On Tuesday, Archbishop Peter Comensoli of Melbourne, the spokesperson for the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference on religious freedom, responded to an announcement by the Shadow Attorney General of the introduction of a bill by the Opposition. The bill seeks to repeal exemptions in place in the Sex Discrimination Act.
The exemption is not used by Catholic schools to discriminate against students or to expel students based on “sexual orientation or gender identity”, the Archbishop said. Rather, “these exemptions are important to us because schools want to maintain the capacity to teach a Christian understanding of sexual ethics and marriage according to our faith tradition. Our right to continue to teach Catholic beliefs is threatened by proposals to repeal existing faith-based exemptions for religious schools and institutions”.
Furthermore, having the exemption in place protects the Church against claims that its beliefs are discriminatory. “We need to have the assurance that we can pursue our religious mission without legal risk”, Archbishop Comensoli said….
The Bishops of #Australia have responded to the Shadow Attorney General's announcement of a bill to repeal an exemption for religious schools required for an authentic presentation of Catholic moral ethics regarding sexualiity. https://t.co/Fdb8HbBcYf
— Vatican News (@VaticanNews) November 28, 2018