By Loretta Lohberger
Opposition to a planned biblical reading about marriage at a girls' school graduation mass shows society is becoming "increasingly hostile to Christian beliefs", according to Tasmania's Catholic archbishop — who likened it to the Essendon saga over Andrew Thorburn's resignation.
Hobart Catholic school St Mary's College made headlines last week when concerns were raised about the chosen reading for its graduation mass — Ephesians 5: 21-23 — which includes:
"Wives should regard their husbands as they regard the Lord, since as Christ is head of the Church and saves the whole body, so is a husband the head of his wife; and as the Church submits to Christ, so should wives submit to their husbands, in everything."
After concern among staff, students and parents, and backlash on social media, Archbishop Julian Porteous agreed to change the reading, and provided an alternative."Taking one sentence in isolation fails to do this," he said.
Give way to one another in obedience to Christ. Wives should regard their husbands as they regard the Lord, since as Christ is head of the Church and saves the whole body, so is a husband the head of his wife; and as the Church submits to Christ, so should wives to their husbands, in everything.
Husbands should love their wives just as Christ loved the Church and sacrificed himself for her to make her holy. He made her clean by washing her in water with a form of words, so that when he took her to himself she would be glorious, with no speck or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and faultless.
In the same way, husbands must love their wives as they love their own bodies; for a man to love his wife is for him to love himself. A man never hates his own body, but he feeds it and looks after it; and that is the way Christ treats the Church, because it is the body — and we are its living parts.
For this reason, a man must leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one body. This mystery has many implications; but I am saying it applies to Christ and the Church. To sum up; you too, each one of you, must love his wife as he loves himself; and let every wife respect her husband.