Catholic Bishop writes to congratulate Queensland Members of Parliament

With the Queensland Electoral Commission declaring all Queensland Parliamentary seats within the Townsville Diocese recently, Catholic Bishop of Townsville, Most Rev Tim Harris has written to all members to congratulate them on their election as a Member of the Legislative Assembly for the State of Queensland.

“It was important that I congratulate these members of parliament on their re-election” Bishop Tim said.

In congratulating the declared winners, Bishop Tim was conscious of the two new members of parliament, Les Walker in Mundingburra and Amanda Camm in Whitsunday. He also made special mention of Scott Stewarts elevation to the cabinet as Resources Minister.

The Diocese of Townsville takes in the Queensland seats of Whitsunday, Burdekin, Mundingburra, Townsville, Thuringowa, Hill, Traeger and Hinchinbrook and has more than 80,000 Catholics in their electorates.

Bishop Tim said “the Diocese and its many agencies, Catholic Education, Centacare and many other ministries have many connections to government departments and I told the members that it was important that in all their decisions, the common good for all must always be front and centre.”

I highlighted to the members that one of the more immediate and important matters for us as Catholics is the imminent introduction of euthanasia legislation” he said.

The Bishops of Queensland will be making a submission to the Queensland Law Reform Commission on the matter.

“I felt that it was disappointing that a matter as vital as life and death was thrust into the fray of an election campaign; and it is disconcerting that legislation will be brought hastily into a Parliament comprising new members who have not had the opportunity to ponder the issue properly before voting on it.

It is also disturbing that, as was admitted by the Parliamentary Health Committee which conducted the inquiry into voluntary assisted dying, there has been very little, if any, consultation with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who remain one of the more vulnerable sectors of the community especially in my diocese.”

Bishop Tim assured the members that they and all government members and officials were always in his daily thoughts and prayers and looked forward to meeting with them in the coming months to discuss these and many other issues that were important to the people of the Diocese.

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