AUSTRALIAN BISHOPS WALK BACK HARD-LINE STANCE ON FIRING SAME-SEX MARRIED STAFF

Australian Bishops Walk Back Hard-Line Stance on Firing Same-Sex Married Staff

Employee dismissal not automatic

[Aussie Catholics are “getting the (mixed) message” from their shepherds: “up to two thirds … support the effort to legalize same-sex ‘marriage,’ the highest rate … of the country’s religious groups]

by Stephen Wynne • ChurchMilitant • August 28, 2017

MELBOURNE – Australia’s bishops are countering earlier understandings that staff entering into same-sex “marriage” will be fired automatically.

Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart last week warned Australia’s 180,000 church employees of their serious obligation to uphold Catholic teaching on marriage. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, the head of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) warned, “I would be very emphatic that our schools, our parishes, exist to teach a Catholic view of marriage.”

“Our teachers, our parish employees, are expected totally to uphold the Catholic faith and what we believe about marriage,” he reiterated. “People have to see in words and in example that our teaching of marriage is underlined.”

He continued:

In accepting a role in a Catholic school, staff will recognize their responsibility to conduct themselves in such a way as not to undermine the fundamental ethos of the school. Like all other employers, the Catholic Church should be able to ensure its values are upheld by those who choose to work for the organization.

Archbishop Hart warned that any “words or actions” detracting from Church teaching “would be viewed very seriously.”

He also suggested disciplinary decisions “are best dealt with on the local scene.” Media immediately reported that Hart was threatening teachers with dismissal if their lives were contrary to Catholic teaching.

Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe, chair of the Bishops’ Commission for Catholic Education, supported Hart’s position, warning that educators who flout Church teaching on marriage risk undermining Catholic values.

“Families who choose a Catholic education for their children understand that Catholic schools always seek to be expressions of this Catholic world view and that their children will be educated within a Catholic framework,” he said.

The day after the bishop’s remariks, Abp. Costelloe walked back on his claims in statement on behalf of the ACBC, suggesting the Church in Australia would not automatically dismiss staff entering into same-sex “marriages.”

Individual Catholic bishops will, in consultation with their directors of Catholic education and other advisers in their own jurisdictions, make decisions about how to manage any issues that may arise, should the legal definition of marriage be changed to include same-sex couples. Normally such issues would be addressed, in the first instance, in discussions between the staff member concerned and the local leadership of the school. The aim would be to discover a way forward for the school and the staff member that preserves the Catholic ethos of the school.

Costelloe’s clarification comes on the heels of a warning earlier this month by Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher that legalization would endanger the liberty of religious schools, hospitals and charities.

“In other parts of the world that have legalized same-sex marriage, those who believe in traditional marriage have been harassed or coerced into complying with the new view of marriage,” Fisher observed. “It would be extremely naive to think that won’t happen here.”

In spite of these concerns, a new poll has found that up to two thirds of Australia’s 5 million Catholics support the effort to legalize same-sex “marriage,” the highest rate of support among any of the country’s religious groups

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One comment on “AUSTRALIAN BISHOPS WALK BACK HARD-LINE STANCE ON FIRING SAME-SEX MARRIED STAFF

  1. Abp Costelloe: Families who choose a Catholic education for their children understand that Catholic schools always seek to be expressions of this Catholic world view and that their children will be educated within a Catholic framework.

    It’s the birthright of every baptized child to receive an unadulterated Catholic education. Parents must make every effort to insure this. Anyone who undermines this in any way is liable to the millstone award promised by Our Lord.

    It follows that any parents who give their children over to an American diocesan school put the eternal salvation of their children and themselves at grave risk. The bishops and school administrators do not have the Catholic Faith. They teach sex and call it religion. The USCCCP placed it’s imprimatur on a program that teaches sixth-graders about anal “sex.”

    Furthermore, because they teach sex, and because they continue to ordain queers and effeminate men, not a dime should be given to any diocese. Yes, any diocese, because no bishop is speaking against these crimes.

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