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Bishops worry marriage may be 'thrown away'

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Catholic bishops have urged politicians to think about the “thrown-away people” during the election campaign including those who don’t want the definition of marriage to change.

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Support for marriage and families didn’t appear to be a big vote-winner so the “most basic human institution” risked becoming “part of the throwaway culture or at best an optional extra”, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said in an election statement released on Monday.

“Economic decisions have been less and less favourable to families in recent years; and it may be that political decisions in the future will undermine further the dignity and uniqueness of marriage as a lifelong union of man and woman,” they say.

Labor has promised to legalise same-sex marriage within 100 days of winning government.

The Coalition will hold a plebiscite to determine if the majority of Australians want the change.

Catholic bishops say they feel compelled to speak up for the voiceless during the campaign and also make their Christian voices heard.

The people who they believe have been discarded in the modern throwaway culture include refugees, indigenous people, survivors of sexual abuse, domestic violence victims, unborn babies, the elderly, mental illness sufferers, and people addicted to alcohol, drugs, gambling and pornography.

“Any society is ultimately judged not on how well it manages the economy but on how well it treats the thrown-away people,” the bishops say.

“We hope that this campaign – for Christians at least and especially for Christian politicians – will be a time not of spin and bombast but a time of wise and true speaking that comes from deep and humble listening.”

AAP

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