Australian Jesuit banned from speaking on same-sex marriage in Tasmania

An Australian Jesuit priest has been banned by the Catholic Archbishop of Hobart from speaking publicly about same-sex marriage in the archdiocese.

The ban was announced after Fr Frank Brennan SJ defended Catholics’ right to speak according to their conscience about the issue.

He had been invited to speak at a CatholicCare Tasmania conference in February.

Archbishop Julian Porteous says Brennan may not attend advertised speaking events because of his advocacy for religious freedom regarding same-sex marriage.

Porteous’s decision was met with surprise by former Catholic priest Paul Collins.

“It is not as though Frank were some raging radical, he is a person who runs all of the Catholic Church’s social services in the country,” he says.

Mr Collins says Porteous, who holds opposite views to Brennan regarding same-sex marriage, is out of touch with mainstream Catholics.

“Frank Brennan’s views on same-sex marriage are absolutely the views of the majority of Catholics in Australia. I voted yes,” he says.

“All the evidence points to the fact that the vast majority of Catholic’s voted ‘yes’ and a number of the other Catholic bishops voted ‘yes’.

Collins says Australia is a pluralistic democracy, “and in a pluralistic democracy, people are able to express their views in public.

“What it does is reinforce the notion that bishops live, somehow or other, in cloud-cuckoo-land.”


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