$1m for no vote ‘paralysing’

Plenty of bet­ter things to spend money on says Dean

The Daily Examiner - - NEWS - Tim Howard tim.howard@dai­lyex­am­iner.com.au

A FOR­MER Dean of Grafton has de­scribed the Syd­ney Angli­can dio­cese de­ci­sion to do­nate $1 mil­lion to the No Case in the same-sex mar­riage de­bate as caus­ing a cri­sis in his faith.

Rev­erend Peter Catt was Dean at Grafton from 1997 to 2007 and is now Dean of St John’s Angli­can Cathe­dral, Bris­bane. He said he felt paral­ysed when he learnt of the de­ci­sion.

“The Angli­can Dio­cese of Syd­ney’s in­ap­pro­pri­ate do­na­tion left me won­der­ing why I per­sist with the Church,” he wrote in a na­tional news­pa­per.

The Arch­bishop of Syd­ney Glenn Davies made the an­nounce­ment in an ad­dress to the 51st Synod of the Dio­cese of Syd­ney on Mon­day, but the do­na­tion was given to the Coali­tion for Mar­riage about a month ago.

Although a sup­porter of the Yes Cam­paign, Dr Catt said he would have been equally against the money go­ing in that di­rec­tion.

“There’s lots of needs that are much greater and on which the Church is to­tally uni­fied,” he said.

“On things like asy­lum seek­ers, home­less­ness and the need for gam­bling law re­form, there is to­tal unity.

“It’s when the de­bate turns to mar­riage equal­ity and hu­man sex­u­al­ity it be­comes con­tentious.”

Dr Catt said the head of the Angli­can Church in Aus­tralia, the Arch­bishop of Melbourne Philip Freier, has recog­nised how di­vi­sive the is­sue is and rec­om­mended a con­science vote.

Dr Catt said his de­spair was re­ally a dou­ble-whammy as it came close af­ter the rev­e­la­tions of for­mer prime min­is­ter Tony Ab­bott’s de­nial of cli­mate change.

“Cli­mate change is al­ready af­fect­ing the lives of mil­lions and caus­ing suf­fer­ing,” Dr Catt wrote ear­lier this week. “Suf­fer­ing that is not only dis­missed but also mocked by the idea that we wouldn’t mind if the world was a lit­tle warmer.”

He said he went to bed “feel­ing shat­tered” but woke next morn­ing re­newed.

“I’d given way to anger, but I worked out how to fo­cus that anger,” Dr Catt said.

“I re­minded my­self that any de­ci­sion, no mat­ter how de­flat­ing, is not the end of the mat­ter. It’s not their Church and it’s not their coun­try.”

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