Catholic Archbishop of Sydney on ‘Alex Greenwich’s Kill Bill’

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher has released a statement about the assisted suicide legislation being introduced into NSW Parliament by independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich:

“There’s never a good time to introduce laws that sanction the killing of vulnerable human beings such as the terminally ill, elderly, frail and suffering. But to introduce such a bill in the middle of a pandemic and amidst lockdowns adversely affecting the lives and livelihoods of millions seems especially insensitive.

The people of NSW are currently accepting significant restrictions on their personal autonomy in order to protect those most at risk – particularly the elderly. In response to the latest wave of COVID-19, we’ve had a month of lockdown already and more is likely. Many of us have been unable to visit our elderly parents at home, in hospital or in aged care. Our sick and elderly have already suffered 17 months of increasing isolation and right now that is being intensified. Meanwhile, people are losing their jobs, businesses are going under, families are under the pressures of schooling and working from home, people’s movements are severely restricted, and depression rates are up. The last thing we need to hear from our leaders in this situation is a pro-suicide message or any suggestion that the elderly and dying no longer deserve the resources or protections given to the rest of us.

The NSW Government is rightly focused on getting us safely vaccinated and out of lockdown as soon as possible, and leading the process of social and economic recovery.

The NSW Health System is rightly focused on keeping the elderly and sick safe, and ensuring the system can cope with the increasing pressures upon it. Our health professionals do not want a bruising controversy that will further disrupt their already very pressured work environment.

In the face of our present emergency precious parliamentary time and health resources should not be diverted to other causes, and especially not to a bill that would enable a small group of highly autonomous people to make their doctors complicit in their suicide. The state-sanctioned killing of the sick, elderly and frail of New South Wales is the last thing we need right now! I call on the Government to keep us focused on the present challenges and once they have been met, let us focus on medicine at its best and not its most lethal.

Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP
Archbishop of Sydney.”

Source (PDF).

Related:

NSW assisted suicide bid must fail – Australian Christian Lobby, 15 December 2020.

Assisted suicide opposed – SydneyAnglicans.net, 08 September 2017.

Palliative Care It’s More Than You Think – Palliative Care Australia.

A significant apology from the UK

“As the ominous tide of cancel culture continues to rise in North America, Europe, and other parts of the world (such as Australia), it is all the more important to point to significant victories on behalf of freedom of speech.

We can now report on one such victory from the U.K., a victory that is not just legal but also morally substantive. Put another way, what was said by way of apology was just as important as the victory won in court. …”

– Michael Brown at Christian Post reports on an apology from Blackpool Council in the UK. (Link via Anglican Mainstream.)

Methodist Church and the way of the world

“Following prayerful consideration by the whole Church, the Methodist Conference has voted to confirm provisional resolutions on the principles or qualities of good relating, understanding of cohabitation and same sex marriages conducted on Methodist premises or by Methodist office-holders.

A report on marriage and relationships, ‘God in Love Unites Us’, was received by the Conference in 2019 and the local District Synods were asked to consider the provisional resolutions and report back to this year’s Conference which is being held this week in Birmingham.  The Conference received a report on the results of the local conferring which showed that 29 out of the 30 Synods confirmed support for the provisional resolutions.

The Revd Sonia Hicks, President of the Conference, prayed ahead of the main debate on Wednesday morning in Birmingham, asking that the Conference’s ‘words may be imbibed with your grace, with tenderness from on high.’

A range of views were expressed on the resolutions, in particular on cohabitation and same sex marriages. The Revd Dr Jonathan Hustler, spoke to the Conference acknowledging the ‘depth of feeling, pain and anxiety that there is’ with a commitment to work across the Connexion with District Chairs to heal divisions. …”

– from this news release from the Methodist Conference in the UK.

The discussions can be seen here – scroll down to “Wednesday 30 June 2021 – Session 3 14:15 – 16:15”.

