The Archbishop of Sydney has criticised attempts to “bully” people into accepting the “deconstruction and redefinition” of marriage, accusing supporters of gay marriage of promoting a “homogenizing ‘equality'”.
Addressing the congregation at his diocese’s annual Marriage Mass, Archbishop Anthony Fisher said: “There are voices in our culture that no longer think marriage need be for life, or be open to children, or be exclusive, or be between man and wife.”
“They write off as benighted and bigoted those who stand by marriage as traditionally understood,” he said.
As a result, Christian couples find themselves in an “uncomfortable” position, “for some politically, culturally and commercially powerful forces are determined to silence any alternative to the politically correct position in this matter; to bully us all into accepting the deconstruction and redefinition of a fundamental institution; and to relegate questions of what marriage is and is for as secondary to an homogenizing ‘equality’.”
Catholic News Service reports that 30 couples were present at the Mass, celebrating anniversaries of between 50 and 65 years.
The archbishop also said that modern culture had forgotten about its purpose and meaning, and that true Christian marriage can be a form of “preaching and therapy.”
“It wordlessly bears witness to the Christian understanding of the human person and society, of our God-given mission to love not just with a self-serving, romantic, heart-shaped Valentine’s Day sort of love, but with a self-giving, redemptive, cross-shaped Easter Day sort of love.”
Fisher added: “Marriage, as traditionally understood… meant a comprehensive bodily, psychological and spiritual union between a man and a woman whereby they become “one flesh” and so found a family. That’s why these couples did not promise to become ‘spouses’ or ‘partners’ but to become ‘husband’ and a ‘wife’.”
The Australian government is coming under increasing pressure to redefine civil marriage to include same-sex couples. Many members of the country’s parliament have suddenly announced they have changed their minds and now support the measure, but Prime Minister Tony Abbott remains opposed.