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


4 June 2015

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese

Adult children raised by in Canada by homosexual parents have spoken out strongly against same sex unions warning that the Canadian 2005 legalisation has eroded fundamental human rights and the basic freedoms of speech, press, religion and association.

"Over 50 adult children who were raised by LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender) parents share my concerns about same-sex unions and parenting," Dawn Stefanowicz writes in CNS News, a North American online news service. "Many of us struggle with our own sexuality and sense of gender because of the influences of our household environments growing up."

The author of "Out from Under: The Impact of Homosexual Parenting," the Canadian mother of two who is also a full time accountant, is an outspoken critic of same-sex marriage.

Last month she and six other Canadian adult children of homosexual parents filed an amicus brief with the US Supreme Court asking the Court to respect the authority of US citizens to keep the original definition of marriage as "a union between one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others," so that children may know and may be raised by their biological parents.

3 June 2015

The Holy See has called for respect following a television interview with a member of the Commission for the Protection of Minors who criticized Cardinal George Pell, the prefect of the Secretariat of the Economy.

In an interview with 60 Minutes, Peter Saunders called the cardinal’s position ‘untenable’ following the Australian Royal Commission’s hearings on the Church’s actions on abuse crimes committed by a former priest. Cardinal Pell has strongly denied accusations that he had knowledge of abuse in the Diocese of Ballarat, where he served as a priest.

Saunders is one of the 17 members of the commission established by Pope Francis to ensure the protection of children and minors from sexual abuse. During the interview, Saunders also criticized the Australian prelate, saying: ‘He has a catalogue of denigrating people, of acting with callousness, cold-heartedness, almost sociopathic I would go as far as to say, this lack of care.’

However, Cardinal Pell’s secretary denied the accusations raised against him during the interview and also expressed disbelief of Saunders' opinion given the fact that they never met.

‘Cardinal Pell has never met Mr. Saunders, who seems to have formed his strong opinions without ever having spoken to His Eminence,’ the statement read.

1 June 2015


The Ballarat Diocese might not be able meet the claims it faces for widespread child sexual abuse by clergy, Bishop Paul Bird told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Friday.

As many as 14 priests have been found to have abused children in the Victorian Diocese. It has already had at least 130 abuse complaints substantiated, mostly against the paedophile former priest Gerald Ridsdale.

Bishop Bird said the financial position of the Diocese was not strong, and some of its parishes that are reasonably well off are subsidising "quite a lot" that need assistance.

He said a finance committee had come to the conclusion that it could not really predict what financial liability the Diocese faces for historical and current abuse claims.

22 May 2015

This Tuesday marked the start of a three-week public hearing of the Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse into institutions run by the Catholic Church in the diocese of Ballarat, including St Joseph’s Home, St Alipius Primary School and parish, St Patrick’s College and St Patrick’s Christian Brothers Boys Primary School.

The court will first hear from 18 survivor witnesses followed by statements from counsellors, doctors, members of relevant support groups and perpetrators.

Survivor Patrick Nagle, 50, who attended St Alipius, told ABC News that testifying at the Commission was ‘extremely difficult’.

‘We’ve known this has been coming for about three months and I haven’t slept [the] last couple of nights,’ he said.

‘It was very, very tough indeed. But I’m glad it’s over.’

In an interview with The Age, Shireen Gunn, Manager of the Centre against Sexual Assault in Ballarat, spoke of the difficulty for many in telling their stories.

‘This inquiry is the external realisation of what we already know. But the fact that these guys can get up and give these graphic details and tell their stories—it’s just a huge achievement.’

27 March 2015

Natasha Marsh

On the same day that he was sworn in as Australia’s first Minister for Equality, Martin Foley announced he would ‘waste no time’ in amending Victoria’s adoption laws, ‘bringing Victoria into line’ with New South Wales, Western Australia, the ACT and Tasmania, which amended their laws to allow adoption by same-sex couples.

