Church cannot support same-sex marriage: Costelloe

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB (The eRecord/Ron Tan)

Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB says the Church cannot support changes to the legal definition of marriage to include same-sex couples, The eRecord reports.

In a pastoral letter to be distributed to all Perth parishes this weekend, Archbishop Costelloe has clarified the reasons for the Church’s teaching and encouraged all to reflect deeply on the issue.

The letter follows the federal government's decision to hold a non-compulsory postal plebiscite on the redefinition of marriage.

Having previously written about the issue in 2015, Archbishop Costelloe said that in affirming this long-standing position, it was important to remember that it was based on the Church’s convictions about the beauty and dignity of marriage understood as the union of a man and a woman for life, and as the best way to provide for the upbringing of children.

“Furthermore, it is a position based on the principle that in making decisions about such an important matter, both the desires and needs of the individuals concerned, and the stability and well-being of our society as a whole, must be given careful consideration,” he said.

The Archbishop highlighted that the religious foundations of the Catholic community’s convictions should not disqualify it from engagement in the public discussion on these important matters.

“The Catholic community, no less than any other in our society, has a right to propose its views about what will best serve the interests of our society as a whole,” he said.

Archbishop Costelloe said the Catholic tradition takes the view that our society is best served by retaining the traditional understanding of marriage as the union of a man and a woman, voluntarily entered into for life, which provides the basis for the creation of a family in which, wherever possible, children can be raised in a loving and stable environment by their own mother and father.

“We acknowledge that not everyone shares this view, but it is a position that until recently has been widely held by most societies, including those which have foundations in the Judeo-Christian heritage,” Archbishop Costelloe said.

“This view presumes that marriage is about more than the mutual love between two people: it is also about the creation of a family,” he said.


Archbishop Costelloe: No change to definition of marriage (The eRecord)

Pastoral Letter on same-sex marriage (Perth Archdiocese)


Religious freedom is an important right. Once same sex-marriage is legal, it must be protected  (The Guardian)

Same-sex marriage: Travelling Australians could be given paperless vote option  (ABC News)

ABS workers voice fears over same-sex marriage postal vote in union survey (SBS News)

ABC helpline for staff affected by same-sex marriage debate (The Australian)

When it comes to same-sex marriage, not all views deserve respect  (ABC News)

Millions spent on survey before case heard (SBS News)

Push to change Tasmanian anti-discrimination laws rejected ahead of same-sex marriage vote  (ABC News)

Tasmanian free speech move defeated (The Australian)

Why we should have a same-sex marriage plebiscite, and why I'll vote no: Zed Seselja (The Age)

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