Loading
Melbourne bishop asks Australian Football League to avoid games on Good Friday
Carlton playing against Hawthorn
Carlton playing against Hawthorn
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Bishop Les Tomlinson, auxiliary bishop of Melbourne, has praised the Australian Football League for its tradition of resisting pressures to schedule games on Good Friday. Reacting to proposals to change the custom, he called on the sports organization to continue to preserve “local culture” and to accommodate the spiritual needs of people in Melbourne.

His comments, published in a statement from the Archdiocese of Melbourne, echo those of the Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart in holding that Good Friday is a public holiday because it is a sacred day for Christians.

“We are very proud of Melbourne’s sporting culture,” Bishop Tomlinson said. “Easter and the Easter holidays are a season of the spirit and the spiritual for Christians.”

“It’s not just about the three o’clock ceremony. It is about the day,” he explained. “From our awakening to the end of the day, it is the day Christians remember that Jesus Christ suffered and died for us so that we might know and enjoy the love of God for all eternity.”

According to the Archdiocese of Melbourne statement, the bishop said the AFL has shown courageous leadership by resisting previous pressures to schedule a game for Good Friday.

“I think any proposal to play games on Good Friday fails to properly consider the spiritual needs of people in our community,” he remarked. “Good Friday in Melbourne is part of our local culture, part of our local identity.”

“I urge the AFL to continue to show leadership in this matter; as it has done so effectively in other aspects of sporting culture,” Bishop Tomlinson said.

Greg Swann and Ian Robson, the respective chief executives of the Carlton and Hawthorn AFL teams, are both seeking permission to play on Good Friday, the Melbourne Herald Sun reports.

"We just see it as a great opportunity for the AFL to showcase a game. We are very mindful of the religious views that we need to address and we think we can overcome that," Swann said.

Robson said there are both practical considerations to work through and “very strongly held” religious views about the way Good Friday is “preserved and respected.”

The executives are trying to work with the Good Friday fundraising appeal of the Royal Children’s Hospital as part of their bid.

“It is a special day for a special charity and one that touches Victorians' hearts,” Robson commented, according to the Herald Sun. "If there is one thing that brings Victoria together on this day, it is the way Victorians pour their wallets and hearts out to ensure our most precious assets, our children, have access to world best practice in the facilities at the hospital, and for football to be able to play a part in that would be a fantastic thing."

The North Melbourne AFL team has also asked to host a Good Friday match in most of the past 12 sports seasons. While other Australian football groups have recently begun to schedule matches on Good Friday, the AFL has not.

The former AFL Commission chairman Ron Evans strongly opposed scheduling matches on Good Friday. It is believed his successor, Mike Fitzpatrick, is prepared to debate the question.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
Dec
18

Liturgical Calendar

December 18, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Gospel
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 23: 5-8
Gospel:: Mt 1: 18-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
12/15/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Homily
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14