"I don’t think politics should be brought into the pulpit," said the gentleman who waited for me at the church door after all the other mass-goers at Sunday’s 8:30 am Mass had departed. "You upset my wife: she wanted to walk out during your homily."
It was the start of International Refugee Week, and I had taken the opportunity to preach about asylum seekers in Australia. The gospel according to Mark was propitious: the Kingdom of God is like the tiniest of seeds sown in the ground, growing slowly and invisibly, but eventually producing the greatest of trees, a place of shelter and welcome.
If I had read out at Mass the pastoral letter about marriage issued by the Archdiocese of Sydney on Refugee Sunday, would anyone in the congregation have protested about politics being brought into the pulpit?
We hear the voice of the Church on issues of sexuality and reproduction all the time, but we strain to hear the Church speak out on behalf of refugees and asylum seekers.
Where are the voices in the Australian Church that will boldly and authoritatively speak the truth about asylum seekers? Where are the pastoral letters berating the many untruths told by politicians about asylum seekers and the institution of asylum?
Politics at the pulpit (Aloysious Mowe / Catholic Religious Australia)