Australia has to be vigilant in protecting the separation of Church and State from both religious and secular “totalitarianisms,” Sydney’s Archbishop-designate, Anthony Fisher, told community leaders in western Sydney last week.
- The Catholic Weekly
Speaking at a farewell gathering with civic and religious leaders at Parramatta, he said both fundamentalisms were at odds with the “healthy pragmatic co-operation between Church and State” Australia had been used to.
Islamic State and other religious extremists had a “faith that has become deaf to the voice of reason; a faith that imposes rather than proposes its doctrines,” Archbishop-designate Fisher said. Such a faith “lacks the moral imagination to co-exist peacefully and to even live as friends with people who are different to ourselves”.
An intolerant secularism likewise threatened to “banish all those with whom it does not agree” in some Western countries; “to limit or abolish freedom of religion; and to end collaboration between Church and State in education, healthcare, welfare.”
“Australia has traditionally taken a very different and, I think, much healthier view of these things,” Bishop Fisher said. “We recognise the proper distinctions between the realms of Church and State, each with their own inspiration, ideals, authority, responsibility and methods.
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