A senior Queensland Anglican leader has announced the creation of a new advocacy group focused on voicing a more progressive Christian message than outspoken conservative religious lobbyists.
Dean of St John’s Cathedral, the Very Reverend Dr Peter Catt (pictured) started A Progressive Christian Voice Australia (APCV) in Brisbane last week.
A need for Australians to understand that conservative lobbyists do not speak for all Christians was a primary motivation behind the group’s creation.
Catt told the Star Observer that the aim of APCV was not to be combative with groups such as the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), but rather to provide another religious voice in public debates.
“It is an accident of history that [the ACL] have become the only voice,” he said.
“It is time for others to ensure that other Christian voices are being heard.
“The real concern I have is that their position is being seen as the ‘Christian’ position, when other evidence suggests that it is, in fact, a minority view.”
Catt has previously spoken out in favour of marriage equality, telling a federal parliamentary enquiry that recognising same-sex unions wouldn’t impact upon any other union and the refusal to recognise all unions was an “inherent injustice”.
Fellow progressive Christian leader, Maryborough Priest Father Paul Kelly, who spearheaded a campaign to end the state’s “gay panic” defence, has welcomed the creation of APCV.
“It is true that if people only saw and heard from ultra-conservative or fundamentalist groups, it would not give a full picture of the true breadth of the Christian perspective.” Kelly told the Star Observer.
Kelly said he shares Catt’s concern that the ACL have a disproportionate amount of representation and sway.
“These conservative groups are getting a much bigger airplay than the number of people they represent,” he said.
“It is undoubted that conservatives should be entitled to believe what their faith tells them, but the whole thing runs into problems if they do not seem to give others the same respect even if they do not hold those values themselves.”
The ACL did not respond to requests for comment.