Living in Love and Faith — a Quick Guide

At Church Society’s website George Crowder gives a brief introduction to the Living in Love and Faith process. He encourages everyone to be involved – but will the Bible’s message be heeded by those evaluating the responses?

Related:

The Church of England’s guide to hearing God’s voice through the Bible, according to LLF – Andrew Symes at Anglican Mainstream.

Handling the Bible in Love and Faith – Kirsten Birkett, Church Society.

St Helen’s Bishopsgate announces “Broken Partnership” with House of Bishops – ACL.

Should the church ‘let the world set the agenda’ on ethics and doctrine?

“Paul Bayes, currently the Church of England’s bishop in Liverpool, has made his clearest call yet for the Church to change its understanding of marriage and sexuality, in his address to the MoSAIC group

He does not disguise the reasons for his views, where he thinks the Church should go, and what that would mean. Along the way, he makes some extraordinary comments for any Christian, let alone for someone appointed as a bishop…”

Ian Paul at Psephizo takes a look at an address by Bishop Paul Bayes given to the National MOSAIC (Movement of Supporting Anglicans for an Inclusive Church) Conference on the weekend.

See also:

Albert Mohler speaks with Carl Trueman on ‘The Triumph of the Modern Self’

A conversation with Dr. Carl Trueman on the modern self and the sexual revolution.

‘The Marriage Madness in Methodism’

“The annual Conference of the Methodist Church of Great Britain is meeting in Birmingham this week and next, other things it will debate a report entitled ‘God in Love Unites Us’.

The report will be endorsed, unless something spectacular (or miraculous?) happens, as it has already been approved by 29 of the 30 Methodist synods.The report recommends that the Methodist Church approve of cohabitation and extend its understanding of marriage to ‘two people’ rather than ‘a man and a woman’. …

Rather than regard Scripture as authoritative, the report tells us that it relies for ‘authoritative commentary’ on sexuality from the World Health Organisation (WHO) which it naively describes as ‘independent’. And among other things, the report commends ‘queer theology’; tell us that sex is assigned at birth, based on ‘perceptions’ of biology; and that sexual desire is a part of the wider desire for just and loving relationships. …”

David Robertson writes about the Methodist Conference in the UK.

Related:

Albert Mohler speaks with Carl Trueman on ‘The Triumph of the Modern Self’

A conversation with Dr. Carl Trueman on the modern self and the sexual revolution.

Fined for declining to make a “transgender cake”

“A Colorado District Court has handed down a decision imposing a penalty on a cake-maker for declining to provide a cake designed to celebrate a ‘gender transition’, in Scardina v Masterpiece Cakeshop Inc (Denver District Ct, Co; 19CV32214, 15 June 2021).…”

– Neil Foster at Law and Religion Australia on a new, yet familiar, challenge.

The Inside Story

“The values of liberal democracy overlap with Judaeo-Christian values, both of which are currently under threat. We have the latter values thanks to the Decalogue in the Tanakh, the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels, and the admonitions of the apostles recorded in their letters.

These values include due acknowledgement and love for the Almighty, care of neighbour, respect for governing authorities, lifelong commitment in marriage, responsible upbringing of children, and the expectation of working to provide for the family. …”

Bishop Paul Barnett AM shares this short but enlightening paper on the origins of the underpinnings of western civilisation.

Image: Aquila Press.

Belief that sex is immutable can be a protected belief

“The view that biological sex is immutable and that a man cannot become a woman is, of course, controversial today. But in a very welcome decision, the UK Employment Appeal Tribunal in Forstater v CGD Europe [2021] UKEAT 0105_20_1006 (10 June 2021) has now overturned a previous single judge decision, and ruled that such a belief is “worthy of protection” as a “philosophical belief” under UK discrimination law.

The decision, while not based on religious belief, will have important implications for protection of religious freedom in the UK, and hopefully in other parts of the world as well. …”

– Neil Foster at Law and Religion Australia shares a UK decision which coincides with Religious Freedom Weekend in Australia.

