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The pair of nuns seemingly attempted to rip down two campaign posters for the Australian Sex Party on a street corner near Smith Street in Collingwood.
The party’s lead candidate for the Victorian Senate, Meredith Doig, said it was not a political stunt as far as she was aware. The pair are dressed in the distinctive garb worn by sisters belonging to Missionaries of Charity, set up by Mother Teresa.
Shane Healy, director of media and communications for the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, said while interfering with election posters could not be condoned, “no one should be at all surprised that sisters of the Missionaries of Charity, established by Mother Teresa of Calcutta to feed and support the poorest of the poor, would be taking offence at the policies of the Sex Party”.
The Missionaries of Charity would not answer Fairfax Media’s repeated calls on Friday afternoon. Ms Doig said she was sad to learn the posters had been defaced. “It’s pretty aggressive action,” she said.
The ripped posters were calling for “the church” to be taxed and marijuana to be legalised.
Ms Doig said religious institutions should not be exempt from paying tax and claimed churches were “getting away with running commercial organisations” without paying tax.
Sex Party leader Fiona Patten said the attack was “cowardly and unprovoked”. “If the ‘nuns’ would like to visit me and confess, that will be an end to it,” she said. It is not the first time Sex Party signs have been attacked. Ms Patten said party posters were removed from a church that was used as a polling booth during the last state election in New South Wales.