Catholic Diocese of Parramatta statement to Penrith Press on Don’t Mess With Marriage
|Don't Mess With Marriage|
The Catholic Church’s position on marriage is well known and has been restated widely in the media throughout the current debate. While recognising there is a range of views in society, the Australian Catholic Bishops are seeking to present their view based on Catholic teaching.
The pastoral letter distributed to schools and parishes seeks to explain the basis for the Church’s teaching on marriage and its purpose. It does not advocate hatred or vilification of people with a same sex attraction, as wrongly claimed.
In fact, it specifically calls for understanding and directs Catholics to the Catechism, which teaches that people with same-sex attraction ‘must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided’.
On enrolment to a Catholic school, families agree to support the ethos of the school. The primary role of the Catholic school is the formation of young people in the Catholic faith. This responsibility includes ensuring parents and students fully understand the Church’s teaching on a range of issues, including same-sex attraction. Families have been asked to read the document to ensure they are well informed of the Church’s position.
The document was distributed to schools and parishes via our usual communication channels and was intended for Catholic school parents, parishioners and all Australians.
Other questions and responses:
1) How many schools in the Parramatta Diocese were sent these booklets?
78 schools in total (Primary and High Schools).
2) Can you name two or three in the Penrith region?
Xavier College, Llandilo and St Nicholas Primary, Penrith
3) Were the schools ordered to give them to parents or did they have a choice?
4) What is the purpose of this document?
5) How have parents and guardians responded to these booklets?
Overall, generally well received. Some parents and guardians have expressed their support and stated they support the Church on this stance.
6) People are calling them "anti-gay propaganda" and discriminatory. Do you agree this is what the document promotes?
The Catholic Church totally rejects the basis of that question and invites everyone to actually read the letter before commenting.
As has been clearly said, all people regardless of their sexuality “must be treated with respect, sensitivity, and love” and “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided".
7) Approximately, how many booklets were sent out and by whom?
The pastoral letter is from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and was distributed by the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta. Approximately 35,000 copies were distributed to parishes and schools in the Diocese of Parramatta.
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