John Paul II Would Not Have Supported The Voice


Following the election of the Albanese authorities final 12 months, spiritual leaders from varied Christian denominations and different faiths expressed their help for the proposal to amend the Structure to incorporate a provision for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament and the Govt.

Within the church I belong to, the Catholic Church, the Archbishop of Perth, Timothy Costelloe, who’s the President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Convention, and the Archbishop of Melbourne, Peter Comensoli, have been significantly fulsome in such help.

Following a current assembly, the Catholic Bishops’ Convention reiterated that help, stating that the Voice “could possibly be a big step in the direction of a extra simply and equitable Australia.”

Nonetheless, I’ve been advised by one bishop (who, for apparent causes, I can not identify) that the view amongst his fellow prelates on The Voice isn’t unanimous.

As he identified: “Each time the Church marries the spirit of the age, she might be a widow within the subsequent.”

Certainly, all clergy would do properly to rigorously learn a speech by Pope St John Paul II throughout his go to to Australia in 1986.

Epoch Times Photo
Pope John Paul II (R) is greeted on Jan. 19, 1995, by youngsters at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney earlier than celebrating mass with the Sisters of St Joseph. (David Hancock/AFP by way of Getty Photographs)

Within the speech, given on Nov. 29 of that 12 months, John Paul II addressed Aboriginal individuals at Blatherskite Park, Alice Springs, calling on all Australians to hunt “a simply and correct settlement” on the Indigenous Affairs query.

Nonetheless, he added a notice of warning:

“The institution of a brand new society for Aboriginal individuals can not go ahead with out simply and mutually acknowledged agreements with regard to those human issues, though their causes lie previously. The best worth to be achieved by such agreements, which should be carried out with out inflicting new injustices, is respect for the dignity and development of the human individual … You might be a part of Australia, and Australia is a part of you.”

Over the past 36 years since that exhortation was given, Australians have heeded John Paul II’s name. Certainly, there are 11 members of Aboriginal descent within the Commonwealth Parliament, which is the voice for all of us.

Aboriginal Involvement

Aborigines are a part of the broader political system and have been for a number of generations.

The contribution of Aboriginal individuals to this nation has, as John Paul II inspired us, been joyfully obtained. Witness the numerous Indigenous individuals who communicate out so powerfully and successfully in our public life, the now routine acknowledgements of nation and the presence of the Aboriginal flag alongside the nationwide flag.

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Jetski’s fly the Australian and Aboriginal flags throughout Australia Day celebrations at Round Quay, in Sydney, Australia, on Jan. 26, 2021. (AAP Picture/Dan Himbrechts)

Furthermore, as John Paul II acknowledged all these years in the past, Aboriginal individuals ought to reject the concept they’re perpetual victims eternally in want of particular measures, declaring:

“You, the Aboriginal individuals of this nation and its cities, should present that you’re actively working on your personal dignity of life. In your half, you could present that you can also stroll tall and command the respect which each and every human being expects to obtain from the remainder of the human household.”

In different phrases, he understood that the important thing to serving to the minority of Aborigines who haven’t adjusted to life in a liberal fashionable society is to finish the obsession with identification since that’s what is inflicting essentially the most hurt.

As Gary Johns notes in his e-book, “The Burden of Tradition,” 80 p.c of individuals of Aboriginal descent at this time are already built-in into wider Australian society and are doing properly, if belatedly, and not using a Voice to Parliament and with out Aboriginal insurance policies and applications.

As we all know, many eminent members of the authorized occupation have superior positions in help of the No case. Their submissions spotlight, amongst different issues, the proposition {that a} constitutionally enshrined physique outlined by race, which solely Indigenous Australians can vote for or serve in, is inconsistent with the elemental precept that each one residents are to be handled equally.

This precept has its origins within the final Christian assertion of the inherent dignity of every individual, present in St Paul’s Letter to the Galatians (3: 28): “There’s neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither is there female and male, given you’re all one in Christ Jesus.”

As John Paul II acknowledged all these years in the past, current injustices usually are not eliminated by resentment. Moreover, there’s a actual hazard of making a few of the new injustices he spoke of when it comes to The Voice.

It might properly not find yourself being the simply and correct settlement that he known as for.

Views expressed on this article are the opinions of the writer and don’t essentially mirror the views of The Epoch Instances.