A LETTER set to be distributed to every Catholic school across Australia has labelled same sex marriage as a “serious injustice”.
Penned by Australia’s Catholic Bishops, the 18-page document titled “Don’t Mess With Marriage” will be circulated through the Canberra/Goulburn Diocese schools, parishes and Catholic agencies as a call to action.
“We all know and love people with same-sex attraction. They are our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, friends and neighbours,” the letter states.
“They need love and support like anyone else. But pretending that their relationships are ‘marriages’ is not fair or just to them. As Christians we must be willing to present the truth about marriage, family and sexuality and to do so charitably and lovingly…
“We call upon all those of good will, to redouble their support for the institution of marriage in our community and for the laws and culture that sustain it.”
The document has been released amid heightened pressure for marriage reforms across the country, and urged those of the faith to make their views known to parliamentary representatives.
A spokesperson for the Canberra/Goulburn diocese confirmed the letter would be distributed to students of all ages across the region to take home to their parents, aiming to engage with the same-sex marriage debate and “explain the position of the Catholic faithful to the wider community”.
If the civil law ceases to define marriage as traditionally understood, it will be a serious injustice and undermine that common good for which the civil law exists...- Archbishop Anthony Fisher
Inside the letter, available publicly through the Australian Catholic Church website, the Bishops explore dangers surrounding marriage reforms, addressed in six key areas: respect, equality and discrimination, views on marriage, marriage and family, importance of mothers and fathers, and the consequences of redefining marriage.
“It is unjust, gravely unjust, to legitimise the false assertion that there is nothing distinctive about a man and a woman, a father or a mother; to ignore the particular values that real marriage serves ...” Chair of the Bishops Commission for Family, Youth and Life, Archbishop Anthony Fisher said in a public statement last week.
“Children have a right to grow up with their natural mother and father, where possible. We should not be redefining marriage so as deliberately to exclude a child growing up with either their mother, their father, or both their parents,” Bishop Fisher said.
“If the civil law ceases to define marriage as traditionally understood, it will be a serious injustice and undermine that common good for which the civil law exists.
“Surely there are other ways of honouring the friendships of same-sex attracted and other people without further deconstructing marriage and the family.”
Meantime, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn, Stuart Robinson, has issued a statement to the Post urging people to remain “gracious and respectful”.
“The Anglican Church in the diocese of Canberra and Goulburn warmly welcomes people of all traditions and situations to our churches,” Bishop Robinson said.
“Our marriage rite – not unlike baptism for those wishing to identify with Christ’s death and resurrection or Confirmation for those publicly ‘turning to Christ’ – is for the union of women and men who wish to live after the pattern of Christ and his church.
“Our western liberal democracy affords people who do not subscribe to these values the opportunity to embrace a secular alternative via celebrants and other practitioners. Our prayer, in any debate related to the highly sensitive issue of ‘marriage equality’, is for gracious and respectful dialogue around religious sensibilities, human rights and sexual orientation.”
► Marriage equality group gains traction
► Expressing another view | Editorial, June 5
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