The Lord’s Prayer is set to continue in the Senate after an inquiry found there was no reason to adopt a Greens push to change it. Source: SBS News.
The upper house’s procedure committee found not much had changed since 1997 when the proposal was last floated, with the vast majority of more than 800 submissions to the inquiry opposing the move.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale said the prayer was inappropriate because half of Australia no longer identified as Christian.
“We make it very clear that this is a country where there is separation between church and state,” Senator Di Natale told Parliament yesterday.
But the inquiry found people in favour of the prayer strongly favour its retention, while those opposed were less concerned to see it changed.
“The committee does not consider, on the evidence before it and after its own deliberations, that there is a momentum for change,” Labor senator Sue Lines said in her report.
But the committee did note senators could be invited to pray or reflect in their own way on their responsibilities to the people of Australia and to future generations during the traditional prayer.
The ACBC Media Blog reported on Tuesday that Australia’s Catholic bishops had made a written submission to the Senate.
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Mark Coleridge said the motion appeared to be ideologically motivated.
“Australia’s rich religious diversity is not a reason to purge public prayer from the Senate, but a reason to examine how we can continue to reflect in the public forum the beliefs of Australians,” Archbishop Coleridge said.
Lord’s Prayer to continue in upper house (SBS News)
Bishops oppose plan to purge prayer from Senate (ACBC Media Blog)