Does the Church have too much power?

The Catholic Church has been in the media for all the wrong reasons lately, and now it is facing backlash

The Catholic Church has been in the media for all the wrong reasons lately, and now it is facing backlash once again after being accused of pressuring Telstra into dropping its pro-gay marriage campaign.

The Telstra logo appeared in a full-page advertisement published in newspapers last year along with a number of other high profile companies pledging their support for gay marriage in Australia.

In an abrupt turnaround though, the company has now backed out of the campaign and says it will no longer publicly advocate for gay marraige.

Telstra has denied they pulled out of the campaign due to pressure from the Church, but there are reports it was the heavy hand of Sydney’s powerful archdiocese that led the company to backdown.

The Church sent a written warning to Telstra after the advertisement was released and even conducted a meeting between former Telstra chair Catherine Livingstone and Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher.

Chief executive Andrew Penn has released a statement confirming the company’s decision saying it is┬áputting its faith in the proposed plebiscite, which would see all Australians vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on the issue.

“This is because the proposed plebiscite process gives everyone an opportunity to contribute and out of respect, it is important we allow them to voice their own views,” Mr Penn said.

“This position was interpreted by some as us abandoning our tradition of supporting diversity and inclusion, be it in the community or in our workplace. This could not be further from the truth.”

However, the move has angered many people who see it as another case of the Catholic Church abusing its position of power and meddling in things that have nothing to do with them.

The Church’s attitude towards child sex abuse infuriated people earlier this year when Cardinal George Pell appeared to deliberately avoid answering questions about abuse within the Church and refused to travel to Australia to face victims.

The question over the Catholic Church’s influence has been much debated for years, with many people saying it is too powerful and needs to be reigned in.

What are your thoughts on this issue?

Does the Catholic Church have too much power? Is it ok for the Church to influence companies like Telstra?

  1. Allan Anderson  

    The community as a whole should have the right to object to advertising a particular preference. We should be thankful to the Catholic Church for at least voicing the objection of many of their customers regardless of faith stance

  2. Carole Morrison  

    Oh come on! This from the Catholic church when their own priests were touching up young kids etc for years! What a joke!

  3. Russell Grenning  

    I am not a Catholic and hold no brief for the Catholic Church. However, the Catholic Church has a perfect right to make its views known on any subject, especially to businesses that provide it with services from which they make a profit. Similarly, Muslim communities would have a perfect right to object to a pork butchery being proposed next door to a mosque and the Jewish faith to object to any organisations which expressed opinions which they saw as anti-semitic.

    And incidentally, Cardinal Pell did not refuse to return to Australia to face the Royal Commission. He was excused from travelling back from Rome by the Royal Commission itself which accepted tendered medical reports from the Cardinal’s medical advisers. In any case, he appeared by video link and later met child abuse survivors who had travelled to Rome. It should be remembered that he had previously appeared in person at an earlier hearing.

  4. Barbara Kinzett  

    What has the Catholic church got do with, sort your own problems out first on sexual crimes against children. The threats of hell! The money and riches you own while people are starving, the Killing and Torture of women accused of being Witches ( when they were Healers) while you worship a dead man on a cross. All the feast days stollen from The Pagans.Yes you are nothing but a joke and a blot on society, I confess my sins not to a man and ask for forgiveness to the people I may have hurt. The wars still being fought in the name Jesus, this is not peace, Now I will get off my high horse — feel better now.

  5. Just how hypocritical and naive can you be? We are concerned that the Catholic Church may or may not have influenced a business (Telstra) which was deviating from its core business to utter or support a political statement (same sex marriage)
    Yet we permit another religion (Islam) to actually direct and control other political discussions…and in fact to implement some of their ideology (sharia law, polygamy) contrary to the Australian constitution, law and culture….and we permit this influence under the guise of ‘freedom of speech’, multiculturalism, and political correctness
    Perhaps, just perhaps, the Catholic Church is simply adding balance to the discussion.

    • Pamela  

      Well said, Graham!

      Moslems get away with nearly everything, including under-age ‘marriage’ (pedophilia) and rape of ‘infidels’ under the guise of ‘culture’.

      Organisations consist of individuals responsible for their own actions and opinions – opinions which may or may not change after looking at someone else’s point of view.

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