Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Archbishop-elect Prowse calls for moratorium on ACT same sex 'marriage' debate

In a positive opening salvo, Canberra's new Archbishop-elect Christopher Prowse has made a strong defense of traditional marriage and Church teaching on homosexuality.

He  has called for a stop to the ACT House of Assembly's attempts to rush through same-sex marriage legislation.

Taking on the ACT's Labor-Green coalition

The ACT Government has a record of pushing a radical agenda in this area, with current civil partnerships provisions a compromise after previous attempts to introduce civil unions was overturned by previous Federal Governments.

If passed, it will be an early test of the Abbott Government's credentials in this area to see whether it similarly seeks to use its power to override the legislation.

Archbishop-elect Prowse, however, reportedly argued for a slow down in the process to allow proper debate to take place.  According to the Canberra Times he said:

He had not seen the proposed ACT bill, due to be introduced into the ACT Legislative Assembly on Thursday, but said generally speaking laws should not be rushed through.

"This debate is happening at a time when married life - heterosexual married life - and family life are at a very fragile moment,'' he said.

''I think we've got to look at this particular rising topic in a calm way which is not being pressurised for time or rushed into legislation before a good, philosophical and reasoned debate can be had. I have a feeling myself that Australian society needs a lot more time to consider implications of legislation in this regard.

''I would be calling for more of a moratorium to suspend pending legislation so that we, over the next period of time, can discuss this in a more reasoned way, where both subjective and objective arguments can be put forward and discussed in an atmosphere of calm and reason, particularly holding forward the importance of traditional marriage and its role in society.''

Bishop Prowse said he believed traditional, heterosexual marriage needed protection, and while he would hear people's views, he would not be swayed by statistics showing high levels of support for same-sex marriage legislation in Canberra.

''I'm a person who is open to listening to people but I've also got plenty of opinions of my own and I think the Catholic Church's opinion on such matters - we represent a reflection on humanity going over 2000 years … I think that gives us a certain confidence to have our opinions heard and, in a reasoned way, debate with people,'' he said.

''The Catholic Church's teaching on the matter is that homosexual acts are never approved of, but persons who are of homosexual orientation, that a great deal of compassion and understanding should be shown to them.''

Good to see our new bishop coming out in defense of the Church's actual teaching, speaking with admirable clarity.

The Canberra Times story goes on to claim that this position is in contrast to that of his predecessor.  That is not in fact the case - the story incorrectly claims that his predecessor was the notoriously liberal Bishop Pat Power.  In fact Bishop Power was auxiliary until his early 'retirement', not Archbishop, and his actual predecessor, Archbishop Coleridge opposed civil partnerships legislation strongly.

Installation of Archbishop Porteous

And in other news, the installation ceremony for Pope Francis' other episcopal appointment for Australia so far, Archbishop Julian Porteous, took place yesterday.

You can read about it here or watch some extracts below.  Let's pray for a rapid renewal of the Church in Tasmania indeed.


A Canberra Observer said...

Good news that the Arbp elect is onto the case.

Sad that Administrator Woods and local clergy seemingly were not onto it anyway.

Joshua said...

Note the contretemps blowing up in Tasmania now that the new Archbishop has dared say that having male servers is preferable to female, since it helps engender vocations to the priesthood: I hear the Premier and some purse-lipped "human rights" bureaucrat are not happy at all... religious freedom seems to mean nothing.

Kate Edwards said...

Joshua - His comments are, I suppose, a step forward, and I suppose given the nature of the Church and State in Tas, the reaction is inevitable. Beats me though why given the outcry he didn't go the whole way - the ABC reports that he is saying that altar girls are ok provided they are primary school age. If the aim is to encourage vocations (and discourage improper aspirations) surely it would be better to move away from altar girls altogether, and avoid any perceived inconsistency viz a viz middle aged men who have no intention of pursuing a vocation!?

Joshua said...

I think this is more a case of the liberal elite, threatened by the new Archbishop, running to their secular equivalents for succour. We have a certain soon-to-be-canonized Supreme Pontiff to thank, alas, for permitting the unheard-of innovation of female servers...

John Fisher said...

Sydney's gain is Hobart's loss. Hobart is inbred. He will soon discover the status quo and be isolated discovering control is in the hands of locals.