Francis Sullivan orders bishops to order Catholics how to vote

Larping as Primate of the Church in Australia, the Pell hater and professional ‘Catholic’ lashes out.
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15 Responses to Francis Sullivan orders bishops to order Catholics how to vote

  1. C.L. says:

    Tension over church stances on Voice.

    Church leaders are being urged to prove their support for the Indigenous Voice despite the political risk of taking sides in the closing weeks of the referendum, amid concerns that some leaders are “hedging” after strongly backing the change earlier in the year.

    The new call highlights questions over whether the nation’s peak faith groups will throw their active support behind the change to the Constitution when early voting begins next week, as some of their communities campaign for the Yes side.

    In a sign of the challenge in gaining agreement, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils has not agreed on a position despite the support for the Voice from many of its member councils, as well as the Australian National Imams Council and the Grand Mufti of Australia, Ibrahim Abu Mohamad.

    While the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has backed the Voice in writing, a key church leader said he wanted the bishops to put that support into action before the referendum closes on October 14.

    “This is not a time for being delicate – this is a time for leadership,” said Francis Sullivan, who led the Truth, Justice and Healing Council within the Catholic Church to address child abuse allegations against senior figures.

    “If the Catholic bishops think their position should be No then they should say so, and if they think that it should be Yes they should say so.

    “This is not a time to sit on the fence.”

    Sullivan said he feared that the legal debate over the change to the Constitution was clouding the issue for church leaders when they had made “definitive and clear” statements in favour of the Voice in the past.

    “Ultimately, this is a moral question for the church – it is not a legal question,” he said.

    “A number of bishops I know have been confronted directly about what I call equivocation.”

    Prime Minister Anthony Albanese joined Uniting Church leaders in Sydney on Sunday for a service and the launch of the church’s Yes campaign, where he promised to set up a joint parliamentary committee, with co-chairs from Labor and the Coalition, to oversee the law to set up the Voice if the majority vote Yes on October 14.

    One of the Uniting Church ministers at the event, Simon Hansford, said the case for Christians to vote Yes was based on Christian teachings about supporting those on the margins of society who need care.

    “In terms of Australia, it’s quite clear that our First Nations people are the ones who are most, as a group, marginalised and pushed to the edges and traditionally and historically ignored,” he said.

    “What people of faith would want to say is that where we would find Jesus is most likely to be with those who are most in need.”

    Asked for his argument for a Yes vote from a person of no faith, Hansford said: “If you want to shift the world in which you live, do you find yourself shifting the community by punishing or neglecting or by ignoring, or do you find it by creating and offering hope?” He said a Yes vote was the response that offered hope.

    A public letter supporting the Voice was signed in February by the National Council of Churches in Australia, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the Anglican Church, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, the Australian Sangha Association, the Hindu Council, the National Sikh Council of Australia, the Uniting Church Assembly and the Australian National Imams Council.

    The Australian Christian Lobby has not taken a position on the issue.

    While the Voice has support from Anglican leaders, one rector said the “view from the pew” was against the Voice or wary of the change.

    “I think the bishops will find that they have been singing in their own bathroom on this one,” said Father Peter Macleod-Miller, the rector of St Matthews Anglican Church in Albury.

    “The day after the referendum may be another unwelcome epiphany for some of them.”

    About 44 per cent of Australians identify as Christian and another 10 per cent say they hold another faith, highlighting the potential influence of faith leaders.

    In a sign of the way some peak groups are speaking up as the vote nears, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry issued a public statement on September 5 to endorse the Voice after a vote by councillors, adding to earlier support for the Uluru Statement.

    “There is a clear moral imperative for constitutional recognition of Australia’s First Nations,” said council president Jillian Segal.

    “Sometimes it’s those at the top who are slow to act, probably because they get tied up in bureaucracy, or they worry about what some people will think,” she said.

    “But with less than three weeks to go until the referendum, there is a moral imperative now for all to take action.

    “I say to all Australians of faith, and all Australians of diverse backgrounds, feeling empathy for the plight of Indigenous peoples is not enough. Saying you’re supportive is not enough. You need to take action in solidarity with Indigenous people.”


    David Crowe in the Sydney Morning Herald

  2. rosie says:

    It’s not a mere moral question, faux Catholic.
    I want real change for rural and remote communities not professional aboriginals given a stick to beat us all with.

  3. calli says:

    Church leaders are being urged to prove their support for the Indigenous Voice despite the political risk of taking sides

    The “political” risk is negligible. There is a spiritual risk here – treating the faithful like a vote herd.

    You’d think Mark 12:17 didn’t exist.

  4. Franx says:

    Well, yes, the church leaders are doing as they did when they were in league with the civic leaders in designing the covid program for the ‘good of society’. So again, there is now the recourse to what is claimed to be for the good of the nation, for the common good’ when the common good is not related to what is the absolute good, not to what is the good itself, but to preferred and denoted wants – safety; diversity; reconciliation; and so on. As with covid, so with voice.
    As for Sullivan, he Sullivan might defer to Pope Francis who has not forgotten that, ‘Reconciliation is a personal act, and no one can impose it upon an entire society.’ (Fratelli Tutti [246]

  5. Cassie of Sydney says:

    ” the Executive Council of Australian Jewry”

    Doesn’t represent all Australian Jewry. There’s a schism in the community precisely because of organisations like this.

  6. Old Lefty says:

    When Sullivan bloviates about ‘the laity’ or ‘lay people’ being heard, he means himself and his bureaucratic mates peddling a dispirting mix of 1970s pop psychology and pop sociology. Where is Jesus Christ in all this? An obscure, rarely to be mentioned mythological proto-hippie who has to be edited to remove the reactionary, neanderthal prejudices of his time.

  7. C.L. says:

    ‘Reconciliation is a personal act, and no one can impose it upon an entire society.’ Fratelli Tutti [246]

    Killer quote, Franx.

  8. Christine says:

    Our Yes votes are needed.
    Then Christians will be applauded?
    Re voting decisions, I don’t want to hear one homily, one order or one plea.

    During the Covid panic, Church leaders folded; shut their doors.
    “Be not afraid” went out the window.

    Their earnest words – solidarity/moral imperative/neglect/needy –
    sound hollow now.

    Our bishops might find themselves feted by the leftists, fleetingly.
    There is that.


  9. Entropy says:

    The left just uses them as useful idiots

  10. Nos_Pullum says:

    I clicked through the link to the Guardian column Sullivan wrote when Cardinal Pell died and his final line was about “.. a church of, for and by the people”.

    Doesn’t sound very religious does it. You would have thought God might get some credit somewhere (not to mentioned a capital C for Church).

    Kind of says everything about what he really believes doesn’t it. A basically secular organisation that reflects his own world view.

  11. NFA says:

    Also from the Pell article, Sullivan is chair of Concerned Catholics Canberra Goulburn.

    Aren’t they part of the ‘concerned catholics of Tasmania’ modernity mob?

  12. Old Lefty says:

    Yes, NFA. If they have their way (and they have been running many of the education and welfare bureaucracies for years), the future will be bureaucratic, philistine and secularist.

  13. NFA says:

    Oh No!

    Good catholic Andrews resigns.

    What will Victoria do???!!!!

  14. NFA says:

    Thanks Old Lefty.

  15. Rabz says:

    Concerned Catholics Canberra Goulburn

    Have they expressed any concern about the Calvary Hospital resumption by the ACT clown council?

    Presumably not.

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