ReconciliationSaturday 5.15 - 5.45 pm
EIGHTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY/19th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C)
11 August 2019
FROM THE ADMINISTRATOR
This week, I bring to your attention the following notices:
Charitable Works Fund Parish Appeal
These envelopes are still available and donations will be gratefully received.
New Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross: Mgr Carl Reid, 68, and his wife Barbara, arrived on Wednesday 7 August. They will be living at Homebush temporarily, in a house provided by the Archdiocese, while they settle in and get their bearings. It seems that he will administer the Australian Ordinariate (which also has two small congregations in Japan) from Sydney. Subject to the 2020 Parish reorganisation, there should be no major changes to Newtown parish or its administration as a result of Mgr Reid’s appointment; the Ordinariate is quite separate from the Archdiocese. Mgr Reid is to be installed in a ceremony at the Cathedral on Tuesday 27 August 2019 at 7 p.m.
The Abortion Legislation. Last weekend I gave a short talk at all the Masses in relation to the proposed legislation decriminalising abortion – the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019. In the course of the talk, I spoke of the human embryo or foetus not being accorded legal personhood until it is completely ‘extruded’ from the mother’s womb. I have been informed that my use of this word was regarded as offensive by at least one person in the congregation. The word, however, is precisely the word used in the formulation of the common law which is applicable to this situation. The common law states that ‘if any part of the child…remained unextruded when the child was killed as it was being born, a child of murder or manslaughter could not traditionally be sustained’ (cf. Bates, P., ‘Legal Criteria for Distinguishing Between Live and Dead Human Foetuses and New Born Children’, (1983) 6 UNSW Law Journal 144-151 at 145). The point is that until the child is completed extruded from the mother’s womb, it does not receive the protection of the law regarding infanticide or homicide but only the law regarding abortion. Now, under the proposed legislation, a child not fully extruded does not receive any protection at all. Yes, I agree that the word has an ugly ring to it and, given what it is dealing with, that is not surprising. It is, however, the technical legal word with its own precise legal meaning and, therefore, in this discussion, must be used for the sake of accuracy and precision. As I said in the talk, it is all a grim business.
Further on the Matter of Abortion. The Archbishop has issued a Pastoral Letter lamenting the passage of this legislation in the Lower House of New South Wales and thanking Members who spoke against the Bill and the thousands of people who demonstrated and participated in prayer vigils, including the round-the-clock vigil at the Cathedral.
Petition. Further, the Archbishop has requested that Parishioners be invited to sign a Petition addressed to the Upper House asking it to reject the legislation. The Archbishop has written:
I ask that the petition be available for parishioners to sign at Masses over the next two weekends, and returned promptly to the Archdiocese and in any event, by no later than Tuesday, 20 August 2019 so that petitions can be collated, counted and presented to the Legislative Council. Our Life, Family and Outreach team will be helping to co-ordinate volunteers to assist in parishes. If you have any enquiries, please contact Monica Doumit, Director of Public Affairs and Engagement, on 0417 102 103 or email@example.com.
I ask you also to continue to pray that the bill will be defeated, and that a civilisation of life and love will prevail.
It seems that we are living in very challenging times. Many of us are coming to the painful realisation that the mores of modern Australian society no longer correspond with the Christian moral vision. Many if not the majority of our citizens support the recent changes in our law regarding marriage, euthanasia, and now abortion. They do so with the intention of righting wrongs and relieving suffering. Many other members of our community believe, however, that we have naively accepted changes to the law which will have far reaching and destructive unintended consequences.
It is also difficult not the think that we Christians are no longer welcome in our own society and that we are being pushed to the margins. Many Christians feel excluded by the militant promotion of practices and values which are antithetical to the Christian conscience. There is a deep sense of a loss of community because these are opposing points of view which of their nature cannot be compromised. Moreover, there seems to be pressure to impose in these matters a strict uniformity. The expression of differing opinions is now ruthlessly suppressed. In the future, Christians will have to be sure of what they believe and strong in their affirmation of their beliefs, notwithstanding efforts to silence them.
Fr Richard Waddell