Archbishop tells Red Mass: Time to renew lost values

Archbishop at Red Mass

At the annual Red Mass to welcome the NSW legal fraternity, Archbishop Fisher issued a call to all Australians to undertake the task of rebuilding the Judeo-Christian patrimony of tolerance, reports The Catholic Weekly. 

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP has called on all Australians to renew the social and spiritual capital of the country’s Judeo-Christian heritage against the backdrop of a world witnessing the beheading of children and the massacre of Christian congregations in burning churches. 

Archbishop Fisher was preaching at the annual Red Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral on Monday, where some of the highest legal officers in the land, and many of Sydney’s eminent lawyers, invoke God’s blessing on the legal year ahead. 

The law is more than simply “keeping the wheels of commerce turning by maximising the freedom to do things in concert or alone” and “approving some uses of force while punishing others,” the Archbishop said. 

Instead, the law points beyond itself to God’s “higher law” and to “the distinctively human aspiration to reverence each other and enable each other’s flourishing.”

“In the Judeo-Christian tradition it begins with the idea that every person – even someone different from me in ethnicity, beliefs, experience and friends – is a child of God with an intrinsic dignity worthy of my respect and my community’s protection,” Archbishop Fisher said. “Good laws, systems and practices don’t happen in a vacuum: they depend upon a complex of ideals and practices, traditions and institutions. 

“We must renew that social and spiritual capital, and that is a task for both Church and State, for high-minded jurists and down-to-earth citizens.” 

Amid the congregation’s sea of wigs and red, blue and black gowns were judges from federal and state courts and tribunals, including Justice Tom Bathurst, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW; Justice John Faulks, deputy Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia; and Justice Margaret Beazley, president of the NSW Court of Appeal. 

The Archbishop began his homily by remembering Sydney lawyer Katrina Dawson, “a gifted member of the bar,” who was killed during the Martin Place siege on December 17.

FULL STORY Time to renew lost values  (The Catholic Weekly)

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