AUSTRALIA’S CHURCH HAS A BILL OF CONSTRUCTION IN THE PARLIAMENT to change the way its churches operate, after its current leader said he would resign over the legislation.
Key points:The Australian Catholic Conference (ACCC) has been a thorn in the side of the Government for yearsThe bill, which is expected to be passed next week, would change the church’s relationship with the stateThe bill would see the state-based ACCC removed from the Australian Taxation Office and would make it more difficult for churches to use funds for religious activities.
It is the latest in a string of changes made to the Catholic Church in recent years, including the creation of a new governing body in the United States, the Anglican Communion (AC) and the Vatican’s recognition of the Anglicans as a religious denomination.
The legislation was tabled by the Liberal National Party (LNP) and would allow the state to ban Catholic and Anglican churches from receiving Commonwealth funding.
The bill will be tabled next week by the Coalition.
The change to the church is part of a package of measures to make Australia more religious, including a move to give churches a higher place in the state’s constitution and the establishment of a royal commission into church history.
The Bill was tacked on to the budget on Monday, making it the second bill to be tacked onto the budget this week.
It will also provide the government with $25 million over four years to support a church history museum.
“This bill is designed to ensure that Australia remains an open and welcoming country,” Minister for Religious Affairs Michael McCormack said in a statement.
“It recognises the important role that the Catholic and the Anglicen churches play in Australian society and recognises their contribution to Australian culture and the way in which we celebrate our national holiday.”
The change in church legislation is expected next week.