Posts Tagged The Sydney Morning Herald
With a sexual abuse record among the worst in the world, and an exhaustive and fair investigation completed by a Royal Commission that produced a clear set of recommendations, the international church ought to be looking to Australia for a way forward. All Australians, and particularly the Catholic community, should do what they can to shame and pressure the Australian bishops. The first step is to arise from their slumber. (The Sydney Moening Herald)
“Australian Catholics are being conned. After all the disgrace of the Royal Commission evidence and its specific and telling recommendations, the response effectively proposed by the Australian Bishops is to call a Plenary Council of the church in Australia in 2020-21. Australia’s Catholics seem to be meekly agreeing to what is an unconscionable delay and a fudge. In short, the bishops have us where they want us: corralled and quietened.
“In one sense, convening such a forum could be seen as innovative and consultative. Realistically, it downplays the magnitude and urgency of the issues that need to be addressed. Whether the agenda ultimately addresses the main reform issues raised by the Royal Commission is a moot point. Such forums in the Australian church have a habit of being lead down paths that produce platitudinous outcomes and avoid the contentious. More significantly it is openly acknowledged that there is considerable doubt and dispute as to whether such a forum would have the authority to make decisions that address the real issues.
“The temper of Australian Catholics appears to have moved from outrage to exhausted resignation that change in our church is just too hard. And indeed, it is. Faced with a witheringly perceptive analysis of the problems that contributed to sexual abuse, the bishops give little indication, individually or collectively that they know how to respond. They seem caught between their own, not surprisingly, inadequate skills in managing and leading organisational change and the very real sense that they are beholden to Rome and incapable of acting authentically and in ways that recognise the stark reality of the Australian church’s predicament.”
By Terry Fewtrell, The Sydney Morning Herald — Read more …
Child sex abuse: Catholic bishops ‘must meet Pope Francis to push for urgent change’ / The Syndy Morning Herald
“The push for an Australian delegation to the Vatican comes only days after the church’s most prominent spokesman throughout the royal commission hearings, Francis Sullivan, returned from Rome to say he was ‘astounded by the resistance in some quarters of the church’ to tackling the child sex abuse crisis.”
Australia’s bishops must lead an urgent delegation to Pope Francis seeking changes to some of the church’s most fundamental views on women, celibacy, governance and the handling of child sex cases, according to Australia’s peak Catholic reform group in a call to arms to Catholics across the country.
In an open letter sent to all parishes, Catholics for Renewal has urged bishops and archbishops not to “defer to the Holy See”, or wait for the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, before acting on serious issues identified by the commission that contributed to the child sexual abuse crisis.”
By Joanne McCarthy, The Sydney Morning Herald — Read more …
The former Catholic Bishop of Parramatta Bede Heather has told a royal commission he destroyed documents relating to potential legal action against a paedophile priest.
“Bishop Heather told the public inquiry he destroyed documents because he was traumatised by a police search of his office as part of an earlier investigation into sexual abuse by clergy.
“The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard Bishop Heather advised his lawyers Makinson & D’Apice of his actions in a 1996 letter.
“‘Following the police raid on our offices, shortly afterwards I took the precaution of destroying all papers of mine which could have been to the disadvantage of persons with whom I deal,’ he wrote in the letter which was partly read out before the commission.”
By Rachel Browne, The Sydney Morning Herald — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Archbishop Philip Wilson pleads not guilty to concealing child sex abuse / The Sydney Morning Herald
Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson has pleaded not guilty to concealing child sex abuse in the Catholic church via his lawyer in Newcastle Local Court on Thursday (June 6).
“Archbishop Wilson, who did not appear, was represented by barrister Simon Buchen, who said his client was pleading not guilty and he was anticipating a lengthy hearing …
“Archbishop Wilson is the most senior Catholic clergyman in the world to be charged with concealing a child sex abuse allegation against another priest.”
By Gabriel Wingate-Pearce, The Sidney Morning Herald — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Melbourne’s most senior Catholic has admitted the church covered up child sexual abuse, was slow to act against abusing priests and placed its own interests ahead of victims. Archbishop Denis Hart says a knighted former archbishop kept reports of sexual abuse to himself and that the church was keen to look after itself when addressing complaints, placing its reputation ahead of victims.” By Daniel Fogarty and Genevieve Gannon, The Sydney Morning Herald
“Moving on to even more difficult territory, bishops and religious leaders need to grapple with the fact that to this day there has never been any serious inquiry into the factors within the Church that may have contributed to abuse. The John Jay study in the United States contained much good material, but it did not answer this need.” Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, former auxiliary bishop of Sydney