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Catholic Church needs total reform


The current crisis facing the Catholic Church arising out of sexual abuse is arguably the most serious challenge the Church has faced since the Reformation in the 16th century. The response must in the first instance be clearly focussed on the victims of such abuse, their families and other secondary victims. The untold damage done to innocent people and its life-long consequences in many cases need to be clearly and honestly acknowledged. I am pleased where every effort is being made to see that justice is done for those affected and where all possible measures are being taken to bring about healing and reparation.  

In responding to sexual and other forms of abuse within the Church it is not enough to concentrate on the sinfulness and failure of those guilty of abuse. It is not just a question of individual repentance but a total systemic reform of Church structures which is needed. An ecclesiastical environment which allowed such aberrant behaviour can no longer be tolerated. Bishop Geoffrey Robinson in his 2007 book Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church “came to the unshakeable belief that within the Catholic Church there absolutely must be profound and enduring change”. Hardly a day goes by without me hearing a cry from the heart for such change from people who truly love the Church, young and old, male and female, lay people, priests and religious. During this Year for Priests, many of my colleagues around Australia are crying out for credible leadership from the hierarchy which involves more than mere words. I am certain that these pleas will be heard when the National Council of Priests meets in Parramatta next July.

Yet, people often feel that no one is listening to their concerns. Groups calling for reform are regularly dismissed as trouble-makers with little love for the Church when in fact their hearts are breaking for the Church which they see as drifting further away from the message of the Jesus. Maybe it has taken this present crisis to bring us all to our senses.  
In 1996, I gave a talk in which I expressed my hopes for the Catholic Church. They were that it would be

  • a more human Church
  • a humbler Church
  • a less clerical Church
  • a more inclusive Church (and therefore more truly catholic)
  • a more open Church
  • a Church which finds unity in diversity
  • a Church which discovers its whole tradition
  • a Church which truly reflects the person and values of Jesus.

I have restated these hopes many times since, including at the Oceania Synod of Bishops in Rome in 1998 in the presence of Pope John Paul II, the future Pope Benedict XVI and  my brother bishops. Surely such aspirations are even more pressing today.

The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) called by Pope John XXIII provided so many opportunities for reform by empowering the laity as part of the People of God, engaging with the modern world, other Churches and non-Christian religions, promoting religious freedom, encouraging greater participation in the liturgy, enabling all to have a deeper relationship with God. Unfortunately, these days we are more likely to be warned of the “excesses following Vatican II” or told of the need for “reform of the reform” in regard to the liturgy or the “re-interpretation of Vatican II”.

The reform needed by the Church today will involve much more than just “tinkering around the edges”. Issues such as the authoritarian nature of the Church, compulsory celibacy for the clergy, the participation of women in the Church, the teaching on sexuality in all aspects cannot be brushed aside. Listening must be a key component of reform and at times that will involve listening to unpalatable truths. It needs to be recognised that all wisdom does not reside exclusively in the present all male leadership of the Church and that the voices of the faithful must be heard.

At Easter I pointed out that it was largely Jesus’ female disciples who stood by him dying on Calvary, that Mary Magdalene was the first witness to the resurrection and that she could legitimately be called an apostle in that she was sent to bring the good news to the other followers of Jesus. I wondered aloud if the Church would be in its present state of crisis if women had been part of the decision-making in the life of the Church.

There may be people who question the views I am espousing, but I wish to re-state that there is a whole body of faithful Catholics who are saying “enough is enough” and that we all need to grasp this opportunity to enable the Church to be its best self in bringing the message of Jesus to its own adherents and to the wider society.

This article was first published in The Canberra Times.

Two responses to Bishop Pat Power

Bishop Pat Power is the auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Canberra-Goulburn.

Topic tags: Pat Power, Catholic Church, reform, sexual abuse, clergy, celibacy, homosexuality



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Existing comments

Matriarchy is no different than Patriarchy. Women abuse. Nuns have abused. Bishop Power's argument for women buys into the feminist strategy for this at the expense of his own argument for a more human church. Service to others is the key, not power, privilege and status. The irony and paradox is clear.

Mary | 22 April 2010  

Sorry Pat your outdated failed progressive motions are never going to happen, if anything the Church will continue in its current trend becoming more traditional.

Traditionalist Catholics tend to have more children, their children are much more likely to retain their parents' faith and become priests, nuns etc. There is also much stronger growth in the church in developing nations which tend to be much more traditional than the West.

The problem with liberal Christianity in general is that once you start judging yourself by the standards of the world, adherents don't see the point in being religious as there is no point of difference between it and the outside world and end up just floating off. So what you see today in progressive Catholicism is a small greying bunch of "flower children" who look certain to take their liberal and deeply flawed interpretations of faith with them to their graves.

I imagine Bishop Pat's calls will largely fall on deaf ears as has been the case since the inspired JPII was elected to the papacy.

Dr K | 22 April 2010  

I don't think Pat Power is advocating matriarchy any more than patriarchy. And Dr K's error is in equating what he thinks is Pat Power's 'liberal' Christianity with the standards of the world. On the contrary, it is Catholic traditionalism which most assimilates worldly notions of hierarchy (differential status), pyramidal authoritarianism (one way dogmatism) and the sanctification of self-interest (heavenly rewards). Traditionalists are quick to protest that the Church is not a democracy, but are ironically committed to the numbers game of large family-making with glee at the dwindlement of those aging "liberals" who disagree.

No, what Pat Power is articulating is indeed radically unworldly: namely the urgent abandonment of an ecclesiastical model shaped by Constantinian imperial statehood and parallelling in so many aspects the halls of worldly power (no pun). What he appears to envision is a society where all are accorded equal dignity, where all have full bellies, where all need feel no threat to their sense of being loved by the God they believe in and where they are all encouraged to help one another, even those they do not like. Sounds like Jesus' "kingdom of God" to me.

