Bishop Geoffrey Robinson attacks the recent Popes on abuse. But like most of the liberal clergy he seems to have a double standard for he states that 'there is a notable and extraordinary absence of direction from the Popes' when a major matter arises.
He ignores the fact that when several Catholic lay people launched a campaign to gather information about sacramental abuses many of them were ejected from churches.
When a report on these was sent to Rome, there was a hue and cry, even from an Archbishop who condemned these lay people as 'spies' acting in an 'un-Australian way'.
Subsequently Pope John Paul II spoke strongly to the Australian Bishops during their ad limina visit about the disorders in their dioceses, giving them a list of 14 points that they were expected to correct. There was indignation and strong resentment. It was claimed that Rome is far away and Australians are better qualified to run their own affairs.
Bishop Robinson is convinced that the root cause of sexual disorders in the Church is celibacy. Yet there are thousands of these cases in Australia committed by people of all walks of life and religions, none of whom have the vow of celibacy.
Of the boys who used to enter the minor seminaries, 92 percent quit before ordination so there are relatively few priests today who went through these seminaries; and few of those ordained in recent decades have been under the age of 25.
In the meantime, the Church has adopted a policy of 'zero tolerance' towards any wayward clergy.
FR EDWARD P. EVANS
Chaplain to the German Community