On 29 November, Victorian residents will have the opportunity to put into practice the message of Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel).
In particular, paragraphs 213, 214 and 220 will be played out before us in real life when we have a vote in the State Election.
Paragraph 213 states, in part, "Among the most vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenceless and innocent among us. Nowadays, efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this ... Defence of unborn life is closely linked to the defence of each and every other human right ... a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development."
In Paragraph 214, Pope Francis says, "The Church cannot be expected to change her position on this question. I want to be completely honest in this regard. This is not something subject to alleged reforms or 'modernisations'. It is not 'progressive' to try to resolve problems by eliminating human life."
Why is this so relevant on this occasion? Sadly, the three major political party candidates in my electorate refuse to give any commitment that they would repeal any part of the current abortion law. Additionally, some will introduce new laws relating to "end of life" and homosexual "marriage".
In an ideal world, politics probably shouldn't intrude on the Church. The grim reality, however, is that the Church is under attack from politicians. In Paragraph 220, Pope Francis states, in part, "Let us not forget that responsible citizenship is a virtue and participation in political life is a moral obligation."
If we trust in our Holy Father Pope Francis, we should have no fear of taking action to correct this situation.
We have the good Lord on our side as well as our patroness, Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop. Saint Mary had none of the resources we have available to us today. But she was an evangelist, a teacher, a leader and ultimately a saint. In fact she ticks all of Pope Francis' boxes in Evangelii Gaudium.
St Mary of the Cross, we humbly pray that courageous men and women will stand for election to our parliament, to defend the faith and values you taught us, in the name of Jesus our Lord.