Stephen Kellett | 23 April 2010  

At last, a bishop with the courage to state the obvious and provide some real leadership.

Peter Johnstone | 23 April 2010  

Women priests - No,No,No!

HG | 23 April 2010  

Well said Bishop Pat Power - most of us are disillusioned with the Church which does not practice what it preaches and hides the truth - a result of the misuse of power. The institution is full of corruption and greed and it needs to be weeded out if the Church is going to survive. By the time Rome wakes up to this very serious problem it may be too late. Most of the young people in Australia have left the Church already and the adult congregation is shrinking every day. Where is the integrity in the Church which needs to face up to the wrongs that have been perpetrated by those in power - instead of playing the blame game and making excuses. This serious situation needs moral courage and honesty from those in power and a restructuring of the whole Church. Celibacy and women priests are just two important items to be addressed. Where is the leadership when we need it? Where are our bishops who are meant to be representing us? They are not fulfilling their role and duty in the church which is to be our true representatives to Rome.

Mary M | 23 April 2010  

It is consoling to hear visionary comments from a brave Australian bishop. Is it possible that in this country with our magnificent school system, we have encouraged families to abdicate their role as first and most powerful teachers? Did not Jesus grow in a family thereby affirming the system? Is it not now clear that crucial lessons of love are captured in the family? Isn't that where priests emerge from? May all renewed church energy and resources be directed now to mothers and grandmothers!Thank you Bishop Pat.

Molly Moran | 23 April 2010  

I wonder if there may be a link between sexual abuse by clergy and their overwork. My ex confrere priests who taught at a catholic college for boys were up at 5:30 am for communal prayers, meditation, mass in tiny oratories, a full teaching program, divine office, sports coaching, supervision of student study, and their own university lectures and lab classes. With assignments for university that had to be written, some did not get to bed until 1:30 am - and then up again after only 4 hours of sleep.

Some parish clergy seem to have little time to themselves because of the demands that we parishioners place upon them.

KevingtonBeare | 23 April 2010  

Women priests: Yes, yes, yes! Bishops too!

Kevin Smith | 23 April 2010  

It seems to me Pat Power is calling for a church that is closer to the ideals of Jesus. This is not tradionalist or progressive- it's the Gospel. Jesus condemned a model of leadership that "Lorded it over others." He criticised wealth and eclusive religion which created divisions between the wortthy and unworthy. He also criticised the obsevant and self righteous Jews because they could not accept the log in their own eye. He sided with the outcast, the sinner and the despised. He washed the feet of his disciples and became the poor servant of all.

When the Church models this type of leadership it may regain what little credibility it has left. Bishop Power is pointing the church in the right direction i.e. towards Jesus.

ron | 23 April 2010  

I sat in my Church last Sunday wondering what the priest would make of Jesus message to Peter, "Tend my sheep". My priest avoided the Gospel completely and spoke nicely about evidence of Easter today- I left feeling that the elephant in the room hadn't been identified and dealt with. I was deeply, profoundly saddened at my community's lack of courage in tackling what has been confronting all Catholics each week for some time now.

A friend went to her parish last Sunday and the priest there spoke in words similar to Bishop Power - he received a spontaneous ovation from a community that never claps. People are longing to hear what Bishop Pat is saying. People want to hear that their Church is open to the Spirit and willing to experience the metanoia Jesus demands - from the top down.

I am much comforted by the words of one willing to face the truth of what has happened to ensure that it will not keep happening. Thank you Bishop Power.

Tina | 23 April 2010  

Thank you Bishop Power for your brilliant support of my feelings and wishes re priests. I have previously read Bishop G Robinson's book and felt he was on the right track. I have 5 children all baptised and educated in Catholic schools. Regrettably 3 of the 5 were baptised by pedophile priests. My wife and I still attend all church activities. None of our children attend Mass on a regular basis which upsets us.

Peter Gleeson | 23 April 2010  

Why doesn't Bishop Pat come over and join us Anglicans? It seems to me we have everything he is longing for. If he were to bring enough disaffected Catholics with him the Vatican would suddenly start listening to him and others like him, and then he could go back, and maybe so could we.

Michael Grounds | 23 April 2010  

Bishop Pat Power's 1996 'hopes for the Church' inspired me then and continue to do so.

Bill Dowsley | 23 April 2010  

Thanks for this wonderful article. As an abused child ( by a cloe relative, not a cleric ) surely it is very well accepted now that such abuse of a child causes life-long trauma, and pain, for the abused. I am now 66. I know it will never leave me, and each incident I hear about causes me anger. I became a Roman Catholic in 1977, but about ten years ago, I returned to the Anglican Church, in which I was brought up. I am quite satisfied with that.

Please Roman Catholic CHurch: come at least into the 20th century! It is time to move on - get with the times. The world has changed enormously - it does so as we "speak".

Lynne | 23 April 2010  

Thank you again, Pat, for authoritative, rather than authoritarian, leadership. I pray that your voice will be heard in wider forums than this one. The Church of Jesus has been hijacked by a privileged elite, and we need to reclaim it.

Peter Downie | 23 April 2010  

To 'Dr K' - you wrote 'Traditionalist Catholics tend to have more children, their children are much more likely to retain their parents' faith and become priests, nuns etc.' I think you'll find a major fault in your logic if you count the single chaps who attend the Old Mass!

Chris Grady | 23 April 2010  

Thank you Bishop Pat for your encouraging words of exhortation.
Dr K fails to recognise that we are people of God in the world but not of the world. I don't want to be religious but rather live with love in the presence of God.

Patrick Kempton | 23 April 2010  

Who would be a shepherd to the diverse breeds of sheep that make up the catholic flock?
Remember the reaction to Jesus's claim to be The Good Shepherd prepared to lay down his life for his sheep - "He has a demon! He's crazy! Why do you listen to him?' (John 10:19)

The closer a bishop gets to spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ the more he is demonised -ever so nicely, of course.
So did it happen to Bishop Robinson. So is it happening to Bishop Power.
May God bless their good work.

