I was brought up as a devout Roman Catholic, but one of the reasons why I left the Church was because of what I perceived as being a lack of leadership. I mean, where’s someone like Thomas Beckett (as played by Richard Burton) when you really need him? Because the current moral ineptitude of some of the Labor Party’s most prominent leaders—who claim to be committed Catholics—is only a further confirmation that I made the right decision.
Consider, for example, Luke Foley, the NSW Opposition leader, who has been quoted as saying that his mother “instilled in him a triple faith in “the Labor Party, the Catholic Church and the Eastern Suburbs Rugby League Football Club”. And yet, Foley has recently pledged to decriminalise abortion while still claiming to be a committed Catholic. Can anyone see a problem here?
Unfortunately, though, Foley is not alone in failing to live up to the faith that he purports to profess. The Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, also identifies as being a practising Catholic, however, on his watch, some of the most far-reaching abortion laws in the world have been enacted in that state. Victoria is now being called by many the ‘dark state’.
As the following table illustrates, Andrews has been absolutely committed to legislating what, according to Roman Catholicism, is a mortal sin. Of particular concern is not only how the ‘overall total’ of abortions has almost tripled since the year 2000, but how many terminations resulted in ‘neonatal deaths’, that is, babies who are born alive and then left to die.
Or then there was last week’s decision in Queensland, led by Annastacia Palaszczuk, who—yep, you guessed it—was also raised a Catholic. What’s more, after the bill to decriminalise abortion had passed, the Deputy Labor leader Jackie Trad—who attended the Catholic secondary school, Lourdes Hill College—encouraged people to rejoice in a woman’s decision to terminate her own pregnancy. She tweeted:
The timing couldn’t have been worse, since Monday, October 15 was supposed to be International Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day, sponsored by Sands Australia. What’s more, as Miranda Devine (another Catholic) incisively argued:
The least the Queensland Labor government ought to do after ramming through the legislation is have the grace to respect the views of the 73 per cent of Queenslanders who are opposed to late-term abortion after 23 weeks, according to a YouGov Galaxy poll…
She didn’t explain the significance of the colour purple, but perhaps it was chosen because it is the official colour of International Women’s Day. Which is ironic, considering sex-selection abortions are among the biggest killers of girls in the world.
Well, at least there are still some in the Catholic Church who are willing to stand up for what they believe in! But what does it say of a political leader’s judgement—let alone character—when they’re overcome with ‘excitement’ at being able to facilitate the killing of unborn children? The response on Twitter, even from those who are pro-choice, was as follows:
Sadly, the Labor Party’s consistent practice of seeking to decriminalise abortion is emblematic of a broader political anomie. In short, many of our nation’s leaders have lost their moral compass and are guided more by opinion polls than their own ethical convictions.
All of which is to say, what is needed today is for the leadership in the Catholic Church to hold these religious hypocrites to account. Where are the church leaders like Archbishop Thomas A Beckett today? Someone who is willing to stand up and excommunicate the political leaders of the nation, even though it might cost them their reputations, careers, or even their very lives. Until someone is willing to do so, the blatant religious hypocrisy which is so endemic within the anti-labour Australian Labor Party is only going to fester and spread.
Mark Powell is the Associate Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, Strathfield.
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