keywords: Catholic Church Sex Abuse Crisis

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2013: The unknown unknowns of the sexual abuse royal commission

    • Ray Cassin
    • 13 January 2014
    3 Comments

    It can't be denied that the chief impetus for the creation of this royal commission has been the appalling record of concealment of abuse in Catholic institutions. If that record did not exist, the royal commission would not exist. And Catholics — especially bishops and major superiors — cannot evade this fact by complaining.

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  • RELIGION

    Restorative justice beyond the Royal Commission

    • Jane Anderson
    • 11 December 2013
    42 Comments

    Last week I went to the Royal Commission and had a private session, which means, in short, that I am a victim of sexual abuse. That history spanned nearly three decades. My encounters with one perpetrator prepared me for more harrowing experiences during adolescence, and later in a marriage that turned violent. While I commend the Royal Commission process for its sensitivity and professionalism, I would like to offer some alternative thinking.

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  • RELIGION

    Sweet and sour in Pope's exhortation

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 05 December 2013
    24 Comments

    To my knowledge this is the first church document that refers to 'sourpusses'. It must be the first lengthy papal document for some time, too, that refers to the Magisterium only twice in passing. Nor does Pope Francis refer explicitly to clerical sexual abuse. Francis is not interested in radical institutional or doctrinal change but wants to help a dysfunctional church work better at compassionately communicating God's love.

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  • RELIGION

    Do sex offenders deserve dignity?

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 04 December 2013
    12 Comments

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  • RELIGION

    Knowing the unknowns of clerical sexual misconduct

    • Stephen de Weger
    • 27 November 2013
    82 Comments

    Is there an agony in the garden of Catholicism which has yet to be faced — the dark figure of clerical sexual misconduct involving adults? From my research into this issue, two aspects have become quickly apparent: that it is a 'known unknown' within Catholic life, and that it is a very complex issue. That it occurs is not in doubt. More often than not, the victim is blamed.

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  • RELIGION

    No copping out of abuse blame

    • Frank Brennan
    • 26 November 2013
    32 Comments

    The Catholic Church hierarchy now seems more prepared to admit institutional and personal failures prior to 1996. They are yet to admit the pervasive, closed clericalist culture which infected the Church until at least 1996, but that will come. Let's hope that the Victorian police can also now move forward admitting past mistakes without manufacturing excuses which do not withstand the contemporary spotlight.

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  • RELIGION

    Heed the voice of the wounded child

    • Moira Rayner
    • 15 November 2013
    22 Comments

    If it happened then, it could happen now. Unless we take children seriously as people, it will. Unless individuals within the culture of their institution see it as a duty to stick their necks out and challenge its culture, it will. Unless bishops and archbishops and cardinals and religious supporting them take personal responsibility for protecting vulnerable people ahead of protecting the reputation of their institution, it will happen again.

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  • RELIGION

    Church's family reality check

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 14 November 2013
    14 Comments

    In a welcome first step, the Vatican has invited lay Catholics to offer their views on the family. The document that accompanies the survey represents a fairly traditional Catholic theology of the family, setting it within a high theology and expressed in elevated language. This theology has been developed principally by celibate men, no doubt familiar with family life through their childhood and pastoral ministry, but at a distance from it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Victoria's path to child sex abuse prosecution

    • Ray Cassin
    • 14 November 2013
    10 Comments

    If the Catholic Church is mentioned frequently in the report of the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into the sexual abuse of children, Catholics and their leaders can hardly complain. Among the churches scrutinised by the committee, only the Salvation Army has an even remotely comparable record of abuse. The Napthine Government should implement the inquiry's recommendations — with one exception.

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  • RELIGION

    This time in the Church

    • Frank Brennan
    • 12 November 2013
    5 Comments

    'Having thrown off the shackles of compulsion endured by pre-Vatican II Catholics, we relish that we come to the table not because we are forced, not because of social expectations, not because of the mindset of the mob, but because we are graciously called and freely responding.' Frank Brennan's Camino Address, Parish of Our Lady of the Way North Sydney, 12 November 2013

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  • RELIGION

    Christian social thinking for Australia

    • Frank Brennan
    • 08 November 2013
    1 Comment

    'Many Catholics wonder how we can maintain our Christian faith at this time in the wake of the sexual abuse crisis and the many judgmental utterances about sexuality and reproduction. The Church that has spoken longest and loudest about sex in all its modalities seems to be one of the social institutions most needing to get its own house in order.' Frank Brennan's address to the Yarra Institute for Religion and Social Policy, 8 November 2013. 

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  • RELIGION

    Church-state issues and the Royal Commission

    • Frank Brennan
    • 25 October 2013
    2 Comments

    'The Church should not give any appearance of hiding behind the corporate veil. Justice demands that present church leaders agree to satisfy any judgment debt against their predecessors or their deceased predecessors' estates when there is an allegation of past failure to supervise or adequately investigate a sexual predator in the ranks. Any damages should be paid from church assets.' Frank Brennan addresses the Australian Lawyers Alliance Conference, Rydges Lakeside, Canberra, 26 October 2013.

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