The establishment is one of many reforms being made by the Church in Australia after the release of the Royal Commission report, which found serious failings in the protection of children from abuse in the Catholic Church and other major secular and religious institutions.
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Bishop Peter Ingham, emeritus bishop of the diocese of Wollongong has been named as the Apostolic Visitor of the Broome diocese while the investigation continues.
The bill would establish a religious freedom commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission; and amend existing laws regarding religious freedom, including marriage and charities law, and objection clauses in anti-discrimination law.
Archbishop Anthony Fisher said of pastoral mission: ‘I intend to keep speaking up for Christian beliefs, always respectfully, never with prejudice or hatred; I hope our democracy will treat me with the same courtesy.’