Catholic school to remain ‘safe and inclusive’ after archbishop’s letter condemns LGBTQ+ rights

St Cuthbert’s Catholic school in Tasmania, Australia, has said it will remain “safe and inclusive” after the Archbishop of Hobart condemned LGBTQ+ rights in a letter distributed to parents and guardians. 

The controversial 2 May letter from Archbishop Julian Porteous was handed out to various Catholic schools in the Australian state, including the primary school. It came the same month that Pope Francis came under fire for using an alleged gay slur.

The archbishop’s letter was denounced by politicians and LGBTQ+ advocates for its criticism of the “radicalised transgender lobby”, same-sex marriage, and the “woke movement”. 

On 29 May, the advisory board of St Cuthbert’s Catholic School addressed parents regarding the anti-LGBTQ+ letter, adding that they had sent their own response to the archbishop.

St Cuthbert’s said in its since-deleted message that it is “committed to developing an inclusive and accepting culture that is in harmony with the Catholic tradition”.

“The board felt it important to note that, as a school, St Cuthbert’s meets students and members of our diverse school community both where they are at and as they are in their life journey, without judgement,” the statement read, as per ABC News.

“As a board, we are confident St Cuthbert’s will continue to foster a safe, respectful and inclusive environment for our students and school community,” it continued.

The letter from the archbishop was titled: “We are Salt of the Earth”, and addressed a list of social-political issues, including trans rights, abortion, euthanasia, and same-sex marriage.

Archbishop Porteous wrote that since same-sex marriage was made legal in Tasmania and the rest of Australia in 2017, “we have seen the growth in what has been referred to as the ‘woke’ movement, seeking to overturn other traditional values and beliefs”.

“This has included the push for ‘diversity and inclusivity’ training in the corporate sector and the attack on the biological reality of being male or female through a radicalised transgender lobby.”

Under the title, “Enough is enough”, Porteous wrote: “As the church, we cannot stand by as we experience our freedoms being taken from us.”

The Independent Education Union praised the school for hitting back against the archbishop’s anti-LGBTQ+ messaging. 

“Taking a stand like this on behalf of students, staff and the whole community is in the best tradition of Catholic social justice,” the union’s general secretary, David Brear, said.

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