The issue of ‘same-sex marriage’ has dominated the media’s news cycle in recent weeks, and politicians have become more outspoken in proposing changes to the definition of marriage, contained within the Marriage Act. In light of these circumstances, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has released the Pastoral Letter, ‘Don’t Mess With Marriage’
The Pastoral Letter explores the seminal issues involved, and with great clarity articulates the ramifications of changes to the definition of marriage. It also debunks some of the myths that have pervaded the current debate and it serves to highlight why marriage is a sacred institution. It is of particular value to the Catholic faithful, and to all those who wish to know more about this issue.
Julian Porteous, the Archbishop of Tasmania, has written several articles in response to the recent debate. In The Hobart Mercury article ‘Talking Point: Same-sex Marriage is an Oxymoron’, he writes of the true meaning of marriage as a sacred relationship between a man and a woman, and that proposed amendments to the Marriage Act will devalue that sacredness, and have ramifications for children.
Taking a similar position, Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ, of the Port Pirie Diocese, has released a Pastoral Letter in which he urges Catholics to think deeply about the difference between promoting equality and changing the nature of marriage. These ideas are echoed in a document he released in December 2011, commenting on the ALP National Conference endorsment of same-sex unions, allowing Labor members to vote on the issue according to their conscience.
Many other Church leaders, across different denominations, have released statements against the proposed changes to The Marriage Act, as reported by the Bible Society.
Readers are encouraged to review these links and viewpoints in order to keep themselves informed on the issues that threaten the institution of marriage.
A sample letter to assist schools in communicating the ‘Pastoral Letter on Marriage’ within their communities
Letter to the Prime Minister A letter to the Prime Minister from Australian Religious Leaders, regarding the redefinition of Marriage in the Marriage Act
Dont Mess With Marriage The Pastoral Letter on Marriage, released by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
An open letter on same-sex marriage to the US Supreme Court
Katy Faust, raised by a same-sex couple, writes to Justice Kennedy in defence of marriage.