Labor MP Kristina Keneally accused of ‘using the church to vote’ after criticizing the Catholic Church
Kristina Keneally accused of ‘hypocritically using the church to vote’ after photos emerged of her praying and receiving communion despite calling her ‘failing and decaying’
- Ms Keneally visited the Church of the Sacred Heart in Cabramatta, Sydney on Sunday
- Photos show a Labor MP receiving communion and praying in pews
- Locals questioned whether she was using the church to get votes for the election
- Keneally in 2019 said she had lost faith in the institution of the Catholic Church
Kristina Keneally has been accused of attending mass just to win votes, years after saying she had lost faith in the Catholic Church.
On Sunday, the Labor candidate for the NSW seat of Fowler, in Sydney’s south-west, received communion at Sacred Heart Church in Cabramatta.
Photos show Ms Keneally praying in the pews and receiving communion with other parishioners.
Ms Keneally has always identified as Catholic but criticized the institution during a 2019 question and answer session following George Pell’s conviction for child sex crimes before his conviction was overturned by the following.
Kristina Keneally has been accused of using a visit to a Sydney church to get votes, years after saying she had lost faith in the Catholic Church. (pictured, Ms Keneally visits the Church of the Sacred Heart in Cabramatta on Sunday)
“I have long since lost faith in the institution of the Catholic Church. And I mourn the loss of my religious community,” she said at the time.
“But I made the decision a few years ago that I could not, as a lay person, continue to support a failing and decaying institution with my voluntary work and my money.”
She said her “faith in a loving God is there almost every day”, but she believed many Australian Catholics had been traumatized by the accusations against Pell.
Former Fairfield councilor Zaya Toma questioned the reasoning behind Ms Keneally’s church visit on Sunday, which also marked the start of Holy Week.
Ms Keneally is seen receiving communion at the church last weekend. In 2019 she said she had lost faith in the ‘failing and decaying institution’
“I separated her religious views from her views on the institution of the Church and noted that she attacked the Church as a ‘decayed and failing institution,'” he told the Daily. MailAustralia.
“Therefore, his visit to the Church (of the Sacred Heart) was not about his religious beliefs, but a public demonstration of his support for the Church, which is hypocritical because it is not real – it is made for votes.”
Mr. Toma noted that Fowler has one of the highest populations of people with religious beliefs.
“I believe she only made such a show of it because there is an election and because religion is important to Fowler voters,” he added.
Ms Keneally has also publicly stated that she supports abortions and same-sex marriage, which go against Church teachings.
A devotee of the Church of the Sacred Heart, Tuan Ngoc Trinh, said he did not want to judge the Labor MP’s faith, but did not know why she was there after opposing certain teachings from the church.
Ms Keneally is trying to make the transition from NSW senator to lower house MP in the ballot, which was called on Sunday and will be held on May 21
“If she’s there for Fowler’s votes with the largest population of Catholics in South West Sydney, then politically it doesn’t show her strong stance on anything,” he said. The Daily Telegraph.
A spokesperson for Ms Keneally said she had attended other masses and could still practice her faith while being critical of the Catholic Church.
“Being a Catholic does not prevent Senator Keneally from expressing criticism and disappointment with the institution of the Church, particularly regarding the shocking revelations of child sexual abuse and child abuse. failure of the institution of the Church to respond appropriately to protect children from pedophiles and abusers,” the spokesperson said.
On Tuesday morning, she revealed on Twitter that she had contracted Covid.
“This morning I woke up feeling rotten and tested positive for Covid,” she tweeted.
“I will be self-isolating at home in Liverpool for the next 7 days…”
Ms Keneally is trying to make the transition from the Senate to the lower house in the May 21 federal election, which was called on Sunday.
Fowler is a safe Labor seat previously held by Chris Hayes, who is leaving politics.