on air now

Archbishop warns Australia’s democracy is at risk

Article image for Archbishop warns Australia’s democracy is at risk

The Catholic Archbishop of Hobart is warning Australia’s democratic freedoms are at risk if the government doesn’t introduce stronger laws to protect religious freedoms.

He is concerned the proposed religious freedoms bill won’t properly protect faith-based groups, fearing it would only ­exempt faith groups from existin­g anti-discrimination laws instead of giving them legal rights.

The archbishop is calling for laws that guarantee the right of religious institutions to teach according to doctrines, safeguard the seal of the confessional and avoid a repeat of Israel Folau’s sacking.

Archbishop Porteous tells Steve Price Australia’s democratic freedoms are at stake.

“It gives the indication that a person’s religious freedom is just tolerated as an exception, rather than recognised as a fundamental right.

“I think this is a serious threat to what has been the great contribution that a free democratic society has made.

“I think these are being eroded and I think we will be diminished as a society if this continues.”

Click PLAY to hear the full interview

Image: Getty/ Sergio Dionisio