Uncle Pat | 23 April 2010  

Further thoughts about Pat Power's plea for re-constituting or re-characterising the Church. I'm reminded of Jiddu Krishnamurti's own plea in 1929 when dissolving the Order of the Star. He insisted on the sterilising and petrifying effects of organising belief or the pursuit of Truth. He said "This is what everyone throughout the world is attempting to do..You must climb towards the Truth, it cannot be "stepped down" or organized for you. Interest in ideas is mainly sustained by organizations, but .... (I)nterest, which is not born out of love of Truth for its own sake, but aroused by an organization, is of no value. The organization becomes a framework into which its members can conveniently fit. They no longer strive after Truth or the mountain-top, but rather carve for themselves a convenient niche in which they put themselves, or let the organization place them, and consider that the organization will thereby lead them to Truth."

Perhaps, after all, it might be best not to expend further energy on trying to alter the organisation but rather on one's own meditation and the practical imperatives of inclusive Jesus-like love.

Stephen Kellett | 23 April 2010  

Hear, hear, Bishop Pat. Having studied in Rome while Vatican II was in progress, with several of the bishops attending living with in our College,it has been my frustration over the last 46 years of priesthood to see that wonderful effort and the spirit it released done in by those who can only see it as a negative exercise.

For me too Geoff Robinson's book was a timely reminder of where the Church needed to improve its practice, with similar emotions flowing from reading the somewhat smaller book written by Bishop John Heaps, which also addressed the regressive moves made by bureaucracy in higher places. When will more grassroots expressions be listened to?

Abel van der Veer | 23 April 2010  

Thank you Bishop Pat. The vision of Church which you have expressed so clearly is that which so many of us are wishing for. I hope that this article gets a wide distribution. God bless you.

Dorothy Farrant | 23 April 2010  

Thank you for your concerns, Bp Power.

However, I do not believe the Church is desperately in need of reform nor is it facing its biggest crisis since the Lutheran Reformation. To attack the Catholic Church is hardly anything new. It has been going on for the best part of 2000 years in one form or another. And no doubt this will continue.

But what is happening is that an increasingly desperate secularism within the Church is finding itself unable to assert itself positively so is asserting itself negatively and using whatever means available to lash out against the beliefs, the faith and the hierarchy of tradition.

Nathan Socci | 23 April 2010  

Thank you Bishop Pat for speaking out about the need for change in the church. If we in the church don't address these fundermental issues and change what signal is being sent to the rest of the world? We in the church are called to be lights in the darkness, I pray that we will truely be this.

Norman Ainsworth | 23 April 2010  

I also agree our Church as an institution, and as a people called by God, needs constant conversion. This conversion would seem to be of no advantage unless we all personally are seeking this conversion.

To become like Jesus and desire to serve, and to believe that this can happen, through grace.

I also believe this conversion needs to be apparent in the structure of our Parishes.
It may be more effective for reform , or conversion, to begin at the grass roots.
Some Parish Priests, here, have an opportunity, albeit going against tradition, to allow their appearance of power to diminish, thus allowing Parishioners to speak more freely, without fear of being 'put in your place' as it were.

It must be about inclusiveness, and equality in every aspect of Church
Each needs to be made to feel important, then we will learn from each other. Some in the Catholic Church need to realise we are not the only ones on this planet.

We pray that these times of failure, will allow more honesty and compassion, to emerge.

Please God we will all be open to this conversion, offered us.

Bernadette Introna | 24 April 2010  

As a poor sinner, I want a church which is much, much more traditionally Catholic, and fiercely proud to be so, profoundly grateful (Non nobis, Domine!) that the Merciful Triune God has blessed Her over the centuries with so many expressions of love: the beauty of traditional Catholic doctrine and liturgy, the Saints in their life, work and prayers, Her churches, music and art, the schools and universities, hospitals and orphanages. A Church not nervously wringing hands and looking over the shoulder in case the world doesn’t approve of what She holds true. A Church that so prizes What she has within that she aims unceasingly to bring every single human being in the world into the fold.

I want the Church that Mother Teresa, Maximilian Kolbe, Miguel Pro, Garcia Moreno, Padre Pio, Ronald Knox, Chesterton, Tolkein, Christopher Dawson, Gianna Molla, Elizabeth Anscombe, Mary Mackillop, Dom Marmion, Edith Stein, my late parents, etc, have unhesitatingly, joyfully embraced as theirs. At the other end of the spectrum: I want a Church that will really annoy Satan.

I believe it’s the same Church that Pope Benedict wants, too. God bless the Holy Father: may he continue gloriously reigning for many years to come.

HH | 24 April 2010  

Thank you!We need to be open and defenceless in our quest for renewal. We so much need to be the church of the gospel.
And no,"kerytonbeare"-there is absolutely no link between sexual abuse and overwork"!

Chris Walsh | 24 April 2010  

Pat Power's proposals read like a manifesto for a Frankfurt School subversion of the Church. Why doesn't this Marxist leave the Church alone and take the whole degenerate Second Vatican Council with him?

Jimmy Wade | 25 April 2010  

Thank you, Bishop Power, for being so courageous - yet again.This statement sums my thoughts & feelings &, I know, those of so many Catholics who love their faith. You, with clergy such as Geoffery Robinson, the late John Heaps & Michael Whelan, are the prophets of our day. But, as in the time of Jesus, prophets are not appreciated by the powerful!

Jim W | 25 April 2010  

Thank you Bishop Pat.
Would that more Australian Bishops would take up the challenge of the prophetic voices in the Church. I believe that the 'restorationist' movement in the Church is divisive and a denial of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council. The Holy spirit is NOT a Spirit of Division, but of Unity.

