Where is your humility, Catholic Church?

Apparently, the Catholic Church's version of "humble" involves throwing its weight around to bully everyone else – as a number of recent examples have clearly demonstrated.

At the start of the week, the Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) was both bemused and horrified at media reports that St Francis Xavier College in Berwick (Victoria) herded all Year 9 students into the school hall on the last day of Term 1, and compulsorily detained them there until they had torn a page out of a textbook for their Sex Ed course and thrown it into the bin provided.

The binned page is reported to have covered premarital sex, losing one's virginity and sexual orientations including homosexuality and bisexuality.

In addition, a Catholic priest has offended parents at a Malvern East school by comparing pedophile priests to adulterous women in a school newsletter – a particularly distasteful comparison considering that the Catholic church in Ballarat in the same state has been the centre of one of the largest investigations in the royal commission.

To finish the week, we had the utter arrogance and triumphalism of the Catholic Church on full display, unapologetically threatening Catholic economic retribution against Australian companies supporting marriage equality.

The letter by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney that was sent to many of the organisations involved, including Qantas, SBS, Telstra, the Football Federation of Australia and law firm Maurice Blackburn, read in part:

To redefine marriage to fit an ideological agenda runs directly counter to the belief by every major world religion and civilisation throughout the ages until now. Surely this current debate is more than catchy taglines and logos on a newspaper page, more than a negotiation to be fought out in a cashed-up, activist-driven media campaign.

Atheist Foundation of Australia President Kylie Sturgess responds with:

"Marriage of the kind that is derided by these kinds of statements is indeed recognised in many civilised countries, and its lack of acknowledgement has already resulted in tragic circumstances in this country for a man who lost his husband in Adelaide. It is not some 'catchy tagline' nor 'media stunt', but an acknowledgement of love and legal recognition of a relationship, that religions and communities in general should support."

We note that 70% of Australians are polled as consistently supporting marriage equality – and based on simple demographics, that would necessarily include a significant proportion of Catholic people.

It is notable that with $30+ billion in religious tax concessions, funded by all taxpayers, the choice is to economically blackmail other Australian businesses and people into toeing their sectarian line, rather than properly compensating Catholic abuse victims and survivors, as they promised to do in the Royal Commission.

In response to these examples of Catholic "humility", the AFA calls on Federal and State governments to rescind any religious exemptions from anti-discrimination laws or the National Curriculum, and to hold an inquiry into religious charity concessions – given that they're clearly being used as a weapon against all Australians who don't agree with them.

Kylie Sturgess

Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc
PO Box 1062
Lane Cove NSW 1595

Phone: (02) 8007 4503
Email: president@atheistfoundation.org.au

  • Neil Aitchison

    Of course, we can avoid the cost of a same sex marriage plebiscite in Australia by simply leaving the Marriage Act as it is – no cost there…..and parliament has already voted on he Marriage Act about 10 years ago and it passed with the support of Labor politicians, so the matter should be done and dusted. However, the same sex marriage people want the change and are facilitating such an intense push that it requires an expensive solution to resolve. They cause the problem and then claim to be part of the solution. Their suffering that they claim to have is all self-inflicted. To claim that it is a human right is also a nonsense because marriage is already available to gays – it’s just that they must marry the opposite sex. Marriage is therefore a virtue, not a right. It is not listed as a right with the United Nations and same sex marriage was never considered necessary or desirable in the history of marriage in Australia until only the past few years after John Howard orchestrated a definition in the Marriage Act. If marriage is so desirable by same sex people, then it is vital to realise what made it so desirable in the first place (that being a primary commitment between a man and a woman to raise children as a family unit), but the same sex marriage advocates totally ignore this millenia-old definition and want the definition changed to make marriage solely a “relationship/sexual” gimmick (….what….all those past civilisations got it wrong because we are the “enlightened, smart, progressive” ones?….how arrogant and blind can people get by trashing marriage in this way?). There is no “marriage equality” because they leave out ALL the various marriage “options” (such as polygamy, etc).. There is therefore no legal, historical or rational basis to call marriage a human right or to redefine it to include same sex people – so that leads to a question of what are the other agendas are in play with the SSM issue? It is certainly the formal severing of marriage from parenthood, pure and simple – the rights of children are ignored to serve the selfish desires of the SSM parents. Plus it is a direct attack on the Biblical teaching of God creating man and woman in His own image and likeness to become “one flesh” as Christ is the bridegroom and the Church is His bride – same sex marriage is completely opposite to this Biblical concept. Plus, gays are desperately wanting to be able to use the word marriage to gain some respectability that they self consciously lack, so it’s not about marriage equality.

    • boneheadaudio

      I t took you a while to get there, but what you say boils down to: “My God doesn’t like it”. Well, your god isn’t my god so its rules don’t apply to me. Quite simple really.