Message from Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay, following the Result of the National Marriage Postal Survey
Bishop Tarabay: “The truth does not change with time. The truth withstands social changes and trends.”
16 November 2017
While I am naturally disappointed by the result of the National Marriage Postal Survey on changing the legal definition of marriage announced yesterday, I respect the decision of the Australian people.
As I said in a message few weeks ago, “the truth does not change with time. The truth withstands social changes and trends.” And nothing will change our belief that marriage is a special union between a man and a woman, a holy sacrament blessed by God. A change in civil law does not change the Catholic understanding of the nature of marriage.
We respect the dignity of every person and our ministries and services are available to all individuals who need them, regardless of their sexual orientation. Everybody is welcome to our Churches and communities.
As I write this message, the Upper House of the Australian Parliament is debating a bill to legalise same-sex marriage. The result of this survey should not be a reason to curtail basic freedoms and especially parents’ rights to have a say in school programs taught to their children. It is our hope that the laws will protect freedoms of speech and religion, defend parents’ rights, and protect Australian kids from being exposed to radical sex and gender education. This is obviously a concern shared by at least 4.8 million Australians who voted against the redefinition of marriage.
I would like to thank the hundreds of Maronite Australians who worked tirelessly over the past weeks to defend marriage and to all the donors who supported the campaign. Your efforts will not go unrewarded. Although you were attacked or portrayed in a negative light, you continued to defend your beliefs and values. You have raised awareness about the possible ramifications of changing the definition of marriage. I wholeheartedly thank you for the role you have played.
We will continue to stand for the truth, even if we are the last people standing. Our commitment to serve and protect families is unwavering.
We renew our trust in the Lord who has protected his Church throughout the centuries and we look to the future with Christian hope praying that our children will grow up in a society that upholds values and protects freedoms.