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Sex abuse apology (letter)

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 Contents - Sep 2008AD2000 September 2008 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: World Youth Day 2008: the challenge ahead - Michael Gilchrist
WYD08: World Youth Day 2008: what the media missed - Deborah Baker
WYD08: Impressions of youth - Bridget Pati and Berni Sullivan
WYD08: Faith: alive and well! - A pilgrim's progress - Catherine Sheehan
WYD08: A reflection on WYD - Tim Cannon
WYD08: Memories of homestay hosts - Emidio and Phyllis Restall
News: The Church Around the World
WYD08: Theology on Tap: young Catholics' response to relativism - Patrick Langrell
The physical and mental scars of abortion - Charles Francis
Foundations of Faith: Priesthood and the sacraments: Divine help for eternal salvation - Br Barry Coldrey
Liturgy: No smoke without fire: Benedict XVI and true liturgical reform - David Birch
Vatican: Restoration work completed near tomb of St Peter
Letters: World Youth day (letter) - M. & L. MORRISSEY
Letters: Courage of young Jozef Ratzinger (letter) - Frank Bellet
Letters: Invaluable work of Anne Lastman (letter) - Errol Duke
Letters: Moral equivalence (letter) - Leo McManus
Letters: Abortion grief - Anne Lastman
Letters: Buddha in church (letter) - E. Makaus
Letters: Sex abuse apology (letter) - M.J. Gonzalez
Letters: Vatican II (letter) - Frank Mobbs
Poetry: The Sermon at Templestowe - Bruce Dawe
Books: Saving Those Damned Catholics, by Judie Brown - Catherine Sheehan (reviewer)
Books: THE WISDOM OF NAZARETH: Stories of Catholic Family Life - Siobhan Reeves (reviewer)
Books: SAINT BENEDICT'S RULE: A New Translation for today, by Patrick Barry OSB - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: FAITH AND FIDELITY, by Anthony Meredith SJ - Michael Daniel
Books: Books available from AD2000 Books
Reflection: Archbishop Burke of St Louis: the responsibilities of a bishop - Archbishop Raymond Burke

The demands of some that the Pope and Catholic Church apologise for the scandalous misdeeds of a very small percentage of Catholic priests and religious in recent decades are open to question - notwithstanding Benedict XVI's generous, sincere apology during World Youth Day.

First of all, neither the Pope nor the Church per se committed these deeds. Certain individuals did. True enough, they were 'clerical/ religious' members of the Church, not just lay members. For this reason, the 'official' Church might be expected to deplore the grave sins of the offenders and to regret that these people committed them. This is quite different from 'apologising'.

These people acted on their own, completely contrary to the Church's teachings on these matters, and not as Church representatives. So to say that the Church is somehow responsible for their actions is drawing a long bow indeed. Neither the Church nor the Pope can appropriately apologise for their actions.

However, the hitherto lack of firm and appropriate action by bishops has been utterly deplorable as were their lax methods of screening out such misfits from entry into seminaries.

People with unnatural sexual tendencies have no place in the priesthood nor the religious orders. While they are to be treated with compassion and shown how to deal with their problems, they should not have been allowed to become priests, brothers or nuns.

Let's get things into perspective.

Willetton, WA

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 21 No 8 (September 2008), p. 15

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