A columnist for the Australian newspaper and speechwriter to former Liberal Prime Minister John Howard, Pearson died in his Adelaide home aged 61.
In a statement released on Saturday night, Opposition Leader Tony Abbot said he “valued Christopher’s counsel and his wisdom”.
“I suspect he never fully appreciated the impact he had on others and the sense of gratitude we have for him. Australia will miss him,” Abbot said.
In September 2009 Pearson wrote on his difficulty reconciling his homosexuality with his Catholic faith, having converted ten years earlier, and his decision to become celibate.
“I could never have been happy as a gay Christian – with or without a rainbow sash – because it always seemed to me a contradiction in terms. There was no getting around the fact the New Testament said we were all meant to be chaste or monogamously married and I had reluctantly concluded that St Paul was right about homosexual sex,” Pearson wrote in the Australian.
A gay man who was staunchly opposed to same-sex marriage, Pearson wrote in 2010 that “the most obvious thing about the arguments in support of same-sex marriage is their shallowness”.