Sydney archbishop: Green Party’s platform could see bishops jailed for not teaching gender ideology

Sydney archbishop: Green Party’s platform could see bishops jailed for not teaching gender ideology

Steve Weatherbe

SYDNEY, Australia, May 30, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney has issued a stinging challenge to Green Party plans to impose a gender-obscuring, pansexual morality program on Australia’s schools, including those run by Catholics, Protestants and Muslims, and to shut up and close down institutions that disagree.

If the Greens have their way, Archbishop Fisher warns in the most recent Weekend Australian, he could be jailed for ordering Catholic schools in his archdiocese not to teach the gender ideology lessons already taught in some parts of Australia by the “Safe Schools” program against bullying.

The archbishop writes:

“Bishop jailed for excluding gender ideology from classroom”; “Muslim parents required to enrol children in gay-friendly program”; “Hindu teacher who said marriage between man and woman fined for hate speech” – such might be the headlines if the new Greens policy on religious liberty and “heteronormative bigotry” were ever to become law.

What the Green Party wants in addition to protecting the environment and welcoming refugees, wrote the archbishop, is to force its radical sexual views on Australians and shut up religious people who disagree. “As a result religious liberty is set to become a major issue in the forthcoming election.”

The focus of the Green assault on religious liberty is the “Safe Schools Program” which is now optional in most of Australia and has reportedly been “gutted” of its most offensive elements by the federal government after a strong Christian protest. Critics said it promoted gender fluidity (and encouraged students to attend school in the dress of the opposite sex) and homosexuality in the name of tolerance.

But the Green Party, warns Archbishop Fisher, want the ungutted version restored. “This proposes that children be taught that sex is about the outside body but gender about how you feel inside; that it’s up to you to choose your gender and how you express it.” Innocent activities such as asking parents the sex of their newborn are denounced as “heteronormativity.”

Resistance is to be crushed. Religion, say the Greens, should not give dissenting Christian or Muslim schools a “get out of jail free card.” Warns the archbishop: “They would rather force church schools to close than allow them to teach politically incorrect things.”

All this, ironically, is in the cause of anti-bullying. But says Fisher, it is “big-time bullying” itself. “Name-calling and belief-shaming of those who disagree with us are textbook bullying – yet these advocates call anyone who disagrees with them ‘bigots’ and ‘homophobes.’”

Fisher also criticises the Greens for wanting to include religious organizations in existing provisions against discriminatory hiring practices. But Christian “homeless shelters, hospitals, soup kitchens and other services would never turn people away on the basis of sexuality and it is plainly defamatory to imply they would.” Still, the archbishop defends the right of religious organizations to employ people who “subscribe to their beliefs and live their ethos. But there’s nothing unjust or scandalous about that.”

The Greens stand third in party polling heading into the July election but could hold the balance of power if no clear winner emerges among the two frontrunners.

Read Archbishop Fisher’s full article here.

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3 comments on “Sydney archbishop: Green Party’s platform could see bishops jailed for not teaching gender ideology

  1. Nonetheless, the hierarchy in Austria (with one exception: see ) lionize the Greens (see ), welcomed them as saviors in the last presidential election from a supposed “fate worse than death” (the election of the Freedom Party candidate) and critcized that “errant” bishop:

    Cardinal Schönborn criticizes bishop who discouraged votes for pro-abortion presidential candidate

    Michael Kant

    May 30, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Should the Church speak out in public – and also in political – debates? This question rushed back into the minds of those who followed the presidential elections in Austria at the end of April and the end of May.

    Austrians elect their president directly every six years. The winning candidate must receive more than 50% of the votes in the first round; otherwise a second ballot is held between the two most successful candidates. This term’s candidacy came down to Alexander Van der Bellen of the Green Party (Grünen) and Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ). Van der Bellen won in the second round with roughly 2,250,000 votes, against Hofer who lagged behind by only 30,000 votes. Even given Van der Bellen’s victory, the country is divided.

    For the Church, debate centred on statements by Van der Bellen concerning essential issues of life and morality, all of them crucial for the discernment of a Catholic voter.

    Regarding gender theory, Van der Bellen responded in an interview with the Austrian Catholic news website “” that “equal rights for people, independent of their gender or sexual orientation, have become natural and a given”, while citing article one of the Austrian constitution as his reason. Because the Christian ÖVP lost ground in the political sphere, the red-green government could further push their agenda on life issues. When requested by the woman, abortion is legal in Austria, even without a medical reason, up to the 16th week of pregnancy. As a member of the Green party, Van der Bellen is likely to hold to this course of legislation, or possibly to push for wider use of abortion and state financial support for it.

