Your Grace, Archbishop Philip Freier,
I call on you as a man to use the weapons of your voice, your standing and your integrity to reject both:
A. the demonisation of men in Victoria.
B. the modern persecution and ridiculing of your own profession so that your profession can survive and flourish again.
I also call on you to follow the lead of one of your very best priests and, in conjunction with The Dean, ring the bells of your cathedral nine times every day, for however many days you and The Dean want, for the nine people in Australia a day who take their own lives, 75% of whom are men. Please involve me. As a witness? As voice? As a photographer?
I offer you these four both modern and ancient Latin words, adapted from Vergil and inspired by a recent homily of yours, under a creative commons licence in an attempt at reciprocation for you own generosity in putting your own image out under a creative commons licence.
“Arma virumque se cano.” (I sing of weapons and myself as a man.)
I dont urge you “to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them” because ending these oceans of troubles for priests and men would almost certainly be beyond your capacities as an individual human being.
But it is not beyond your reach and, IMHO, certainly within your responsibilities, for you to denounce modern evils which monstrously hurt men, including me, and your own male priests in particular.
In closely observing the recent, consistently brilliant priestly work of Hugh Kempster and David Farrer, I have seen how both very different men put themselves, indeed put just about the whole of their being, right into the centre of many other people’s lives including mine, to truly live well themselves by living in The Word far more fully than most people can.
The huge challenge for you as an Archbishop is to be even better at your job than those men have been at theirs.
Your job is much bigger and therefore IMHO harder to do really well than theirs.
I am calling on you to show considerable courage.
If you do, I will support and acknowledge that courage as best I can.
If you cant even try, then the wise individual who I am lead to understand told you that you are only doing 50% of your job, might have been right. Or even a little generous.
Archbishop, can you take any of what I have raised here with you for discussion at Lambeth later this month and elsewhere into the future?
This artwork with words added by me is published under creative commons licence.
Geoff Fox, surviving but suffering from your silence and the silence of too many other men and women, 6th July, 2022, Terra Nullius