The Southern Cross The Southern Cross

Read the latest edition. Latest edition

Essendon stance 'outrageous': Comensoli


Melbourne Archbishop Peter A Comensoli has warned that “if the Essendon situation is a litmus test of the value and place of people of faith in Victorian society, then we are in big trouble”.

Comments Print article

In a statement issued after the controversial resignation of newly appointed CEO of Essendon, Andrew Thorburn, Archbishop Comensoli said it was “outrageous that a person of good character has felt that he must choose between a public leadership role and being an active member of a Christian community”.

“Andrew Thorburn, a dedicated supporter of Essendon since childhood and a known man of faith, was appointed CEO after years of leadership in major Australian organisations that have been inclusive of all people,” he said.

“Why is this now a problem for this football club?”

Archbishop Comensoli commended Mr Thorburn for his “charitable and Christian response to this awful treatment”.

“Sadly, this situation sends a chilling message to ordinary faith believers in Victoria, that they can’t be trusted to exercise leadership and service in the community,” he continued.

“I offer a word of encouragement to them.

“This has been a polarising and divisive moment. It has not been about respecting diversity.

“I feel for young women and men currently seeking to further their football or other careers, now asking whether their personal faith might hinder their progress.

“I think of the families who have long supported their club, now wondering if their beliefs are acceptable to the leadership of the club they belong to or sponsor.”

Archbishop Comensoli became a supporter of the Bombers on the day he took up his appointment to the Melbourne Archdiocese.

“But frankly, if Essendon can’t be inclusive and fair to supporters who hold a religious faith, maybe it’s time to find a new club,” he said.


Show comments Hide comments
Will my comment be published? Read the guidelines.

More National stories

Loading next article