SYDNEY, Australia, July 15, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney denounced efforts to “bully” Australians into accepting same-sex “marriage”, as efforts to legalize it there ramp up in the wake of similar capitulations in the United States and Ireland.
Speaking to a packed congregation at a July 12 annual Marriage Mass, the archbishop said “powerful forces” are “determined to silence any opposition” and “bully us all into accepting the deconstruction and redefinition of a fundamental institution.”
Marriage is a “comprehensive bodily, psychological and spiritual union between a man and a woman whereby they become ‘one flesh’ and so found a family,” Fisher told his listeners, who included some 30 couples celebrating 50 and more years of marriage.
And it brings together “man and woman, sex and love, love and babies, parents and children.”
“To say this is not to criticize anyone,” he stated, adding that “we know and love others with same-sex attraction, who understandably want their friendships to last and be honoured,” as well as people whose marriages have failed, or who cannot bear children.
Marriage, Fisher stated, also bears witness to “our God-given mission to love not just with a self-serving, romantic, heart-shaped Valentine’s Day sort of love, but with a self-giving, redemptive, cross-shaped Easter Day sort of love.”
The prelate may have been taking a swipe with these words at the current Australian Marriage Equality campaign to legalize same-sex “marriage”, which shows supporters holding their hands in a heart shape – which is also AME’s logo.
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Fisher’s strong stance underscores the battle over same-sex “marriage” now roiling Australia, with AME claiming support of 442 organizations, 65 MPs and 37 senators and media accounts claiming public support of 70 percent.
The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference May 28 pastoral letter “Don’t Mess With Marriage” was protested by some parents and in some Catholic schools, with a few Sydney students lighting the letter on fire, reports Catholic News Service.
There also appears to be political brinksmanship around the issue, with Labor Party opposition leader Bill Shorten introducing a bill to legalize same-sex “marriage” on June 1, and Buzzfeed reporting June 30 that two Liberal backbenchers plan to co-sponsor a cross-party private member’s bill August 11 – evidently news to Shorten.
Liberal Prime Minister Tony Abbott is expected to face increasing pressure when MPs return to the House August 10 to allow a vote on legalizing same-sex “marriage.”
A Catholic opposed to homosexual “marriage,” Abbott must contend with lobbying both by the libertarian faction in his party and by his own sister, who is engaged to a woman, according to Reuters.
As Archbishop Fisher noted in his homily, “voices in our culture…write off as benighted and bigoted those who stand by marriage as traditionally understood.”
“Real marriage illuminates our understanding of the Christ-to-Church relationship,” Fisher said. “In turn, it strengthens our resolve to support marriages, so they really can be faithful, fruitful, final unions of people of opposite sex, while also supporting and loving people in other situations too.”
Archbishop Fisher’s homily can be read here.