MELBOURNE (ChurchMilitant.com) - Melbourne archbishop Denis Hart canceled a keynote address scheduled to be given by a known advocate of so-called same-sex marriage.
The speaker, Cathy McGowan, who considers herself to be a practicing Catholic, was a co-sponsor of a pro-gay marriage bill introduced into Parliament last year.
Ms. McGowan, member of Parliament for Indi in Victoria's northeast, was scheduled to deliver the Mary MacKillop Oration at a Catholic Social Services Victoria conference later this month.
Because of McGowan's anti-Catholic views, Abp. Hart replaced her this week with barrister Julian McMahon, who is the 2016 Victorian of the year.
Ms. McGowan described the decision as "very sad" and emoted: "I'm really disappointed the bishop intervened."
But archdiocesan spokesman Shane Healy related that the archbishop's position on same-sex "marriage" has been clear.
There was no malice or want to in any way embarrass Cathy, but he would see with a conference such as this that the keynote speaker should be in line with Catholic teaching on that very important topic. The Catholic Church respects every human being, but in terms of marriage it is our view that is for a man and a woman, while in not any way disrespecting relationships that are part of everyday life.
Last fall Abp. Hart resisted the Labour government's push to allow same-sex couples access to adoption services, calling it a "fundamental attack on religious freedom" and a violation of human rights.
When asked why the archdiocese had scratched McGowan from the program so close to the event, Denis Fitzgerald, executive director of Catholic Social Services Victoria, responded that Abp. Hart "probably hadn't turned his attention to it" until recently.
Fitzgerald remarked, "It would have been better had Catholic Social Services factored in all relevant issues before we invited Cathy."
To learn more about the homosexual agenda, watch "Mic'd Up—Homofascism: Taking No Prisoners!"