21 Sep 2017

Letters on same-sex marriage

Below are extracts of letters by Australian bishops. To read their letters in full and other letters plus more info pleaseClick here.

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Letter from Bishop Greg O'Kelly SJ of Port Pirie – "...We have no right to impose our religious views on what may now be the majority of our fellow citizens who do not accept or embrace our Sacramental view of Holy Matrimony. We must continue to exercise our right to speak our views publically as free citizens, but we should not adopt any means that creates disrespect for others. It was the method of Christ to propose, not to impose..."

Letter from Bishop Michael Kennedy of Armidale – "...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..."

Letter from Archbishop Fisher OP and Dr Dan White Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools – "...Some people argue that we should distinguish between marriage as defined in civil law and marriage as understood by the Church. Of course, the traditional understanding of marriage has always informed and been protected by the civil law in Australia, as is still the case in the vast majority of countries around the world. But for many people, whatever the law calls a marriage will be all that marriage is. Therefore, redefining marriage will not only undermine the traditional understanding even amongst Christians of husband, wife and children, but also have ramifications for everyone in our community..."

Letter from Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane – ...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.

Opinion piece by Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney (The Daily Telegraph)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.

Letter from Bishop Peter Comensoli of Broken Bay – "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."

Letter from Bishop Michael McKenna of Bathurst – "there is the question of changing the legal definition of marriage to include committed same sex relationships. This is not a simple question. Regrettably, there has been only superficial engagement in debate between the two sides. In fact, many promoting a “yes” vote say they do not want a debate."

Pastoral Letter from Archbishop Timothy Costelloe 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."

Pastoral Letter from Archbishop Hart of Melbourne – "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."

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