The organisation makes a last ditch attempt to thwart the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Australia.
The Catholic Church has threatens to fire teachers, nurses and other employees who plan to marry their partner should Australia make it legal for LGBT+ couple to get married.
Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, gave a warning to the Church’s 180,000 employees that they are expected to uphold its teachings, and that going against then would be treated “very seriously”.
“I would be very emphatic that our schools, our parishes exist to teach a Catholic view of marriage,” he told Fairfax Media. “Any words or actions which work contrary to that would be viewed very seriously.
“Our teachers, our parish employees are expected totally to uphold the Catholic faith and what we believe about marriage. People have to see in words and in example that our teaching of marriage is underlined.”
He added: “We shouldn’t be slipping on that.”
Archbishop Hart’s warning was fully backed by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe, chair of the Bishops Commission for Catholic Education.
He said teachers would be “undermining” their schools’ values should same-sex marriage come into law.
“In accepting a role in a Catholic school, staff will recognise their responsibility to conduct themselves in such a way as not to undermine the fundamental ethos of the school,” he said.
“Like all other employers, the Catholic Church should be able to ensure its values are upheld by those who choose to work for the organisation.”
Churches are already able to hire and fire employees based on their sexual orientation under Australia’s anti-discrimination laws.
Elsewhere, Tasmanian senator Eric Abetz claimed that allowing same-sex couples to get married in Australia will “open the floodgates” to people marrying anything at all.