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Church unity?

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 Contents - Feb 2013AD2000 February 2013 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: AD2000 25 years on: the challenges remain - Michael Gilchrist
Royal Commission: The Church in Australia faces moment of truth - Peter Westmore
News: The Church Around the World
Adoration: Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration embraced by Brisbane parish - Kate Hobbs
Parish Renewal: New springtime for Catholic faith at St Mary's, South Brisbane - Jenny Davies
Marriage: UK Family Court judge: why marriage is worth fighting for - Madonna Brosnan (ed.)
Events: iWitness Retreat: a celebration of young adult Catholic faith - Br Barry Coldrey
Religious freedom: The widows of Kandmahal: anti-Christian violence in India - Babette Francis
Schools: Drawing pupils to God through the true, the good and the beautiful - Rosemary Anderson
Grace: Indulgences: relics of the past or still Church teaching? - John Young
History: Parish life in the Middle Ages (Part 2): living under canon law - Frank Mobbs
Pilgrimage: Christus Rex Pilgrimage 2012: from Ballarat to Bendigo - Patrick Doyle
Letters: Church unity? - Richard Congram
Letters: Royal Commission - Arnold Jago
Letters: Shared faith? - John Frey
Letters: Secularist creed - Fr Bernard McGrath
Books: THE PASSION OF PERPETUA AND FELICITY, by Thomas J. Heffernan - Peter Westmore (reviewer)
Books: TAI CHI, REIKI: A Guide for all Christians, by Br Max Sculley FSC - Br Barry Coldrey (reviewer)
Fighting Fund: 2012 Fighting Fund update
Books: Order books from
Reflection: The cathedral: symbol of Christ's authoritative teaching - Bishop Michael Kennedy

Every true Catholic deplores the grievous sins committed by some priests and religious paedophiles. Yet the mainstream media and the anti-Christian movement at large stigmatise all as inhuman creatures who condone the despicable actions of a relative few.

Cardinal Pell, the highest ranking prelate in Australia, is especially demonised. His "crime" is that he is totally orthodox in Church doctrine and dogma, and properly cautious about accepting at face value every claim of abuse brought before him.

The Weekend Australian on 24 November ran an article headed "Church rethink urged on healing". It told the story of a man abused when an altar boy, who sued the Sydney archdiocesan trustees for damages unsuccessfully. When costs exceeding $750,000 were awarded against him he asked the Church to forgive the debt. It duly did, and has since funded his counselling and other expenses to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars. To any fair-minded person, the Church's actions would demonstrate empathy and compassion, and certainly do not vindicate the shrill accusations that it is callous and evil.

Sadly, a liberal element within the Church is also critical of the Cardinal and of the Towards Healing and Melbourne Response protocols for dealing with sexual abuse.

In an ABC interview on 14 November, retired Bishop Geoffrey Robinson said he would break the seal of the confessional and inform the police if he thought a young person was at serious risk of abuse, even if the penitent didn't want him to. He described Cardinal Pell as an embarrassment on the sexual abuse issue, and as unfit to speak for the bishops of Australia.

Four days later, a spokesman for the lay group Catholics for Renewal was interviewed on Channel 10's Meet the Press. Plainly, this group is also dissatisfied with the Cardinal's handling of the matter, and with the protocols in place to help victims.

Whatever became of unity, the first of the four marks of the one true Church?

Carindale, Qld

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 26 No 1 (February 2013), p. 16

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