The Catholic Weekly 18 October 2020

$2 18, October, 2020 TERTIARY GUIDE WHAT’S WRONG IN AUSTRALIA P12 LIFTOUT INSIDE Clare Communications Co PTY LTD See our website for more information on our services For people of faith, attending their place of worship is essential to their wellbeing. It infuses hope and optimism and, for many people, is a key source of strength ...” Dr Joanna Waloszek, Swinburne University VICTORIA’S PEOPLE of faith have asked Premier Dan- iel Andrews to end discrim- ination against them in the state’s plan for reopening af- ter months of lockdown. A petition launched by Melbourne Catholics Ewa Chlipala and Dr Joanna Wa- loszek with assistance from Father Marcus Goulding asks for places of worship to be treated equally to cafes and restaurants in Step 3 of the state’s roadmap for reopen- ing. Victorian hospitality ven- ues can currently seat up to 20 people indoors and 50 people outdoors while religious gath- erings are limited to just 10 people outdoors or, alterna- tively, indoor services for one household. The grassroots online peti- tion passed 10,000 signatures in two weeks and was sent to the Premier on 13 October. On the same day it was ac- knowledged in both houses of parliament by Brad Rowswell MP and Matt Bach MP, ac- cording to Fr Goulding, an as- sistant priest in Melbourne’s outer western suburbs and the Secretary of the Australi- an Confraternity of Catholic Clergy. It follows last month’s letter sent to Premier Andrews by the state’s Catholic bishops seeking an explanation for the discrepancy in the Step 3 pandemic restrictions. Dr Waloszek, a researcher in psychology at the Swin- bourne University of Technol- ogy, said that sacred build- ings, rites, and rituals can and should also be allowed to op- erate in a COVID-safe way for their adherents. “For people of faith, at- tending their place of worship is essential to their wellbe- ing,” Dr Waloszek said. “It infuses hope and opti- mism and, for many people, is a key source of strength in difficult circumstances. “The suffering of many Vic- torians is being compounded by inequitable restrictions on places of worship.” Mrs Chlipala, who works in risk management in the hospital and aged care sector, said the Government needs to be fair across all sectors. “We are hopeful that the Premier will take the con- cerns of Victoria’s faith com- munity into account when restrictions are reviewed next Sunday,” she said. Fr Goulding told The Catholic Weekly he was “very happy” to assist the lay-driv- en petition. “This is really the laity mak- ing their voice heard, saying want to be able to access our churches in a safeway,” he said. CONTINUED PAGE 2 We want equality Victorian Catholics, dioceses, religious faiths join to demand equal treatment fromPremier Andrews ¾ ¾ Marilyn Rodrigues “IT’S A great pleasure to see you again.” Pope Francis greeted Car- dinal George Pell with these words last week as the two met for the first time since the cardinal left Rome in 2017 to face abuse charges in Victoria. The former prefect of the Secretariat for the Econo- my who spent 13 months in prison before the High Court cleared him in April, enjoyed a 30-minute private audience with the Pope who thanked him for his witness. No details were revealed about their discussion ex- cept that it was “very warm and cordial”. But a brief video of the first moments of their encounter showing the two thanking each other and the Pope, once seated, looking ad- miringly at the cardinal before saying, “More than a year”. REPORT P5 Cardinal Pell drops by to see the Pope