Musings 27 September 2017
By the Reverend Monsignor Harry,
St Ninians & St Chads Parish, Perth
St Paul’s Catholic Church, Mt Lawley
Throughout my many years of Christian ministry in the Anglican Church there have been many changes in how the Church is organised and conducted its worship. Most, if not all of these changes were successfully passed through synods mainly because they were presented as ‘stand alone’ issues. By this it was proclaimed that the ‘reform’ must not be judged on the basis that it would lead to other more progressive ideas.
So we move on to the debate on Same Sex Marriage. The push to redefine marriage is again being presented as a ‘Stand Alone Issue.’ It is presented as being solely about love. Not only do the supporters’ banners claim that ‘Love is Love,’ they claim that ‘Love is a Human Right.’ Love therefore is no longer a precious gift freely offered, received and reciprocated, it is a Right which all humans can demand.
In order to influence the plebiscite, supporters of the redefinition of marriage are doing their utmost to assure everyone that there will be no ‘flow on’ of other issues following a ‘Yes’ victory. Yet the evidence from other nations that have redefined marriage is quite clear that the redefinition of marriage has been the trigger for greater social engineering and political oppression. There have been many instances, including here in Australia where opponents of ‘the programme’ have lost their jobs, been prevented from freely expressing their views and prevented from observing their religious belief and being responsible for their children. If such things have already happened in Australia before a plebiscite takes place, life will become much more oppressive if the ‘Yes’ vote wins. Some supporters have already flagged that it will.
“There have been many instances, including here in Australia where opponents of ‘the programme’ have lost their jobs”
Those who claim that sufficient protection will be offered to those who oppose the change are whistling in the wind. Protections have rarely been worth more than the paper they are written on.
So in the face of glaring evidence to the contrary, why do people allow themselves to be seduced into believing that the plebiscite is simply a stand alone issue about love and justice? Why do people refuse to learn from their own or the experience of others who live in countries where marriage has been re-defined? All of us are prone to see and hear only what we choose, but the level of intolerance, aggression and destructive violence witnessed in the lead up to this plebiscite bear many of the hallmarks of sociopathic behaviour.
If this is the case, reasoned debate is not possible. Those who resist in love will pay the price, but defending God’s Truth always comes at a cost.
Please pray for courage to stand firm in the Catholic faith as you cast your vote.
Monsignor Entwistle is the first Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross. Educated at St Chad's Theological College, he was ordained a priest in the Church of England Diocese of Blackburn in 1964. After reception into the Roman Catholic Church, he was ordained to the priesthood in St Mary's Cathedral, Perth on 15 June 2012.