Christmas sermon angers

Christmas sermon angers

A Catholic priest has angered parishioners by incorporating anti-same-sex marriage messages into a Christmas service, while Cardinal George Pell has indicated he may meet with Australian Marriage Equality (AME) to discuss his church’s campaign against marriage equality.

Father Pat Cassidy encouraged parishioners to contact politicians to oppose same-sex marriage three times during a Christmas children’s mass at St. Patrick’s Church in the Queensland town of Gympie.

On the last occasion this occurred after children had been encouraged to come to the front of the church to hear a special Christmas message.

The comments reportedly lead to arguments among parishioners while a same-sex couple attending the mass with family walked out.

Brisbane woman, Leah Scullen told the Gympie Times newspaper that she had decided against converting to her husband’s faith after being shocked by a “discriminatory and hateful” message in a mass for children.

“I don’t want my children to be exposed to that,” said Scullen.

Cassidy told the paper he had deliberately chosen Christmas to get the message across to people who did not attend church at other times of the year.

Meanwhile, the head of the Catholic Church in Australia has written to AME defending his church’s political campaign against same-sex marriage.

“It is entirely appropriate for priests to support and encourage the people in their parishes to take part in this consultation about the meaning of marriage,” wrote Pell.

“In doing so, they are continuing a proud tradition of working with lay people and members of religious orders to defend important values and the rights of others – in this case, the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, which has been significantly eroded and constrained wherever same-sex marriage has been legalised.”

Pell did not accept that no church had been compelled to marry a same-sex couple anywhere in the world where same-sex marriage had been legalised as a guarantee that it would not happen here.

Pell wrote that he was “open to considering” a meeting with AME, and suggested that he would bring a heterosexual married couple along as AME intended to bring a same-sex couple who had married overseas.

But he ruled out asking clergy to stop lobbying parishioners on the issue.

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14 responses to “Christmas sermon angers”

  1. Please don’t call Geeorge Pell the Leader of the Catholic Church in Australia,
    HE IS NOT. He IS leader of the Catholic Church in Sydney. We do
    have a spokesperson for the Catholic Church and it is NOT george

  2. I will deliver all the letters opposing marriage euqlaity to the PM herself-
    IF- Pell also demands a royal commission into child rape in the church

  3. I understand that the service went down like a lead-balloon, Gympie is no longer the redneck town it used to be, though there are still a few dinosaurs roaming the streets apparently.

    We have been living as an openly gay couple in a small town 30 minutes from Gympie, and I’m pleased to say that we have never experienced a single instance of homophobic unpleasantness in the seven years we have lived here. Take heart, progress is being made in rural Queensland,despite isolated unpleasant incidents like those in your report.

  4. People always tell me God is about love and acceptance. So why is the church always about hate and exclusion? No wonder young Australians are increasingly turning away from religion.

  5. I suspect this is the same Fr Cassidy my family had over for meals many a time whilst he was a curit at sacred heart booval – in which case this priest would be well and truly a very old bloke indeed – he was a ycw chaplin and I remember him fondly standing up for many social justice issues – as a gay man I wonder what Pat would think of me today – I felt that we were friends…. I would be somewhat uncomfortable to met him today if indeed he is the same priest.

  6. I personally do not like the idea that churches have political power, but for as long as religion exists, so will that fact.

    I would like to respectfully disagree with the assertion that the last time religion and state mixed was Germany. There are many other examples of religion and state mixing extant in the world today. Many Arab nations, The recent pride issue in Moscow was a church-in-state problem, And I’m sure that some theocracies actually manage to survive peacefully and so we don’t hear about them.

    On the flip side: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but shall have eternal life.” John 3:16. Christmas, a time for celebrating the arrival Son that God gave, is not the time for an anti-gay message, or any divisive message. Christmas is about family and togetherness, and about Hope. Hope that tomorrow will be better, the Hope the Christchild brings. God’s gift to humanity in the form of his Son was Hope for the future.

    If you believe that tarnishing one of the two holiest holidays of the year with talk of marriage reform, oppression, and hatred – particularly remembering that this is the one time of year you *won’t* know your congregation – perhaps your calling as a man of the cloth should be reconsidered.

  7. Congratulations to Australian Marriage Equality for taking the fight for gay rights to where it is needed – the churches. Unfortunately AME are wasting their time if they think meeting with Pell will soften his position on gay marriage. Pell is a career bureaucrat who will simply use the media coverage to preach his gay-hate message. Gay rights activists need to be far more confrontational on this issue. The odd protest rally outside Pell’s official residence would be a good start.

