the leaders and the representatives of the Middle Eastern Christian Churches met with the Premier of NSW, the Honorable Gladys Berejiklian.
at the meeting there was a full and frank exchange in which the Churches reiterated their opposition to REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE REFORM BILL 2019, which allows abortion to the point of birth. they expressed their disappointment in the hurry with which it was introduced and its passing through the Lower House. The Bishops are concerned about the extremity of its provisions, which do not to allow physicians with a conscientions objection to decline to assist those seeking abortions, and threatens them with sanctions.
and on behalf of the Eastern Churches, Bishop Robert Rabbat addressed a letter to the Premier in which he presented, in addition to the dangers of the abortion bill and its incompatibility with a culture of life, the issues of religious freedoms and the freedom of belief ,confirming that religious freedom positive right, and not merely a matter for exception from other rules.
The meeting also discussed the sacredness of the Sacrament of Confession, and in particular, the Sear of Confession. The Churches are committesd to making their institutions completely safe for children and the vulnerable, but priest will not accept to break the Seal of Confession. Any civil law which would require a breach of Seal is in attack on religious freedoms and the essence of the Christian religious. It is therfore futile and unworkable, since it is based on a misunderstanding of the Sacrament which encourages souls to repent and returne to God.
The meeting concluded with the participants agreeing to continue the dialogue and meetings, to work for the good of society and man.