Liz | 25 April 2010  

There is hope. I call on our Australian and universal Catholic Church to be open to Bishop Power.

Pat represents thousands of concerned Catholics. Many have left due to the ongoing sexual abuse scandal and dishonesty from within our church. Thousands of Victims and families are suffering ongoing abuse. Our whole church suffers each time we cover this ‘evil’ up.

I ask those in ‘power and ‘at the top’ to open your ears and heart. There are cries for major reform in the Church. This has come from many including those in authority.

We have heard religious speak up about the concerns of dysfunction and power, and seen some badly treated/ sidelined by the church, not even allowed to speak on church property. We heard retired auxiliary Bishop of Sydney Geoffrey Robinson and Fr.Tom Doyle [USA- ' Deliver us from Evil'] raise their serious concerns as they tried to create the change that needs to come. We have lost too many good priests, nuns and brothers...
Bravo, to all the local priest/s including my own, who continue to call for change. On this Good Shepherd Sunday I pray that we will ‘be open’, ‘seek justice’ and ‘create change’ as Christ, in love and forgiveness.

In Baptism we are all called to be prophet and priest. Major Reforms are needed in our church

Georgina | 25 April 2010  

I agree with Bishop Pat that the church need to be totally reformed.At the Same time my question is that will the total reform of the church stop the scandals in the church? I doubt it; and it will bring more and more new problems. If the church is reformed totally as outlined by Bishop Pat, of course we can be satisfied to say that the church is totally reformed now.Let us be prepared for the worst and hope for the best.

PR | 25 April 2010  

It is great to read Bishop Power's honest and clear message.Thank you Bishop.Long may you continue to deliver it.

Well Done | 25 April 2010  

Congratulations Pat on having the courage again to stand up and be counted. If only we had more Bishops like you who are truthful, just and couragous then we would have a Church that is truly Gospel and a community that we would be proud to belong to. The trouble is our male leaders are afraid to let go and where there is fear the Spirit is not present so we are being controlled by men who appear to be only focused on their role and importance rather than the Gospels and the Risen Christ. Pat, thanks and keep up the great work for the people of God.

Helen Little | 26 April 2010  

When I hear people say that they have 'left the Church' because of the failures of the clergy, I ask myself, "who do you follow? Jesus Christ, or 'man'?" Is 'the church' the Bishops, the Pope, the priests, or is 'the church' you and I? If they fail, does the 'church' fail? If their life in Christ contains sin, does my life in Christ plummet? We talk about 'reformation', but this sexual abuse crisis highlights in my mind, the desperate need we have as individual Catholics to have a deeper, stronger, more intimate relationship with our God, so that the failures of others doesn't lead us to abandon our faith. The mantra of 'change the Bishops, change the structures, change the priesthood, change.... them!' disguises the crisis of individual's lack of personal and powerful faith in God. What are YOU and I doing in the life of the Church - TODAY - to bring reform?! Must you wait to see THEM change?!

I've lived, worked and moved in Church circles for a while now and I can tell you that, yes, our leaders are sinners. Shock. The Bishops are sinners. The Priests are sinners. So where does that leave you and I, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

By the way, statistics show (as published in The Australian newspaper) that 98% of priests have NEVER had any accusation of sexual abuse levelled against them? You wouldn't know that from the secular press would you? This statistic is LOWER than than the general population. We need to keep this 'crisis' in some sort of perspective.

Cathy | 26 April 2010  

God bless you Bishop Pat for continuing to speak out bravely

Jason | 26 April 2010  

Congratulations again for your leadership Bishop Pat and for more clearly exposing the issues to be addressed: not the sexual abuse by a few but their protection by the many.

As cathy (26 April) correctly notes (albeit not exactly in support of your call for reform) 98% of priests have never had a charge of child sexual abuse made against them. I guess that's what makes so appalling the 'charge', against 98% of the church's hierarchy, of cover-up, concealment and failure to report criminal abuse. In its failed attempt to cover the offending 2% of clergy, the hierarchy has closed ranks to protect itself, its image and status, bringing the church - that's all o us - public vilification, rebuke and scandal. What an unholy, un-Christ-like state of affairs; what betrayal of 'The good Shepherd' Himself and the values He teaches us.

Bishop Pat, have you thought about your next steps? Have you an agenda to which others of us equally concerned can sign up? Is there some strategy or national approach that those of us still in the pews can help? Perhaps your good self, Bishop Geoffrey Robinson and other like-minded leading clerics could launch a national action strategy here in Australia, that could then join with others globally to re-claim our church and the spirit of the 'Good Shepherd'.

Imagine a strategy, inspired by the Holy Spirit, that actually draws people back to Christ and His church, instead of this uninspired downward spiral that scandalises and repels so many?

Imagine such a strategy, starting right here in Oz, then fanning out across the world?

Well, why not Australia?

Do we not still regard our country as the 'Great Southland of the Holy Spirit'?

It happened once before you know, from a much smaller, more troubled and troublesome country...

Palestine circa 33AD?

Dr Frank Donovan | 26 April 2010  

Thank you again Pat. Many women of the church know their place at the foot of the cross - with and like Jesus: dispensable, voiceless, spirit-sapped and waiting. Enough is indeed enough!

vivien williams | 26 April 2010  

Once again Bishop Pat has sensed the feelings of the ordinary faithful who are crying out to be heard. Like Bishop Robinson, whose book I have read and discussed with Diocesan clergy and fellow Pastoral Associates when I was in Parish ministry, we all agreed with him.

Many of the 'faithful', mainly the young, Catholic school educated, have left the Church in terms of attendance at Mass. That does not mean they have lost their faith-often far from it. As I commented at a Liturgy Committee meeting last week, discussing how to bring people back to the Parish, the problem is they find the authoritarian, centralised, ritualistic formula to be irrelevant and boring. Homilies are often not only irrelevant but fail to address the issues of the here and now in their lives.