    Against this backdrop, the Church saw itself confronted with a dilemma: should it give advice over the election, or should it stay silent out of respect for Church-state separation? For informed Catholics who know their faith and their social responsibility, as well as their duty to work for the common good, the positions of the candidates has provided the answer to this question.

    But owing to the modern media jungle in which they live, Catholics remain confused about their identity. Hence, guidance from their pastors is sorely needed. Just prior to the second election round, auxiliary bishop and moral theologian Andreas Laun of Salzburg voiced his concern about the fact that “Catholic Action” (Katholische Aktion Österreich) had supported Van der Bellen publicly. Laun explained: “I am speechless when confronted with the publicity for Van der Bellen, which on the one hand shows how little people think critically in general, and on the other hand, how indifferent they are towards their faith!”

    “In regard to all delicate and dangerous questions, from the defense of human life to questions about God, and then on to gender theory, he takes the wrong side,” the bishop added.

    Without urging Catholics to vote for a specific candidate, Laun simply stated facts that can be found in the party platform of the Green Party, or that can be taken from Van der Bellen’s public statements. That his positions are irreconcilable with Catholic moral doctrine is not difficult to see.

    Laun’s words did not remain unchallenged. The Archdiocese of Vienna published a press statement by Card. Christoph Schönborn, President of the Austrian Bishops’ Conference, in which he criticized Laun by name and backed away from endorsing any specific political option.

    Cardinal Schönborn explained: “The Catholic Church has gone without given political voting suggestions in the past, and our experience has taught us that this makes sense, even though – or especially because – in 2016, for the first time in the history of the Second Republic, a Catholic candidate is taking part in the election of a President.”

    The head of the Austrian Bishop’s Conference wanted to state publicly that the Catholic Church will not endorse a candidate in the election.

    With regards to the media campaign launched against Hofer, Laun pointed to the fact that Catholics should look beyond labels like “Nazis” and “right-wing populists” and should not be “brainwashed” in voting for an open enemy of the Catholic Church. The bishop quoted Cardinal Robert Sarah about the “silent apostasy” that slowly creeps into the minds of the Catholics, who “call themselves Catholics but cease to be Catholic.”

    In his statement Schönborn urged Catholics to “be true to their style when entering public debate” and “not to judge those that think differently.”

    “A good decision in the election cannot base itself just on the core issues of the Catholic Church like the defense of human life, but must also take into consideration many other components like the attitude of the candidates toward the weakest members of society, among them, immigrants,” says the statement.

    One wonders whether an appeal to Catholic tolerance is appropriate, given that the candidate himself will not tolerate Catholic stances in public debate when it comes to central questions of morality. In addition, the archbishop did not repudiate the public endorsement of Van der Bellen by Katholische Aktion.

    At the same time, the reader also wonders why the head of the bishops’ conference stabs one of his own bishops in the back for simply wondering out loud whether Catholic voters had the right criteria in mind when choosing their candidate. Given the aggressivity against the Church by politicians in general, one only hopes for a unified public position from the Church in favor of Catholic doctrine. Maybe this is exactly the “brainwashing” that Laun was speaking of.

  2. … could see bishops jailed for not teaching gender ideology

    Oh, that we could have them jailed for not teaching the Faith!

  3. I can assure you, as an Australian, that as yet, few countries have a major party quite as disgusting as the Greens Party in Australia.
    They believe in euthanasia, abortion, queer “marriage”, no nuclear power, they are extremely anti American but pro every Communist regime that has ever existed, they hate business and they hate the family. They are pushing really hard a so-called Safe Schools program that explicitly teaches homosexuality as 100% normal. This program even includes the details of homosexual technique and numerous references to queer websites. The two major parties are caving in to this truly diabolical program with only some voices of dissent from politicians.
    We also have in Australia a publically funded national TV and radio network (the ABC) that would make Stalin green with envy. It pushes every left wing line known to man and, unlike the PBS in America, it has a news network and huge government funding.
    With these twin devils of the Greens Party and the ABC, assisted by the Australian Labor Party which is becoming almost as bad as the Greens, and a supposed “conservative” party, the Liberal Party, which has as much moral fibre as a bowl of jelly and increasingly stands up for nothing, we in Australia are in perilous times.
    We have fast become a post Christian country and the Muslims are only too happy to step in and fill the vacuum.

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