  8. Is it any wonder that the Catholic church is so hated? I have never been a religious person but, I was raised to be a good, decent, honest and tolerant person. I am a 25 year old gay man and I have never come across any other institution that fosters as much hate as the churches. How is it that the Catholic church can be so intolerant of same-sex marriages but are all too happy harbor priests and sex offenders who assault young boys. I am constantly disgusted by this church, and for a message like this to be imposed on people celebrating Christmas should have many of its followers hanging their heads in shame.
    This is a new age: one of tolerance and acceptance. I believe in same-sex marriage for all those out there who want to be granted the same rights as straight couples, but I cannot help but think to myself – why would anyone want to be a part of an institution where messages of hate and intolerance are an everyday part of its teachings? Even on Christmas!

    I am sure this is not what Jesus had planned.

    Love knows no bounds.

  9. It is imperative that a forum for people who have been brought up on Christian/Muslim homes challenge the leadership on the fundamental human right –
    to be safe (physically and psychologically)
    to be able to express an opinion that may or may not be the ‘norm’
    to have equal access to services – both private and public
    to be educated

    Australia has ratified the UN Charter on the rights of the child, women, anti discrimination and people with disabilities. It is the task of all members of the community to ensure that all members of our neighbourhood are able to enjoy this freedom.

    Away from the rhetoric is hard statistical evidence of people without hope or the ability to see a future for themselves taking their own lives as they are unable to attain the standards set by their spiritual leaders.

    Many do not realise that these spiritual leaders are themselves hypocrites; setting standards which they do not attain. History and our courts have revealed the depth and depravity occurring within the confines of the spiritual ‘house of trust’. The gap between the leader and the follower is an impasse which has no physical or psychological bridge. It is into this gap which the follower falls, suffering mental illness or more soundly still choosing to end their own lives rather than bridging the gap.

    The church I grew up in was torn apart by the sexual abuse of various members of the team of leaders: some who perpetrated the acts, some who were aware and did nothing, some who acted solo – by Divine Right – to abuse the trust of young, insecure, unstable, needy members of the church community. In the late ’80’s it was not cool to consider that some of the abused may have been gay. Of those abused and their circle of friends, most suffered at least 20 years of psychological trauma. Relationships came and went, individuals became ‘lost souls’ not able to focus on work or study, families were destroyed. No lessons were learned – the same church is still a ‘closed shop’.

    Chatting with a young ‘Freedom_2be’ person recently I was overjoyed that he had survived his 2 suicide attempts. This world did not lose a beautiful, caring, loving altruistic young man who had broken free from the shackles of childhood religion. We don’t think this is a serious issue until occurs to one of our close friends and over time we can border with the issue with the trauma, with the heart ache. Until we have still in the shoes of one being abused we have not the right to challenge, belittle or mock the loss of identity, fear of failure, or experiences they face.

    Furthermore, his family (4 years on) are now fully supportive, and accept him for who he is; a young gay Australian.

  10. I’m quite happy to play hard-ball as well and contact politicans to ask for a ban on Catholic clergy from being anywhere near children.

  11. I am tired of this bullshit from Pell. None of my family would trust a child with him, let alone have him as any sort of decent spiritual guide. His own history is telling. I can see why shortly, the last Catholic Church, will close its doors in Australia. There is only 1600 priest left and almost all are about 68. I think Pell is doing the Catholic Church a great disservice.

    I think Pell disgraces good and decent Catholics everywhere by trying involve in the Church in politics. I have known many good and decent Catholics, some of whom were priest, who are just as frustrated as we are by his hate. The last time the Church got involved in the State, was Germany. Pell in my view is on a dark slippery slope, but this is the same person who supported child sex offenders so why would I expect anything different. No petition for mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse Pell? Oh that is right you yourself were accused, but we will not go down that road will we?

    The Nazi Bishops new of the extent of the holocaust by 1942, but continued to support Hitler. Millions of people were killed with the spiritual support of Catholic leaders. Good priest, including Catholic Priest, who stood up to this, were murdered or vanished.

    You know there used to be a time when jobs said “No Catholics Need Apply”. There was a saying “Dirty Catholics”. Thankfully we have moved on. It is sad to see the head of the Catholic Church trying to create hate against us good and decent people. He appears to me to of learned nothing from history. Here Pell is trying to impose his lifestyle over people who are not Catholic. Do we have a right not be his type of Catholic? Mardi Gras has more people go to it on a bad year then the numbers in all the Catholic Church congregations in Australia.

    Further why is Julia Gillard allowing this hate to happen? If the Pell wants the Catholic Church to be a political lobby group then they can bloody well pay tax.

    Is it time we had a petition about the unhealthy mixture of Church and State in Australia?