Pat is absolutely right in his 8 points. Tradition has become so inflexible that we have rituals and clerical garb, more reflective of the Roman Empire of 2,000 years ago!We have not only tried to turn back the reforms of Vatican 11, some reactionaries wish to regress to the reactionary events of Vatican 1.They wish the'certainty of Truth".
Pat, I agree with you - enough is enough!

Gavin | 26 April 2010  

I'm not sure that the 'Church hierachy' has closed ranks with regard to sexual abuse (Dr Frank Donovan). Over the past 20 years the church has been addressing this issue. I believe that the current 'crisis' is being exaggerated. That's not to say that there isn't a problem. My issue is that every 'enemy' of the church is using this to push their barrow.

My advice to Bishop Pat is that you can not reform the Church if you stand apart from it. You cannot influence your brother priests and bishops when you place yourself above them as the one who 'really' knows.

Humility please..

Cathy | 26 April 2010  

At long last; the voice from a Bishop who understands and who also recognises the plight and pain of many including his fellow bishop, Geoffrey Robinson who has been one voice alone amongst our Bihops and he has suffered so deeply I am sure for daring to tell it how it is. There was another Bishop, John Heaps RIP, who also tried and he too suffered and now we have Bp Patrick Power who has always been brave, but sometimes not brave enough, until now. Thank you Patrick Power. Teresa of Avila would support you; "Be a man...."
PLease Bishops all, be brave and gather lay people around you who do love the church but find many of its structures and practices offensive. Things must change and the hour is getting very late in case you have not noticed.

Mary Conlan | 26 April 2010  

Since when is Pat Powers really Catholic? He is an opportunist using a situation to further a very unCatholic agenda.

Chris | 27 April 2010  

Thanks once again Pat. It's encouraging to have a bishop in Aussie land giving we priests something to hang on to re 'Belief'.

Des Welladsen | 27 April 2010  

Many many thanks, Bishop Pat, for having the courage and love to name and challenge the need for change within the church. The deep woundedness of so many is evident and there is surely a cry for help that our God may 'hear the cry of the poor'.

Bishop Pat you have heard that cry and have done something about it by putting words on what so many of us experience. Yes, we truly love the church but agonise over the crises that it now faces.Please continue to show good leadership and help us take the steps no matter how small to bring about healing and health.

O breathe on us breath of God. Fill us with life anew. That we may love what Thou does love and do what Thou does do.

Patricia Joyce | 27 April 2010  

It seems we already have a woman bishop in Pat here...

The faithful Church indeed is small

Tulip | 27 April 2010  

My dear writer...it is the cry of the corrupt culture that calls for a reform of the church, not the cry of Christ. I am a woman and I lament the role that women have played in the eclipse of love in the culture, in the family and in the Church. I get very incensed when I hear this line.."if only women had been making the decisions". How many are making the decision to end the life of their babies? Is this a palatable truth?

May I suggest the teaching of the Theology of the Body by John Paul II, presented in the book, "Men and Women He Created Them", to help you see through the confusion of the culture...to understand the meaning of maleness and femaleness, of marriage and love, of celibacy and total commitment to Christ.

Lauire | 27 April 2010  

If you recall scripture where Jesus told Mary not to touch him upon his return (resurrection) and later on allowed one of his disciples, Thomas, to place his hands in his wounds, why do you think he did that? Because he, Thomas, was a disciple and he was given the charisms only assigned to those to continue with the Priesthood that Jesus started. They were given full authority by Jesus. Not females. I am a female and see the false concerns about the place of women in the Church. Women were and are to play a very important role and that is a role of mother, nourisher, nurturer, not the fatherly role of Protector and Guider. Yes woman can have a role in teaching, but not what these selfish people currently have in mind. Jesus went to heaven and returned- HE'S TIMELESS from beginning to end. He saw this already, he knew the heart of mankind. If he wanted women priest's then he would have had them in the upper room that day when he sent the Holy Spirit to the FIRST appostles. He set the precedence. He told them to leave everything and follow him not marry

ANONYMOUS | 27 April 2010  

Council Vatican II is at the root of the sad state our Church currently is in. Forget VATII,forget its purported "spirit of", its litutgical abuses, its fancies, its will of rupture from our Church's glorious bimillenary past, and things will better. St Augustine said that in troubled times, one must come back to the Tradition.

Let's acknowledge humbly that we have erred for more than 40 years like the Jews in the Sinai desert. Now the Promised Land is at hand. Let's recover and Christ will grant His Church the new Pentecost she needs desperately.

Jacques Dumon | 27 April 2010  

Women priests? No, no, no. It is against Scripture teaching and nowhere in universal church Tradition.

But married MALE priests? Yes, yes, yes. St Paul wrote in 1Corinthians 9:5, "Do not Barnabas and I have the RIGHT to marry a believing woman, like Cephas (Peter) and the rest of the apostles?" The answer: YES, he did.

Also look up 1Timothy 3:1-5 and Titus Chapter one for the qualifications of MEN in the ministry - the ideal is for them to be married. No priest, bishop or pope should ever have to promise not to marry. It goes against the Deposit of Faith, left to us by Jesus and the aposltes, and universal Church Tradition not only allowed a married priesthood, but it encouraged it.

St Patrick is the grandson of a Roman Catholic priest and the son of a Roman Catholic deacon. The healthy vocations and examples of the fathers fostered the healthy vocations of the sons in those days. Let's bring back the healthy ways and abolish mandatory celibacy for the diocesan priesthood.

