Billboard erected in Perth to bring people back to church
Archbishop Barry Hickey has blessed a new billboard in central Perth that is designed to communicate a spiritual message in an environment dominated by commercial values.
He told The West Australian newspaper: "To the wider community that perhaps rarely if ever goes to church, it's a spiritual message and in some way might encourage them to think again. To have it in the midst of all the commercial messages talks of the importance of the spiritual. Otherwise we can think the only important thing in life is buying more goods."
The billboard is an initiative of the Deacon of the small Melkite-rite Catholic community in Perth, Fr Pierre Nahas.
Archbishop Hickey took the opportunity to criticise the secular media for the prominence it gives to the views of dissidents within the Church: "Possibly in an effort to be deliberately controversial, [the writer of a Christmas Eve feature on the Church] has chosen people who are not part of the mainstream [of the Church], and certainly don't represent my views or the views of the Disciples of Jesus here today."
The feature, titled 'Christianity at the Crossroads', used the views of Fr Paul Collins MSC, Dr Marie-Louise Uhr former convenor of Ordination of Catholic Women movement, and Peter Stewart (former Executive Officer of the Perth Catholic Social Justice Commission).