Legislative Council petition #557 | presented 19 June 2024

Retain the Lord's Prayer in Legislative Council proceedings

Petition sponsor: Evan Mulholland
Response status: Awaiting Response
Portfolio: Leader of the Government in the Council
Response due: 19 July 2024

10,912 signatures

The petition of certain citizens of the State of Victoria draws to the attention of the Legislative Council that they should oppose any move to abolish the reading of the Lord’s Prayer at the commencement of proceedings of the Victorian Parliament’s Legislative Council (Upper House). We acknowledge the joint letter to members of Parliament from the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Anglican Diocese of Melbourne, Board of Imams Victoria, Hindu Council of Australia, Victoria and the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council who minister and care for more than two million Victorians in our communities. The Lord’s Prayer is a strong reminder that Parliament is not the ultimate authority for building a just and caring society and, since 1857, the Lord’s Prayer has been a longstanding part of the formal processes of both Houses of the Victorian Parliament. The recitation of prayer is a common tradition of the Westminster system, and together with the Acknowledgement of Country, provides a vital link to two important facets of Victorian Parliament's heritage. The Lord’s Prayer is an action of public acknowledgement of responsible service to the people of Victoria. Multi-faith communities perform a vital role in Victoria’s multicultural society. Any move to secularise parliamentary proceedings would send a clear message from the Parliament that faith has no place in Victoria.

The petitioners therefore request that the Legislative Council recognise the valuable role of the Lord's Prayer in Parliament and ensure its practice continues to play an integral part of our democratic tradition. 

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