Cradle Catholic | 27 April 2010  

I can 'hear' the Bishop's desire for greater compassion in the church and the in the world generally. As long time observer of human nature, however, I cannot help but say that for all his sincerity the Bishop is mistaken in thinking a reform of church structures will makes for better people and more compassion. If Jesus had thought his church was a matter of reform of societal structures, he would have been a revolutionary in Israel - but he wasn't because he knew the reform of the heart cannot be done that way. Not only that, but people who believe that reform can happen by changing external institutional structures often fall prey to prevalent political pressures and may even go the totalitarian way to force their agenda through. People's hearts are sick and hurting, Bishop Power, and changing structures is not going to help - it is always the individual soul speaking to the individual soul that 'changes' the world. It is the individual soul standing for what is true and good in the face of opposing secuar winds that 'changes' other hearts and minds. Bishop, defend the truths of the church and do so with the great compassion which is your gift - but don't go the 'Clayton's' way of reform by calling for renewal through structural change.

Skye | 27 April 2010  

it is well known that the Spirit of Vatican II brought a lot of casualness in the church and outright indifference to the Blessed Sacrament. It also brought many people who were active in the church (but not in the way that was necessary) but in a way that has manifested itself into so much activity going on during Mass that the Mass is no longer the center but the people participating. Nothing is Sacred but everything is like a big hall town meeting. I could go on and on.....Vatican II was spirited in the wrong direction that was never intended. We as parishioners were never given a voice in the terrible outcome of these changes but the very people that commandeered these changes are demanding a voice in respect to the reform. I thank God that we are seeing the Holy father steering us back in the right direction. So much damage has been done and you can rest assured that the lack of proper training and liberal views taught to many seminarians and in the Catholic schools has contributed greatly to the abuses by some of the clergy. Also the young have no respect nor any clue as to what Mass is all about. I Praise the Lord for Our Holy father who has a very difficult job because his very own are misled and going against him. But God will prevail.

Fran G. | 27 April 2010  

May God have mercy on the soul of Bishop Patrick Power.

J. C. Tzos | 27 April 2010  

And how much media flak are you going to suffer for this diatribe, Pat? How much abuse and opprobrium are going to come your way? How much feminist venom are you going to cop? How will you cope?

Gerard | 27 April 2010  

The Bishop Power should distinguish between the Teaching of the Church and the human behavior of its teachers. There is no doubt that the Church, like all society, suffers seriously from a patriarchal culture. I believe this inhibits change more than anything else.The answer is not feminism either.

Ralph Coelho | 27 April 2010  

Bishop Power, if you are claiming that "compulsory celibacy" is behind the priest sexual abuse, then you are stating that homosexual priests would not have committed this abuse against these boys if they had been allowed to marry women since the facts show that 80% of the abuses were male to male. If that is true, you have discovered a cure for homosexuality: allow them to marry women. Or maybe you haven't. Oh well...

David | 27 April 2010  

Thank you Bishop Pat, for speaking aloud what is in your heart. For this, and for reflecting what so many of the faithful are thinking and saying, some will not thank you. I pray that God continues to strengthen you to speak what needs to be spoken.

The institutional Church is little different to other human institutions - they are all run by humans with all the fallibility that entails - our Church is no different, and the evidence is manifold, both in the here and now, and over the centuries. It therefore behoves us to look critically (and lovingly) at the institution,its structures, decisionmaking, rules.

We do this with love in our hearts - for the Church and her Mission, for the people involved in running the Church, and for the faithful and those we hope will join us now and in the future.

Some will find this unsettling - but nothing stays the same, and the Curch has changed over the centuries, and will change in the future.

Theorists tell us that organisations are either adapting and growing, or they are in decline. To date the Church has been (in human terms) very successful in its membership and spread. We all want that to continue.

To those who are concerned at the prospect of discussing the need for change, let alone change itself, I ask: What are the signs that you see, that tell you that we in this age, at this time, have got it right? That two millenia of change has culminated in the perfect Church?

On the contrary, there are many signs that the process of growth, change and evolution that has given us our church today needs to continue, for the good of the Church of tomorrow, of our children and our children's children.

Trust the Spirit, He is with us.

Ed Cory | 27 April 2010  

"It needs to be recognised that all wisdom does not reside exclusively in the present all male leadership of the Church and that the voices of the faithful must be heard.

With all due respect to the Bishop this is one female voice of the faithful who begs to differ. The fact that among the doctors of the Church are several women undermines the asertion that the Church is led by male wisdom alone The only aspect of the Church that is exclusively male is the priesthood and that was Jesus' choice.He chose 12 males to be at His Last Supper where he instituted the Eucharist.He could have had His Blessed Mother there and other loyal female disciples but he did not and it is no use saying oh but it would have gone against Jewish custom Jesus was never afraid to go aginst custom which is one of the reasons He offended the Pharisees and Saducees.

Yes women have always been essential in the life of the Church. Indeed we would have no Church at all if Mary had not said yes in the first place.It is sadly ironic that today so many women have not modelled themselves on Mary and have said no to life by ignoring the Church's teaching on artificial contraception and on the evil of abortion.Remember Mary's words at Cana "Do as He tells you" It was not do as the Jewish Law tells you or do what YOU feel needs to be done or do what you FEEL like doing.No it was a simple but challenging brief "Do as He tells you" and where did Jesus promise His Truth would lie-in Holy Mother Church.
Mary Magdalene is a wonderful saint and I believe she would be very disappointed at people invoking her name to give some sort of credence to what is basically a failure to accept Jesus' choice of an all male priesthood and to trust in His promise that He will provide for our needs. If we pray more vocations for the priesthood will blossom.We have the solution We just need to act on it.

Mary was not interested in power.The power Mary possessed was her humility and total trust in God.Women who model themselves on mary bring light, strength and courage to the Church.

Honoria | 27 April 2010  

Why do we have male priest only? Does the bishop have a clue? What do you think the mass is, a social gathering? Do we have an inkling of an idea of what the Catholic faith is about? Take a look at the protestant groups that have gone modern - what do they look like today? And that's after some 80 years after the Lambert conference in 1930.

