GAY CATHOLICS TO HOLD PROTEST ACTION AT ST PATRICK'S CATHEDRAL,
MELBOURNE, SUNDAY AUGUST 31
'RETURN TO SENDER - WE REJECT DOCUMENT ON HOMOSEXUALITY'
activists, gay Catholics and students, parents and family will confront the
Catholic Church and Archbishop Denis Hart over the recent Vatican document
that denounced gay unions as "evil" and condemned legislation to recognise
leaders of the Gay Catholic group, the Rainbow Sash Movement and the
Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, the protest will involve a symbolic
return of the Vatican document marked "REJECTED", and a call for the Church
to follow Jesus teaching and offer gay people "Bread, Not Stones".
spokesperson, Michael Kelly, explained: "Jesus once said: 'What parent, if
your child asked for bread, would give him a stone?' In this document, we
have our answer. The Church has refused to offer gay people the "bread" of
love, welcome and justice - instead we get cold condemnation and stony
rejection, we get bigotry and prejudice dressed up as theology, we get
arrogant denunciations instead of dialogue and respect. It is time to say
enough ! We will not accept the cold stone of this document.
The Vatican document, issued on orders from the Pope on July 31, forbids ALL legal recognition of gay unions and demands that politicians seek to repeal it if it has been passed. It has sparked outrage among gay and civil rights groups around the world, who are alarmed that the Vatican is attempting to dictate how secular societies should treat their lesbian and gay citizens. "This document is a blatant attack on gay relationships and gay love" said Michael Kelly. "It denounces even basic legislation to support gay couples as the "legalisation of evil"; it demands that any type of "domestic partnership" legislation - as well as 'gay marriages' be banned. It even tells governments to find ways to "contain" gay relationships so that "public morality" and "young people" may be "protected".
is high time people of good will, including politicians, parents,
theologians and clergy of all faiths,
the widespread anger and concern this document has caused, Sunday's action
will include not just gay Catholics, but civil rights activists, academics,
university students and parents. Before the formal action at the Cathedral,
the gathering will be addressed in the Fitzroy Gardens by Dr Maria
Pallotta-Chiarolli, Senior Lecturer in Social Diversity and Health, at
Deakin University's School of Health Sciences, and Mr David McCarthy, of the
Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby.
nothing new about a wide range of people coming together to challenge the
Church on issues of justice", said Mr Kelly. "In the early 19th century,
when the Catholic hierarchy still supported slavery as part of the "natural
order" of society, it was a coalition of people of all faiths and none who
stood up for basic human freedom and dignity. The Vatican was wrong then,
and it is wrong now!
"We must stand up for human freedom and dignity. We must make a stand for love!" he concluded.
B Kelly. Spokesperson Rainbow Sash Movement