By Chris McGillion, Geraldine Doogue
Why Catholicism in Australia has didn't retain its relevance regardless of frequent facts of a starvation for that means, values and a renewed feel of group.
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Additional info for A Long Way from Rome: Why the Australian Catholic Church Is in Crisis
His article was the first sign that the decision taken by the Sisters of Charity—and, at the very least, initially not opposed in any active way by Clancy—was under serious challenge. QXD 16/6/03 11:44 AM Page 19 VISIONS, REVISIONS AND SCANDAL: A CHURCH IN CRISIS congregation [who] bear a greater responsibility to give a clear gospel witness’. His reasoning, which was not based on any moral argument, was entirely consistent with what the Statement of Conclusions had said about the role of priests and the members of religious orders.
Nor was it finalised the next year. The collective instincts of the bishops still seemed to baulk at an approach that was completely open to the problems of sexually abusive clergy. They were confident that the secular justice system was the best place to sift the fact from the fiction and bring offenders to account. THE BELATED RESPONSE The publicity generated by the NSW Police Royal Commission, however, concentrated the bishops’ minds in a way that mere allegations popping up in one diocese after another—followed, in many cases, by charges and convictions—could not.
QXD 16/6/03 11:44 AM Page 22 A LONG WAY FROM ROME While that much was true, the fact remained that the sexual abuse of children was always recognised as a criminal offence, not to mention a serious moral one. The document also suffered from a tendency to view victims of abuse as ‘the weak’ and ‘the poor’, as if they were really seeking consolation and compassion from the Church, instead of justice. Moreover, the document tended to regard sex abuse as a kind of virus some of the clergy had caught from outside the Church—not an illness that may stem from within it.
A Long Way from Rome: Why the Australian Catholic Church Is in Crisis by Chris McGillion, Geraldine Doogue