The bishops, all of them, with all due respect, should do their jobs as sheppards and teachers of the Catholic faith and not bashers. God almighty, do we think the Catholic church is a faternal club?

Talk about majoring in the negative, very few positive comments here of what the Church has accomplished over 2000 years.

Do we think that Catholic priest and nuns are the only abusers in the world - the public school teachers are listed as being guilty 10 times more - yet no out cry, no consuling, not cash, no nothing.

If you need direction, look to a saint!!!

Domenic | 27 April 2010  

why do people feel the need to change the thing that they knew what the standard was before they took their vows? After 7 years of study, couldn't this guy figure out that celibacy was not for him? Quit whining and remember yours vows of obedience and celibacy. If he did not agree with that part of being a priest then he should have not taken the final vows. Jesus did not promise a perfect Church, merely a One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic one. All of us being sinners we should remember that people have weaknesses and need they need our prayers. But 2% does not negate the 98% of priests who have no wish to renege on their vows. 98% are able to maintain their vows. I am sure they may have their weaknesses but their love for God and their promises mean more than the whining of this Bishop from Australia. The beauty of the Church is that she carries on from the Apostles and the early church fathers so that the Truth will never be lost. Leave the Truth alone and quit trying to make Her a wimp but a light on the hill.

kim hardin | 27 April 2010  

I agree with with His Lordship. There should be a total reform in the Church.

First, we should rid ourselves of the pedophiles and sexual predators within the ranks of the clergy.

Second, we must remove those Bishops who by their direct action or inaction enabled these monsters to damage the body of Christ in the way that they have.

Thirdly, we need to expel dissident clergy, such as Bishop Pat, who push their deformed vision of "Church", complete with an emasculated clergy, and a retarded concept of sexuality ahead of an uncompromising proclamation of the Gospel.

The narcissistic ravings of these Kumbaya Catholics have blinded them to the damage their stewardship has done to the practice and faith of Catholics over the last 50 years. We are called to be leaven in society, yet our society has become more profane, and less able to cope positively with the ethical dilemmas facing us. At a moment in history when our technological advancements threaten to overwhelm the dignity of the human person at all stages of life, such stewards have perverted the beauty and sanctity of human sexuality, and marriage has become a battleground in the struggle for the soul of society.

You say REFORM? I say BRING IT ON!

Mark P | 28 April 2010  

The Catholic Church needs thorough and deep doctrinal reform and organisational reconstruction. The Vatican is not sensitive to outside opinion because it is constituted by unelected prelates who have all of the power. The laity have no say as to who will be a Bishop, or any other high-ranking prelate within our dioceses or within the Vatican. Nobody has any power to remove any person that holds an important high-ranking position within the Vatican except the Pope, and the Pope can only go by resignation or death.

The Vatican is an institution that is self-perpetuating, unelectable, and therefore moribund in terms of making timely doctrinal and structural reforms that are consistent with modern knowledge. This is the predicament of modern catholics in the 21st century who are seeking a more contemporaneous church.

The Vatican as an institution lacks the virtues of courage and humility, and a governing culture bounded by transparency and accountability. These virtues and values of governance are linked, because you need courage in order to be humble and you need both courage and humility in order to accommodate transparency and accountability. To wit, the church needs to humbly admit its searing errors regarding child abusers and summon the courage to reform its structures, processes, disciplines, policies, and doctrines. In addition, it needs a thorough updating through doctrinal reform by looking at the knowledge gained through the research of universities into the human condition. It must incorporate into its doctrines a modern understanding of psychology, psychiatry, genetics, sexology, sociology, and anthropology. To fail to reform their thoroughly mediaeval doctrinal positions on sex, sexuality, and birth control, is utterly non-catholic because it is not consistent with the truth of modern knowledge as the world knows it.

One essential starting point that the church cannot compromise on is the notion that every human being, believer and non-believer alike, is absolutely entitled to their own conscience. Following from the freedom of conscience is the freedom of religion as an absolute value, that must be accorded a core value of the Catholic faith. The primacy of the individual conscience is an unassailable reality that cannot be diluted by any individual or power structure. It will take some courage and humility for the Vatican to accept this unconditionally. Any attempts to dilute this teaching on conscience while the modern secular world is watching will be fatal for the church's mission to spread the Gospel.

John Candido | 28 April 2010  

What Power and Robinson are advocating is precisely what has brought the Church undone; that is the relaxation of standards to accommodate the secular world. Now of course, having dismantled a magnificent edifice they, with characteristic evasiveness, lay the blame at others' doors.

Dunstan Hartley | 28 April 2010  

Thank you Bishop Pat, for speaking aloud what is in your heart. For this, and for reflecting what so many of the faithful are thinking and saying, some will not thank you. I pray that God continues to strengthen you to speak what needs to be spoken.

The institutional Church is little different to other human institutions - they are all run by humans with all the fallibility that entails - our Church is no different, and the evidence is manifold, both in the here and now, and over the centuries. It therefore behoves us to look critically (and lovingly) at the institution,its structures, decision making, rules.

We do this with love in our hearts - for the Church and her Mission, for the people involved in running the Church, and for the faithful and those we hope will join us now and in the future.

Some will find this unsettling - but nothing stays the same, and the Church has changed over the centuries, and will change in the future.

Theorists tell us that organisations are either adapting and growing, or they are in decline. To date the Church has been (in human terms) very successful in its membership and spread. We all want that to continue.

To those who are concerned at the prospect of discussing the need for change, let alone change itself, I ask: What are the signs that you see, that tell you that we in this age, at this time, have got it right? That two millenia of change has culminated in the perfect Church?

On the contrary, there are many signs that the process of growth, change and evolution that has given us our church today needs to continue, for the good of the Church of tomorrow, of our children and our children's children.

