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

 


7 February 2018

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese

The proposed Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Bill 2017 "could mean five million Catholics would have to go and put themselves on a register," an Australian bishop has warned.

Bishop Robert McGuckin of Toowoomba said the bill "casts the net so wide that it could catch not just bishops but every Catholic."

The Government has proposed the bill in a bid to improve the transparency of activities undertaken in Australia on behalf of foreign nations.

"If Catholics want to speak to their local MP or express some view to their Parliamentarians, they'd have to go on a register, take notes of what they've done and things like that.

"It could also possibly effect operations like Catholic Health Australia or any of our charities," he said.

The legislation could also affect the Church's extensive charitable operations. "It's a lot of red tape for our charities of which the money could be used for the disadvantaged. These funds need to be used for what they're meant for," he said.


2 February 2018

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Most Rev. Anthony Fisher OP, delivered a strong call for the protection of religious freedom in Australia before a congregation of lawyers and lawmakers that included NSW Attorney-General, Mark Speakman MP, Opposition Leader Luke Foley MP, and Chief Justice of NSW, Tom Bathurst this week.

In the homily for Red Mass, which officially marked the opening of the 2018 law term, Archbishop Fisher addressed the emergence of an aggressive secularism with its "hard-edged determination to minimise the role of faith in every life and exclude it altogether from the public square." The Archbishop questioned whether people of faith would, in the future, be free in future to hold, speak and practice their beliefs.

Reflecting on the Gospel reading, where Jesus exhorted His followers to render to God what was God's and to Caesar what was Caesar's, Archbishop Fisher remarked that a commitment to the 'common good' and respect for the dignity of all would be crucial in reconciling competing rights.

Read the Homily here.

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10 January 2018

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese

Lawyers for Cardinal George Pell returned to the Melbourne Magistrates Court today for an administrative update on subpoenas they sent late last year to the ABC and its journalist Louise Milligan.

In December, the ABC and Ms Milligan, who is the author of a book about the Cardinal, agreed to hand over some of the material sought by Cardinal Pell's legal team.

They will now examine transcripts and interview footage, which is believed to contain unedited interviews between Ms Milligan and some of the complainants who have accused the cardinal of historical sex offences, as they prepare for his upcoming committal hearing.

Cardinal Pell, 76, who was not required to attend today's hearing, strenuously denies the allegations against him.

He will return to court in March for a committal hearing, which will determine whether he stands trial.

The cardinal has taken leave from his position as Vatican treasurer.


15 December 2017

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese 

First and foremost, I want to express my respect for the survivors of child sexual abuse by Church personnel, who have lived with the consequences of abuse for a lifetime and will continue to do so.

Many told their stories with great courage, even at great personal cost, revisiting traumatic experiences. I say again how sorry I am that you were hurt in this way by people you should have been able to trust.

I hope the release of this report provides some comfort to you, your family and friends with the determination that what has been revealed in the pages of this report can never be repeated.

To the Commissioners and staff my thanks for your dedication to listening to the survivors patiently and compassionately, analysing the causes of this terrible scourge, and proposing ways of preventing any recurrence.

The final report comprises 17 volumes, covering nearly five years of hearings. It will take time to digest but it will not sit on any shelf. I will study the findings and recommendations carefully, and then provide a detailed response as we discern, with the rest of the community, the best way forward.


4 December 2017

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese

Church leaders from across Australia have written an open letter to both Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten regarding the lack of religious freedoms included in the same sex marriage bill.

At least 30 senior church leaders have added their names to the letter, urging both leaders to support amendments to the Dean Smith bill, which was passed without amendment by the Senate last week.

The amendments sought to include the protection of faith-based charities, parental rights and protections for individuals from being targeted for upholding traditional marriage.

With the Senate having passed same-sex marriage legislation last Wednesday by 43 votes to 12, the lower house is being pressured to endorse the bill.

However, Mr Turnbull has flagged his support for amendments to protect religious freedom.

Kevin Andrews MP, who is Chair of the parliamentary Human Rights Sub-Committee which provided its interim report into religious freedom in Australia on Friday, said the amendments were "reasonable" and he expected strong support for them.


23 November 2017

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese

Victoria has become the first State in Australia to effectively pass euthanasia into law by a 22-18 vote in the Upper House of its Parliament.

The bill will return to the Lower House where MPs had supported it 47-37.

Euthanasia supporters have hailed the move as a victory for autonomy and personal dignity, but others have expressed their dismay.

AMA Victoria president Lorraine Baker told The Age:

"The outcome of this parliamentary vote will cause anguish for some members of our profession, as well as the public …

"(The AMA believes doctors should not be involved in) interventions that have as their primary intention the ending of a person's life".

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."

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