Statement in response to complaint lodged with Anti-Discrimination Commissioner

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Home > Media > News > Statement in response to complaint lodged with Anti-Discrimination Commissioner
Statement in response to complaint lodged with Anti-Discrimination Commissioner

“The Catholic Church has a positive vision of human sexuality, marriage and family life, which we believe provides the way to authentic human happiness. It is the role of Catholic schools to promote this positive vision. Indeed parents choose to send their children to Catholic schools because of Catholic teaching.

Recently the Catholic Bishops of Australia produced a pastoral letter to the Catholic faithful to better explain this teaching in light of efforts to change the current legal definition of marriage. In order to assist the Catholic community in Tasmania to better understand why the Church has sought to defend the current legal definition of marriage, I asked Catholic Schools in Tasmania to distribute this booklet to parents with children in our schools.

I asked that the booklet be delivered in a sealed envelope to parents and guardians, as I believe it is parents who are the best educators of their children in cases such as this.

It is important to make clear that the Bishop’s Pastoral letter on Marriage affirms the dignity of all human beings regardless of their physical characteristics, gender or the orientation of their sexual attraction. And condemns in the strongest terms any form of unjust discrimination.

I am aware that there are some in society who would seek to silence the Church on this issue, and indeed prevent Christians expressing their beliefs in the public square on important social issues. Increasingly they are trying to manipulate anti-discrimination legislation to achieve this end.

This represents the rise of a new intolerance against Christianity in Australian society, and more generally a threat to freedom of speech. It is important in a democratic society like Australia that every person is free to present what they believe to be true. There should not be threats or intimidation against anyone who expresses a view in favour of traditional marriage.

It is important that Australia has the opportunity for an open and free debate about the nature of marriage leading up to a plebiscite. It should be conducted in an atmosphere of respect and where all arguments can be presented and exposed to rigorous scrutiny.”

Archbishop Julian Porteous, 28 September 2015

Watch Archbishop Julian’s response on YouTube.

Don't Mess with Marriage Booklet