Australian Catholic churches threaten to fire people who marry same-sex partners

Australian Catholic churches may fire teachers, nurses and other employees if same-sex marriage is legalized in Australia and they choose to marry their same-sex partners.

Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart announced the bold plans today (20 August) to warn the church’s 180,000 employees.

Church teachings state marriage is between a man and woman.

Hart said: ‘I would be very emphatic that our schools, our parishes exist to teach a Catholic view of marriage.

‘Any words or actions which work contrary to that would be viewed very seriously.

‘Our teachers, our parish employees are expected totally to uphold the Catholic faith and what we believe about marriage.

‘People have to see in words and in example that our teaching of marriage is underlined,’ he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Archbishop Hart also warned: ‘We shouldn’t be slipping on that.’

Australian Catholic church leaders also support Archbishop Hart’s comments.

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe said: ‘In accepting a role in a Catholic school, staff will recognise their responsibility to conduct themselves in such a way as not to undermine the fundamental ethos of the school.’

This includes adhering to the church’s stance on traditional marriage. He also believes the Catholic church should be able to enforce this on its employees.

Denis Hart’s record on human rights

Just last week, Archbishop Hart said he would risk going to jail instead of report incidences of child abuse within the church.

He believes anything said in the holy sacrament of confession is ‘of a higher order’ than the law.

It comes about after proposed changes in a report from the child sex abuse royal commission.

He said: ‘I believe [confession] is an absolute sacrosanct communication of a higher order that priests by nature respect,’ reports the Guardian.

‘We are admitting a communication with God is of a higher order.

‘It is a sacred trust.

‘[W]e believe it is most, most sacred and it’s very much part of us,’ he said.

Archbishop Hart also admitted he knew of complaints against abusive priests, but didn’t report it.

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