Articles are reproduced with thanks from the Archdiocesan website, unless otherwise stated.

 

16 November 2017

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese

By Robert Hiini

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP has congratulated the almost five million Australians who "stuck to their guns" in the face of overwhelming pressure to vote Yes in the marriage plebiscite, and has signalled that the challenge will now move to protecting existing freedoms.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that 61.6 per cent of people who voted in the survey - some 79 per cent of all eligible voters - voted YES to changing the legal definition of marriage.

"While I do not deny the good will of many who voted Yes, I am deeply disappointed that the likely result will be legislation to further deconstruct marriage and family in Australia," Archbishop Fisher said.

"But I am heartened that millions of Australians still stand by the conviction that marriage is a unique relationship between a man and a woman.

"To the many already-married couples and those contemplating it I say: Don't let this decision dishearten you or undermine your appreciation of the sanctity of real marriage."


15 November 2017

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Most Rev. Anthony Fisher OP, says he is both disappointed and heartened by the result of the National Marriage Postal Survey on changing the legal definition of marriage in Australia.

"While I do not deny the good will of many who voted Yes, I am deeply disappointed that the likely result will be legislation to further deconstruct marriage and family in Australia," Archbishop Fisher said.

"But I am heartened that millions of Australians still stand by the conviction that marriage is a unique relationship between a man and woman. In fact, only 48% of eligible voters voted Yes to redefining marriage in law."


26 October 2017

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese

A leading Australian Catholic theologian has criticised pronouncements by Fr Frank Brennan SJ and high-profile journalist Greg Sheridan on same-sex marriage as dissenting from Catholic teaching on marriage.

Both Father Brennan, a Jesuit priest, and Mr Sheridan, a highly-regarded foreign affairs journalist for The Australian newspaper who is also a Catholic, have publically supported same-sex marriage in recent months.

Both have argued that a Catholic can in good conscience support same-sex marriage for the common good of society while maintaining a personal belief in sacramental marriage as taught by the Church.

However Dr Conor Sweeney, a lecturer at the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in Melbourne, says the statements to this point by the two are a serious issue and incompatible with their faith.

21 September 2017

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese

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16 October 2017

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP delivers his homily at St Mary's cathedral on October 15. Photos: AAP

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP has issued a clarion call in the final days of the marriage plebiscite, saying that Catholics should continue to reject the false dichotomy between loving same-sex attracted people and loving true marriage.

Reiterating his concern about discrimination in the wake of same-sex marriage, the Archbishop said in his Sunday homily that it would not be unreasonable for people to withhold support for any change to marriage laws until freedom of religion protections were in place.

He also warned government "to keep out of the bedroom" when it came to regulating relationships that were not marital, such as same-sex friendships.

"Sadly our marriage 'debate' has rarely touched on what marriage is, what it's for," Archbishop Fisher said. "We've had slogans like 'love is love' but not every kind of love is marriage. Nor, if we are honest, is every marriage especially loving, at least all of the time."

Marriage is a natural and unique institution, the Archbishop said, because of its constituent parts - male and female - and the unique nature of what it might produce, namely children.

"There is only one human capacity each of us only has half of: the capacity to reproduce.

31 August 2017

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese

A number of commentators have recently suggested that loyalty to Catholic teaching, and especially to Pope Francis, would allow, even require, support for same-sex marriage; by implication, the Australian bishops misunderstand Catholic teaching and have been disloyal to Pope Francis by saying Catholics should vote NO. But what has Pope Francis actually said about this?

In April 2010, while still Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he issued a strongly worded pastoral letter on behalf of his fellow bishops against the redefinition of marriage in Argentine law. He reminded public authorities of their responsibility to protect marriage and its unique contribution to the common good. He pointed out that the state is not discriminating unjustly when it requires a man and a woman to make a marriage: "it merely recognises a natural reality". The future pope continued: "A marriage - made up of man and woman - is not the same as the union of two people of the same sex. To distinguish is not to discriminate but to respect differences… At a time when we place emphasis on the richness of pluralism and social and cultural diversity, it is a contradiction to minimise fundamental human differences. A father is not the same as a mother. We cannot teach future generations that preparing yourself for planning a family based on the stable relationship between a man and a woman is the same as living with a person of the same sex."

But has Cardinal Bergolio changed his tune since becoming Pope Francis? He has famously emphasized the need for the Church to be close to people, accompanying them pastorally amidst the complexity of their lives, and helping to heal their wounds. He is acutely aware that many people with same-sex attraction feel alienated from the Church and society. He says that he will not judge homosexuals who are genuinely searching for God and seeking to do the good.

14 August 2017

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese

The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney is one of four lead members of the Coalition for Marriage. The official campaign website provides information about the consequences of redefining marriage for all Australians, and opportunities to assist in ensuring the Marriage Act remains unchanged.

The Coalition for Marriage is comprised of more than 80 groups from across Australia, representing over 3 million people and which, along with the Archdiocese, is led by the Australian Christian Lobby, Marriage Alliance, and the Anglican Diocese of Sydney.

It will be the leading voice in the campaign opposing changes to the Marriage Act.

The Coalition for Marriage launches Official Campaign in light of the same-sex marriage postal plebiscite

In addition to the four lead organisations, Coalition for Marriage includes the Australian Family Association, Australian Chinese for Families Association, Doctors for the Family, the National Civic Council, Christian Schools Australia, and more.

1 July 2016

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese

An opinion piece from Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP was published this morning in The Guardian.

A debate on marriage equality need not be hate-filled. We could all benefit from it

In a wide-ranging speech delivered last week and published in The Guardian ("Straight politicians don't understand what it's like to hide their relationships in fear"), Senate opposition leader Penny Wong made the case against a plebiscite on the redefinition of the marriage.

Her three claims were: that opposition to same-sex marriage is essentially homophobia; that the Australian people cannot be trusted to have a respectful discussion about such matters; and so the matter should be left to the parliament.

Is it true that all defenders of the traditional definition of marriage act out of "condemnation … animosity … casual and deliberate prejudice… [and] hate" towards same-sex attracted people, as Penny Wong suggests? Well, until a few years ago the senator herself opposed the redefinition of marriage; so did her leader Bill Shorten; and so did a number of other political leaders. I do not think they were being hateful bigots at that time.

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