19 Sep 2017

Letter from Bishop Michael Kennedy of Armidale

Marriage Postal Survey

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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

 20170915 Bp M Kennedy statement re Marriage Postal Survey.pdf

19 Sep 2017

Letter from Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP of Sydney

and Dr Dan White, Executive Director, Sydney Catholic Schools

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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.

 20170914 AAF & Dan White ltr to Parents & Carers re SSM postal vote.pdf

19 Sep 2017

Pope Francis, Marriage and the Plebiscite

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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.

 Pope Francis, Marriage and the Plebiscite Brochure.pdf

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

 Summary_of_Safeguards_Act.pdf

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.

 Deception on freedom of religion key to SSM Yes case 20170918.pdf

13 Sep 2017

Letter from Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane

Towards the Marriage Vote

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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.

 Abp Coleridge - towards-the-marriage-vote.-pdf.pdf

12 Sep 2017

Opinion piece by Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney

Same-Sex Marriage: Let's avoid confusion

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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?

 Archbishop Anthony Fisher - Same Sex Marriage Lets Avoid Confusion - 8 S....pdf

31 Aug 2017

Letter from Bishop Peter Comensoli of Broken Bay

We proclaim a crucified Christ

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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

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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.

  1. The Seal of Sacramental Confession
  2. Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia
  3. Changing the Definition of Marriage
30 Aug 2017

Pastoral Letter from Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB of Perth

Same-Sex Marriage

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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

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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?

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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

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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.

 Circular - Plebiscite on Marriage 971 150817.pdf

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.

 170814 - C4M - A people's vote on marriage, free speech and the rejection of Safe Schools.pdf

06 Aug 2017

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP

Response to proposed marriage amendment (definition and Religious freedoms) Bill 2017

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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.

 Media Statement_6 August 2017.pdf