By Chris McGillion, Geraldine Doogue

ISBN-10: 1865089176

ISBN-13: 9781865089171

Why Catholicism in Australia has did not retain its relevance regardless of frequent proof of a starvation for that means, values and a renewed experience of neighborhood.

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In its section on consecrated life, the Statement argued that it ‘is not enough that religious [brothers and sisters] engage in any work whatsoever, even if they do this “in the spirit of the Founder”’. It had also warned that because priests and religious brothers and sisters had a public profile, ‘a more evident fidelity to [Church teaching]’ was expected of them. Whatever the pastoral needs the Sisters of Charity had identified and chosen to respond to in terms of the victims of drug abuse, managing a heroin-injecting room was far too removed from the traditional role of nuns for the Vatican’s comfort.

Other bishops criticised Vatican efforts to shut down debate and enforce inflexible rules. ‘The dialogue of salvation needs to be kept open,’ said Toowoomba’s Bishop William Morris, and this required the creation of ‘a forum in which people can talk’. Bishop Peter Ingham, then also an auxiliary bishop of Sydney, told the synod that ordinary Catholics ‘are suffering at the hands of zealots making their voices heard through the Church’s authority structure’ and thereby stifling ‘legitimate diversity’.

Explaining the Church’s position to the commission were Father Brian Lucas, then secretary of the Sydney Archdiocese and its official spokesman, and the Christian Brothers Provincial, Brother Julian McDonald. Both denied that the Church had been involved in any cover-up of the sexual impropriety, and each insisted that the Church had climbed a sharp learning curve in its understanding of paedophilia in the previous ten years. Still, their testimony confirmed what many people already felt: that in dealing with allegations against Evans and Comensoli, Church authorities had been reckless, if not legally culpable.

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A Long Way from Rome: Why the Australian Catholic Church Is in Crisis by Chris McGillion, Geraldine Doogue


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