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Catholic leader condemns religious discrimination in Christmas message

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney is using his Christmas message to speak out on the “discrimination against people of faith”.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher is concerned religious freedoms are being eroded, citing a recommendation from the royal commission into child abuse to break the seal of confession to priests.

He tells Chris Smith any religious discriminations must be stamped out.

“There are a lot of different reasons behind this move at the moment to say, ‘People of faith, we don’t want you bringing your faith into the public square. You’ve got to hide it at home or stamp it out.’

“I’m saying this is a great freedom we have in Australia, let’s protect it.”

The federal government is promising to enshrine religious freedoms into anti-discrimination law, but haven’t followed through yet.

Archbishop Fisher says it’s “very disappointing”.

“They set up the Ruddock review, it reported in May and it was just hidden from us for six months.

“And finally when it was revealed, instead of the government ensuring that its recommendations were passed immediately, we’re told they’d be brought to the subsequent election next year.

“This isn’t seriousness about this very important issue. If you really thought it mattered, it’d be law by now.”

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