Bishop Michael McKenna of Bathurst
Watch and Act
Dear Friends in Christ,
"The price of freedom," as the old saying goes, "is eternal vigilance." As I write, there are three current proposals for new laws which could, in various ways, impact on religious freedom. Conscientious Catholics should be vigilant and exercise their duties as citizens in a respectful and intelligent way.
- The Seal of Sacramental Confession
- Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia
- Changing the Definition of Marriage
30 Aug 2017
Pastoral Letter from Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB of Perth
As you will all be aware recent political developments have meant that the issue of same-sex marriage is once again in the forefront of people’s minds.
In this short Pastoral Letter, I want to offer some general reflections on the Catholic Church’s teachings about, and approach to, this important question. You may remember that I have already written to you about this before – in 2015. However, as you take steps to ensure that you are enrolled to vote, as I sincerely hope you will, in the postal plebiscite which may soon take place, and as you consider how you intend to vote, it seems opportune for me to address this matter again. And if necessary, I will follow this up with a more detailed discussion on the implications of this matter in a further letter.
25 Aug 2017
Archbishop Hart releases pastoral letter on same-sex marriage
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We Catholics in Australia love our nation.
Indeed, so much of what is cherished as good in our society is, in fact, the fruit of Christian culture.
21 Aug 2017
What you can do?
If you vote 'no' or if you vote 'yes' in the plebiscite – what this means – download flyer for more information.
17 Aug 2017
Circular from Archbishop Wilson
Plebiscite on Marriage
We are about to enter into a dialogue as a nation on legislation for marriage. It is imperative, and an obligation upon us from our faith and the Gospel, that we conduct this dialogue with a deep sense of reverence and respect for every person in the nation, and for the choices that they are free to make.
15 Aug 2017
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
Marriage plebiscite information
The Australian Government announced there will be a postal plebiscite on whether Australia should change marriage to include “same-sex marriage”. Ballot papers will be sent out on Tuesday September 12 and all votes must be received back by Tuesday November 7. Vote No, to keep marriage as a unique relationship between a woman and a man.
14 Aug 2017
Coalition for marriage
A people's vote on marriage, free speech and the rejection of safe schools
C4M is comprised of more than 80 groups from across Australia, representing over 3 million people and led by the Australian Christian Lobby, Marriage Alliance, the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney and the Anglican Diocese of Sydney, and will be the leading voice in the campaign opposing changes to the Marriage Act.
06 Aug 2017
Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP
Response to proposed marriage amendment (definition and Religious freedoms) Bill 2017
The proposed marriage amendment bill released today will not protect the religious freedom of the Australian people. The limited protections offered to ministers of religion and those already registered as civil celebrants evidences an incorrect assumption that freedom of religion is simply a matter for those engaged in religious ministry.