Catholics In Coalition for Justice and Peace

Blog Post

Resources on Marriage Plebiscite

Posted 31 Aug 2017 11:00AM

To help us make an informed conscientious decision in the forthcoming postal ballot on marriage equality we have gathered various resources. The controversial plebiscite has been politically imposed on us and the issue is unlikely to be decided this year. 

For a good start, Frank Brennan SJ's 2017 Lionel Bowen Lecture on 30 August 2017 entitled 'Citizenship and the Common Good' can be downloaded (or listened to) at Eureka Street website.


The Edmund Rice Centre has produced a guide to the Marriage Equality Debate that can be downloaded HERE

Anglican priest, Rev. Clive Norton has provided commentary, in order to assist decision-making: 

The argument that “to have a plebiscite” was part of a multifaceted “mandate” given to the electorate that installed the Liberal Coalition, is not tenable.   This country is changing quicker than that.   
I am an Anglican priest, who with  my wife for 59 years has worked to help care for or support those in need wherever we have been in UK, USA and in Australia since I came by invitation to do ecumenical work in 1962.   As a teacher and chaplain in many schools here and overseas I have always seen and come to know people with who are LBGTI.    In the various parishes where I have served as visiting preacher and minister, the Communion Services on Sundays and Weekdays, Festivals and Feast Days, there have been LBGTI  and others standing or kneeling together.
To those who argue that this is against what we read in parts of the Old and New Testaments, I suggest we read again what Jesus did and taught according to the Gospels.  In. St John chapters 14 – 17 we read the promise that the Holy Spirit will lead us into new truths.
As a community we do not intrude into marriages or sexual partnership to find out how others express their love for each other. The current  pressure from the governments and distorted media over what turns out to be another survey, does not achieve anything.   
I for one am not going to throw away being guided by the teaching and death of Jesus Christ.    When his quarrelling followers did not heed what he was saying, he picked up a child and gently placed him in the centre.   How do we want all our children to be treated?    
Between 4% and 10% of the population know themselves or members of their extended families to be LBGTI.  
A very close family friend and her female partner were legally married last year in the ACT and on the 2 September 2016 had a baby who is a delight and doing well.   One of the good things in Australia is the opportunity for ordinary people to influence local, state, regional, and national elections and put a restraint on politicians attempting to control private lives.
Of course if any child or older person  appeals for help, we rightly expect police and other authorities to intervene if there is allegation of violence.

I have had an challenging life and great opportunities, which includes 30 years in Sydney Diocesan Synod and in General Synod commissions.   Of course, like all of us, I have sinned and made  errors of judgement and action.  But in the process I learnt to encourage people at all stages of life to care especially for the lonely and neglected and poor.   

If you know anyone who might like to read this different approach to the controversy that has been politically imposed on us, please email, phone or post it.   The issue is unlikely to be decided this year.   

ADIEU, Clive

MICHAEL MULLINS. Civil and religious marriage are best kept separate.

By conflating the civil law with religious ritual, we create confusion that makes it easy for the Church to claim authority that rightfully belongs to the state. In other words, the Church makes demands regarding sacramental marriage, which of course is OK. But it often weighs in on civil marriage as well, which is different.

For Michael Mullins' full article in John Menadue's "Pearls and Irritations", click HERE