Cardinal Dew: A church should not be politicised

all lives matter

Cardinal John Dew the Archbishop of Wellington says the All Lives Matter sign was put up on the message board outside St Patrick’s church in Masterton without the knowledge of the parish priest who was away on leave.

“As Archbishop for the diocese, I do not support the placement of that sign. It should not have been put there,” he said.

“A church should not be politicised this way. A church should be a safe space for everyone, a place where everyone feels welcome without being confronted with politicised material that some could find unwelcoming or offensive.”

RNZ published a photograph which appears to show the message board had been vandalised.

Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson said the church did not seem to have been aware of the controversy surrounding the All Lives Matter slogan.

Patterson said she had not heard much from the community about the message.

“I haven’t had any phone calls around it but I would understand and certainly appreciate why people might feel strongly about the signage.”

“Lots of people have individual views on it.”

Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon said it would be “provocative” to post the phrase on a public noticeboard.

“The statement is politically loaded and has been used to justify ignoring racial disparities, such as the over-representation of African American communities in police shootings,” Foon said.

“The phrase is therefore associated with racial division and intolerance.”

“People have the right to freedom of expression. However, it is equally important for people to be thoughtful about how they express themselves, including how their expression impacts others.”


  • Supplied David McLoughlin
    Communications Adviser, NZ Catholic Bishops
    Te Huinga o ngā Pīhopa Katorika o Aotearoa
  • Image: Amber Craig
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