Archbishop to Address Threats to Religious Freedom in 2015 Acton Lecture

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
9 Oct 2015

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP

How important is religious liberty and freedom of conscience in contemporary Australia? Will freedom of conscience and religion become increasingly under threat in our society, particularly in relation to the push to redefine marriage in Australian law? These questions and more will be addressed by the Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, Archbishop of Sydney, for the 2015 Acton Lecture hosted by the Centre for Independent Studies on Wednesday, 14 October.

Long seen as bedrock foundations of the democratic-liberal state and the common good, recent events have shown that the protection of one's freedom of conscience and religion is being threatened more and more in society. With this in mind, the Archbishop's lecture, titled "Should Bakers be Forced to Bake Cakes for Same Sex Weddings?", will reflect on how we resolve competing claims of conscience and law, and will defend the continuing importance of conscience and religious liberty in democracy today.

Archbishop Fisher OP will also address whether religious liberty fosters social cohesion and mutual respect in a diverse society such as Australia.

The Centre for Independent Studies has been hosting the annual Acton Lecture event since 1999, with the first lecture being delivered by then-Archbishop of Melbourne, now-Cardinal George Pell, on the topic "Catholicism and the Architecture of Freedom." Since the inaugural event, the Acton Lecture series has addressed the important topic of  religious liberty and the law several times, with a host of distinguished speakers including Father Robert Sirico, Dr. Ryan Messmore, the Hon. Dyson Heydon AC QC, Senator David Coltart and  George Weigel.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP's lecture on Wednesday 14 October will be the 15th Acton Lecture hosted by the Centre for Independent Studies, and is expected to be a well-attended event.

More details are below:
• Lecture: Should Bakers be Forced to Bake Cakes for Same Sex Weddings? - Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP
• Date: 14 October 2015
• Time: 6.00pm - 7.30pm
• Venue: The Centre for Independent Studies, Level 4, 38 Oxley Street, St Leonards
• Cost: Members: $10 I Non-Members $15
• Website:

Listen to the talk here.