Talking Freely Podcast – Dr Rory Shiner

With Religious Freedom Weekend coming up, in the latest podcast from Freedom for Faith, Dr Rory Shiner speaks about secularism.

Other episodes of the Talking Freely Podcast can be found here.

(Image: The Pastor’s Heart.)

 

The religious freedom crisis – with Freedom for Faith’s Patrick Parkinson

“Religious Freedom is being increasingly marginalised in Australia and across the western world.

There’s freedom for worship, freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of conscience.

Australia’s Morrison government was moving to protect religious freedoms.  But all this was put on hold by last year’s pandemic.

Freedom for Faith’s Chair Professor Patrick Parkinson talks with Dominic Steele about his hopes for bipartisan legislation.

Plus there’s a call for all Christians to be involved in this weekend’s Religious Freedom Weekend.”

– Watch or listen at The Pastor’s Heart.

Can employees be ordered to support controversial views in email signatures?

“This question has been raised by a report that a Victorian council has required its employees to add a graphic to their email addresses featuring a “rainbow flag”. One employee is reported as saying:

the rainbow flag can look like moral support for identity politics or sexualities prohibited by many religions in this multicultural area

This is an important issue which will present challenges to employees of organisations which are determined to make political statements on various causes. …”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster looks at a question of growing importance.

Bishop of Gippsland supports Synod motion endorsing extra-marital relationships

“The Diocese of Gippsland, at its recent synod, has voted to change its own version of Faithfulness in Service, the national church’s guidelines for standards in ministry, to remove the classical definition of chaste relationships (marriage between a man and a woman) and replace it with a more ambiguous definition of ‘committed and monogamous relationship’.

The resolution came from Bishop-in-Council and was endorsed by Bishop Richard Treloar in his Presidential Address. …”

– Report from davidould.net.

See also:

Bishop Treloar’s Presidential Address, 2021. (PDF file.)

The Gippsland Anglican, June 2021. (PDF file.)

A statement from GAFCON Australia: (June 01 2021, on Facebook)

“Gafcon Australia

Please find below a Statement from Gafcon Australia concerning a resolution of the synod of the Diocese of Gippsland.

In May 2021, the Synod of the Diocese of Gippsland made the following resolution:

1. In accordance with Section 7 of the Professional Standards Act 2017 and subject to the qualification that:
– Clauses 7.2 and 7.4 of Faithfulness in Service are to be understood and applied in the context that a member of the clergy or church worker who is in a committed and monogamous relationship with another person is not to be regarded as being in breach of Clauses 7.2 and 7.4 only because that relationship does not have the status of a marriage solemnised according to an Anglican marriage rite;
– Faithfulness in Service (November 2016 version) is otherwise affirmed and adopted as the Code of Conduct for observance by Clergy and Church workers in the Diocese.

2. The registrar shall amend the version of Faithfulness in Service published on the Diocesan website by inserting the qualification below the heading “Preamble” to section 7 of Faithfulness in Service and include the following note: –
(Faithfulness in Service was qualified by this paragraph when adopted by the Diocese of Gippsland as the Code of Conduct for observance by Clergy and Church workers in the Diocese.)

It grieves the Board of Gafcon Australia that the Bishop-in-Council of the Diocese of Gippsland promoted a motion to their Synod, which amended the operation of Faithfulness in Service, the National Code of conduct for church workers, in their Diocese.

The effect of this resolution is to sanction sexual relationships outside of marriage, as the Anglican Church of Australia has received it and continues to uphold. It is regrettable that by removing the possibility of any disciplinary action against a member of the clergy or lay church worker in such a sexual relationship with another person (whether of the same sex or opposite sex) the Diocese’s Code of Conduct is now in breach of the teaching of Scripture (Hebrews 13:4 Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral) and the teaching of marriage that our Church upholds.

Gafcon Australia supports those Anglicans in Gippsland who are likewise grieved by this development.

From the Board of Gafcon Australia.”

Image: Diocese of Gippsland.

Next Page →