Catholics encouraged to get involved with social issues

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Home > Media > News > Catholics encouraged to get involved with social issues
Catholics encouraged to get involved with social issues

While the current debate on marriage redefinition is providing challenges for many Catholics, Pat Gartlan also sees it as an exciting time.

A member of St Joseph’s Parish in Hobart for the past 20 years, Mrs Gartlan keeps on top of issues affecting Catholics through letter writing, research and attending sittings of Parliament “when the issues are hot enough” for her.

“I feel it’s very important to be involved in what’s happening in the Australian community and to bring forward the Christian perspective on things,” she said.
Describing what she saw as a growing tendency for Christian views to be quashed in the public arena, Mrs Gartlan said the Catholic point of view was a way of life and not just something that could be left at the Church door.

“Everything is supposed to be neutral and you’re not supposed to have Christian views, but that’s really a fallacy as everyone has a view,” Mrs Gartlan said.

“We are all living in this world and we all should have a say in how things go.

“The Christian perspective has to be there, particularly to encourage other Christians to recognise that they are not alone in the views they hold.”

A well-known face in the Tasmanian Catholic community, Mrs Gartlan has been involved over the years with the Christian Women’s League and in the establishment of Pregnancy Counselling and Support, which this year is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Mrs Gartlan said her 22 years with the service, which provides support to those experiencing distress or hardship as a result of pregnancy, were very rewarding and gave her a huge amount of respect for people and the importance of listening.

She said listening to all points of view in social debate, was also important.

And Catholics should be positive about the issues at hand and the people standing up to be a part of debate.

“There are now many Church and family groups in Australia who are successfully active and it is a marvellous time to be here,” Mrs Gartlan said.

“There is a ground swell that is being driven very wisely and strategically and we can be hugely encouraged by that.”

Mrs Gartlan encouraged Catholics to get involved with social issues, whether by using Catholic resources to remain on top of issues; writing to politicians with positive feedback when they stood up for Catholic viewpoints; visiting Parliament or simply and most importantly - just praying.

“I think it’s important to realise what is happening now is forming the world for your grandchildren so you really need to be involved in any way you can,” she said.