Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher lashed out the promotion of an LGBT+ event taking place on the St Mary’s Cathedral forecourt.
Fisher said he was frustrated and upset that “St Mary’s Cathedral, the mother church of Australia, has been used so provocatively” to promote a “Heaps Gay” variety show.
In using an image of the cathedral in marketing materials, Fisher claimed that “such little sensitivity” had been “shown to people of faith”
He said: “Friends, it has been brought to my attention that, as part of the Sunset Piazza performance series, a concert titled ‘Heaps Gay’ will be held on the cathedral forecourt this weekend, and that an image of the cathedral facade has been used in its promotion.
“As the Cathedral Forecourt is council land and not church property, the decision about the content of the concert and its advertising is unfortunately not ours to make.
“We have asked the City of Sydney that the cathedral image be removed from the advertising.”
Fisher called for people to “make a pilgrimage” to visit St Mary’s Cathedral and asked followers to “pray” that “religious belief will be respected and protected and that we will all rediscover an appreciation for what is sacred”.
Shortly after Fisher’s Facebook post, church followers launched a petition against the LGBT+ community, who they believed “disrespected the Christian nation” by using St Mary’s Cathedral images to advertise the event.
“There is no place for hate, intolerance or the sowing of division.”
A City of Sydney spokesperson confirmed advertising material using the cathedral image had been removed to “avoid any confusion”. The spokesperson told the Sydney Morning Herald: “Senior members of the church have recently told the city they had no objection to the Heaps Gay event going ahead.”
Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore told the newspaper that the city was an inclusive place that celebrated and welcomed diversity. Moore said: “There is no place for hate, intolerance or the sowing of division.
“As we seek to revitalise the city centre and recover from the impact of the pandemic, we will continue to host inclusive, accessible and safe events.”
The office of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney and Heaps Gay were both approached for comment.