The Catholic prolife blogger and the Greens candidate

On Monday (DV), I am going to meet with the young woman who was our local Greens candidate in last Saturday’s election. Keeping in mind that there isn’t an election coming up, and looking for a positive outcome from this meeting, what do you think we should talk about? What would you consider would be a good aim for the outcome of the meeting?

About Schütz

I am Catholic, married to Cathy, father of Maddy & Mia. Since 2002, I have been the Executive Officer of the Ecumenical & Interfaith Commission of the Archdiocese of Melbourne. I was once a Lutheran pastor, but a "year of grace" and soul-searching led me into the Catholic Church. It was a bumpy ride, but with the support of my (still Lutheran) wife, I was finally confirmed on June 16, 2003.
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11 Responses to The Catholic prolife blogger and the Greens candidate

  1. matthias says:

    I think you could perhaps point out that the Christian ethos of the Greens that bob Brown talks about is different to the Christian ethos of the First christians who opposed the practices of infanticide,euthanasia and abortion amongst their own members. But you should talk about the fruits of the Spirit such as Love ,joy,peace,gentleness etc.
    If she coutners with criticisms of the way the Church ahs treated gays ,you could say yes and that it was a lack of grace to people for whom Christ died and that we are all sinners

    • Peregrinus says:

      I second – I think – what Matthias says, at least to this extent: I’d be interested to know why the Australian Green political movement devotes so much priority, time and attention to advancing a “libertarian” perspective on life issues. I don’t think this is characteristic of Green politics internationally, so why here? If they see environmentalism and social liberterianism as aspects of a consistent ethic, I would be interested to hear that ethic expounded.

      I wouldn’t enage with criticism of the church (if offered); if I were you I’d use this meeting as an opportunity to try to understand the Green position a bit better, and keep the focus of the meeting on that.

  2. Paul G says:

    Hi David, an interesting challenge. Even though I think of the Greens as the barbarians at the gate, no one will get anywhere by caricaturing each other (as perhaps I occasionally do).

    I don’t see the point of the “group hug”, with each person trying to find something in the other that they approve of. The only observation I can think of at the moment is that a discussion like yours should in fact begin by identifying differences, not similarities, eg the Greens’ dream of homo/femina sapiens/sapienta (if my memory of Latin genders is correct) taking his/her place in a natural order and achieving contentment in this life. On the other hand, the Christian thinks of this earth as not our final destination. Maybe you could each choose your favourite philosopher as a starting point.
    These are probably silly ideas, but I thought I’d mention them.

  3. Peter says:

    I don’t know if this is your kind of approach but if I were there I would express my frustration at being unable to vote for a genuinely ‘Green’ party due to the majority of their policies being ideologically anti-Christian, and their candidates aggressively anti Christian, mostly on issues that have NOTHING to do with ecology at all.

    I was raised by a genuine ‘Greenie’. That is, an artist who preferred to live in the bush, taught his children the need to respect nature, avoid pollution and preserve all the species God has created. That same man who still passionately supports all genuine conservation cannot vote for the ‘Greens’ because they spend all their public time and energy promoting extreme anti-Christian social agendas which have very little to do with actual ecological conservation.

    If they were focussed on being green then it would not only be possible for a Catholic to vote for them but, indeed, given consecutive pope’s instructions on the issue of ecology, it would be likely.

  4. Stephen K says:

    David, I’m a Greens voter, so I’d encourage you to be open to anything she says. However, from my reading of your blog, I realise you’re very religiously articulate and grounded in a whole range of issues in a way she, as a politician, may not be. So I don’t expect her to be able to convince you to give the Greens a higher preference. The Greens do not engage in the kind of theological discourse or use the vocabulary that traditional (even mainstream) Catholics rely on, so to some extent, it’s probable that you will both be speaking a different language or at least, given Jo Tenner says she was raised a Catholic, a different register. I would suggest however that you talk about the idealism and ethicism that is behind the support for the Greens-package-as-a-whole, with a view to understanding whether there is any basis for rapprochment between Greens and Christians (who each include members of the other). I would hope that the outcome of your meeting would be a Green candidate who understands more of what intelligent, considered Christian ethics involves, and why, and an intelligent Catholic who understands and can acknowledge the coherence and benevolence behind the holistic Green social morality.

  5. mike cliffson says:

    Aim high! the sky’s the limit!(Not)
    That you be the conduit wherebye the seed is planted leading not just to the saving of one soul for eternal life but through that soul many, canonized long-term or no!
    As for which pearls you keep back from the swine, serpeantlike prudence etc for this occasion….
    I used to be so upset and cynical about Politicians in person NOT being human. But it’s part of their job, to an extant it’s right that it should be that way – they’ve got a far from easy job to do, and they aren’t mostly acting as individuals……. outside Oz, your reputation is that many of your politicos are in fact themselves….no longer true, or never was?

  6. Chris Jones says:

    A good aim for the outcome of the meeting would be that Ms Tenner will have heard a clear presentation of the Gospel. There is little hope that she (or anyone) will embrace the moral and social teachings of the Catholic Church apart from a conversion to the Gospel of the crucified and risen incarnate Word, because that Gospel is the ultimate ground of those teachings and of their claim on our conscience.

  7. Paul G says:

    Maybe an outcome would be to put on the table why you won’t vote for the Greens and why Jo Tenner won’t vote for the DLP. I suspect the reasons will be similar, involving objection to the legal and policy changes that the other’s party wants to make.

    I’m no expert on philosophy, but I think a lot can be learned from the later Greek philosophers and St Augustine. If you discussed the Epicurians, Stoics and Skeptics, I think Jo Tenner would find a lot of things she agrees with. You probably agree more with the Neoplatonists and St Augustine. What exactly has changed in these arguments in the intervening 2,000 years? Sure there have been advances in the understanding of the laws of physics, but does that really change our understanding of being and ethics?

    Another thing to consider is the recent history of utopian movements, like the Greens. I think it is a sustainable argument that these movements tend to be authoritarian and based on unreliable facts.

  8. Henrietta says:

    When is your appointment?- I’d like to pray for the success of the meeting at the time :)

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