LGBTI advocates have called a Catholic Archbishop’s decision to ban a priest from speaking at a conference over his views on marriage equality “deeply hypocritical”.
“During the marriage equality debate Archbishop Porteous regularly claimed that his free speech was being stifled and that marriage equality should be discussed freely,” said Croome.
“But now he openly admits to silencing a well-respected priest, Father Frank Brennan, at a conference in Hobart seemingly because Father Brennan supports marriage equality.
“Archbishop Porteous only cares about free speech when he is the one talking.
“From now on it will be impossible to take anything Archbishop Porteous says about free speech seriously.
“The Archbishop’s action is deeply hypocritical and I call on him to apologise for silencing Father Brennan.”
Head of Catholic Services Australia, Father Brennan had been invited to speak at a CatholicCare Tasmania conference in February.
A spokesperson for the Archdiocese confirmed that Porteous had banned him from attending.
“Archbishop Porteous addressed the conference on the issue of marriage,” said the spokesperson.
“His Grace felt it was inappropriate for Father Brennan to speak at the conference, due to his public position regarding same-sex marriage.”
During the marriage equality debate, Father Brennan had argued Catholic priests should be allowed to vote on same-sex marriage as a matter of conscience.
Former Catholic priest Paul Collins said the Archbishop was out of touch, and that many Catholic Church officials had voted Yes in the marriage equality postal survey.
“It is not as though Frank were some raging radical,” said Collins.
Catholic bishops do have the power to ban people from speaking on church grounds in their Archdiocese.