Currently, section 11 of the Victorian Adoption Act 1984 states that an adoption order may be made in favour of a ‘man and woman’ who are either:

• married for a minimum of two years
• in a relationship recognised as a traditional marriage by Aboriginal community elders, for a minimum of two years
• living in de facto relationships, for a minimum of two years.

The review seeks to remove the phrase ‘man and woman’ from section 11 to allow same-sex couples to adopt children.

As part of the review process, the government called for submissions from all interested parties, which closed on Monday 23 March.

Fr Joe Caddy, Chief Executive Officer of CatholicCare (the Melbourne agency of the Catholic Church that handles adoption), and Matthew MacDonald, Executive Officer of the Life, Marriage and Family Office made a submission on behalf of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.

The submission highlights it is in the best interests of the child to be raised in a stable, monogamous relationship by a mother and father. This claim is supported by numerous best-practice sociological studies.

‘The genuine, committed and exclusive love between a man and a woman, grounded in marriage is the foundation of family life and promotes the optimum welfare and development of children,’ it reads.

It reminds the government that the various studies seeking to undermine this sociological reality have all been criticised by peers for ‘inadequate-sized sampling, reporting bias and other methodological flaws … Choosing to ignore the available evidence is a grave error,’ it says.

16 April 2015

Natasha Marsh

Yesterday's bid to have Victoria’s Law Reform Commission to examine euthanasia has been delayed.

The bid was forwarded by Colleen Hartland, Upper House Greens MP for Western Metropolitan.

The Victorian director of the Australian Christian Lobby, Dan Flynn, said it became clear during the course of the debate that parliamentarians were ‘not convinced that euthanasia can remain voluntary and be made safe’ and so the bid was left unresolved.

‘The broader issue of the value of human life was highlighted in a number of speeches with warnings of elder abuse and coercion.’

‘Palliative care is where our focus for end-of-life public policy should be,’ he said.

19 March 2015

Catholic News Agency

Creators of the luxury Italian fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana sparked global controversy over the weekend after coming out in defense of marriage, saying that children have the right to a mother and a father.

'The family is not a fad,' said co-founder of the fashion empire, Stefano Gabbana, in an interview with the Italian Magazine Panorama. 'In it there is a supernatural sense of belonging.'

Sharing this view with his business and former romantic partner, Domenico Dolce told the magazine: 'We didn't invent the family ourselves.'

Dolce and Gabbana, who are openly gay, went on to say children have the right to be raised by a mother and a father, and condemned the use of artificial means of conception, such as In-vitro fertilization.

The Italian-born fashion duo also spoke out against the use of surrogate mothers by gay couples who are seeking to have a child, referring to practice as 'wombs for rent.'

Dolce referred to those conceived through artificial means as 'chemical children: synthetic children. Uterus' for rent, semen chosen from a catalog. And later you go and explain to these children who the mother is.'

26 March 2016

Catholic News Agency

It may not be 1941, but Hitler’s dream of a 'Jew-free Europe' is taking shape, and it’s time for the world to take notice, say human rights advocates.

A 'virulent, open, and increasingly violent anti-Semitism' is rearing its ugly head across the European continent, according to Dr Katrina Lantos Swett, president and CEO of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice and chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

The matter is a deeply personal one for Swett–her father, Tom Lantos, was the only Holocaust survivor to serve in Congress.

Europe has long been seen as a haven for democracy and human rights, but that face is changing rapidly for Jews there, many of whom question if their children will even be able to live there.

'Jews are being physically threatened. Their institutions are being physically attacked. They are being killed because they’re Jews,' Swett told CNA. 'And the only reason many, many more haven’t been killed is because of security measures.'

Describing her recent solidarity visit to France’s Jewish communities, she noted that many parents 'don’t see a Jewish future' for their children in Europe. Emigration from the continent is rising and will likely continue, with popular destinations being Israel, the United States, and Canada.

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