Message from Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay on Marriage
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In a few weeks, all Australians will be asked to cast their vote on whether to change the Marriage Act to include same-sex marriage. The postal vote will run from the 12th of September to the 7th of November 2017.
Many people believe that redefining marriage won’t affect them. Redefining marriage has far reaching consequences and will affect everybody. It is therefore important that you have your say by voting.
It is unfortunate that the suggested laws will not protect schools, teachers, church agencies or employees, business owners, and social service organisations from prosecution before the courts. A redefinition of marriage will have a major impact on freedom of speech and religion, and a radical change on sex-education in schools.
We strongly believe that every human being is created in the image of God and loved by Him. Because of this, every man, woman and child has great dignity and worth which can never be taken away. This includes those who experience same-sex attraction. They must be treated with respect, sensitivity, and love.
The Catholic Church teaches and believes that God is the author of marriage. Christ raised the matrimonial covenant between man and woman to a sacrament “in which God helps the spouses live out the dignity and duties of their state” and so work out their salvation with Him.i For these reasons the Church can say that marriage is not only a natural institution but also ‘holy’.ii
It is our Christian duty over the coming weeks to inform our friends and family about the consequences of redefining marriage, and letting them know that a vote against changing the definition of marriage is not a vote against people with same-sex attraction. It is a vote to protect marriage as a unique and sacred union between one man and one woman and to preserve our religious freedom and protect our rights to free speech.
For more information and resources about this topic, I encourage you to visit marriagealliance.com.au .
In Christ’s Love,
+ Antoine-Charbel Tarabay
Maronite Bishop of Australia