Trust the Spirit, He is with us.

Ed Cory | 28 April 2010  

I agree with with His Lordship. There should be a total reform in the Church.

First, we should rid ourselves of the pedophiles and sexual predators within the ranks of the clergy.

Second, we must remove those Bishops who by their direct action or inaction enabled these monsters to damage the body of Christ in the way that they have.

Thirdly, we need to expel dissident clergy, such as Bishop Pat, who push their deformed vision of "Church", complete with an emasculated clergy, and a retarded concept of sexuality ahead of an uncompromising proclamation of the Gospel.

We are called to be leaven in society, yet our society has become more profane, and less able to cope positively with the ethical dilemmas facing us. At a moment in history when our technological advancements threaten to overwhelm the dignity of the human person at all stages of life, such stewards have perverted the beauty and sanctity of human sexuality, and marriage has become a battleground in the struggle for the soul of society.

You say REFORM? I say BRING IT ON!

Mark P | 28 April 2010  

This “crisis" has arisen concurrently with a drastic erosion of the value placed on marriage.

Marriage is the founding vocation of humanity, based on the mutual and complete gift of self by a man and a woman. Celibacy parallels marriage.
Since marriage and family constitute the whole end of human sexuality, therein lies the effective remedy for the “crisis”. There would be little opportunity for abuse and injustice in a Church flourishing with marriages and families reflecting the Christian life.

Bishop Power should be seeking to treat the cause as well as the symptoms of his “crisis”.

His eight hopes for the Church would be best fulfilled as follows:
human: reject the modern understanding that a person is a self sufficient source of meaning and truth;
humble: be obedient to the Church’s authority;
less clerical: Church authority – yes, abuse of power - no;
more inclusive: lay people undertake their responsibilities;
more open: talk with your priest and Bishop;
unity in diversity: listen but be faithful to the magesterium;
whole tradition: appreciate of how Christianity has shaped a better world, yet acknowledge the errors of individuals;
reflect Jesus: forgive; have solidarity with all people.

Les Broderick | 28 April 2010  

We need more bishops like Pat Powers. Before the Reformation there were many calls for reform in the church. Sadly it came after the damage was done. We pray that reform will come soon in our church.

Today I am disillusioned, not with the church, but with some in the church. The church is all the baptized not the curia or some of the hierarchy.

Gideon | 28 April 2010  

What a breath of fresh air you are Bishop Pat. As a 72 year old cradle Catholic who never fully understood the Church and all of its rules, customs and idiosyncrasies(?), your plain speaking common sense words give me some solace and a great deal of hope for the future. But first, as you point out the present "nettle" besetting the Church has to be fearlessly grasped so that Christ's mission can be advanced. Let's have no more of this "princely Church" bumph; that's for an era long passed, but it is still too often promoted and pursued by what I would describe as "career priests". Hopefully all the present troubles of the Church might make those priests in this category less numerous and ambitious and encourage the service ethic which is thankfully still predominant amongst most priests and religious.
May God bless you Bishop Pat.

Frank Scanlon | 29 April 2010  

Well, Bishop Pat, you certainly started a fierce debate. You expected that of course: like all other institutions the Church (that's all of us) includes those who champion change and those who resist. Of course we need to change those elements of the structure and culture of our Church that repel people instead of drawing them to Christ as He commanded that we do. Yet somehow we have to do that with love for each other - champions and resisters.

This 5th Sunday of Easter the liturgy of the Mass directs our attention to the New Commandment of Christ - that we love one another.

Quite a challenge for us all if the hostility evident in the above debate is to be overcome.

Dr Frank Donovan | 29 April 2010  

Bishop Power’s cheer squad is clearly in the ascendancy here but there has been little written that is constructive.

To take one issue, in the 1990s there were some scientific publications claiming that homosexuality could be attributed to a “gay gene”. These have since been debunked and the American Psychological Association, well known for its activism in the area, has been forced to retract, and reluctantly admit a minimalist position that “There is no consensus among scientists …”.

It might well be that same sex attraction, which is not just sheer eroticism, is actually the result of the unfortunate relational experiences of children in the vast array of unsatisfactory family situations that have become so common since the 1960s.

If Bishop Power’s 1996 compassion for people who have to live with same sex attraction drove him to call for accommodation in the Church’s teaching of people who “were born that way” then there is no longer any justification for his stand.

Compassion must be seated alongside justice and all the other virtues. There are many more people than homosexuals who are called upon to live a life of virginity, not to mention those people who live a faithful marriage despite the numerous temptations that arise.

Les Broderick | 29 April 2010  

Thank God to hear this from any leader in the Catholic church.

Damien Coghlan | 30 April 2010  

I feel the relationship between celibacy and sexual abuse is more nuanced than much discussion acknowledges. Child sex abuse happens where any unsupervised access to children occurs including the Anglican church, orphanages, scout groups, sporting teams, and within families. The recidivist offenders among the clergy who caused most damage are likely primary pedophiles with no attraction to adults and a singular sexual attraction to pre pubescent children. This group would likely have remained unmarried and predatory in any environment and whatever punishment or treatment was given.
You can argue the primary aim of our church's response was to protect the church - however an outlook blinkered by belief in redemption was probably also a factor. Unfortunately for the children and the church re offending in this particular group is now known to be inevitable.

Some of these pedophiles may have entered the church with the hope of controlling their aberrant impulses some perhaps for purely predatory reasons.

The psychological damage caused by child sex abuse has been a slow dawning realization over several decades. The church may or may not have been slower to recognize it than the rest of us not by much. One reason why abuse splits families today is still because of hostility toward the accuser from the rest of the family regardless of acceptance of the claims or not.

I believe there is an unthinking pack mentality by many attacking the church today & sadly gleeful opportunism by others. Calling for significant changes to Church in areas as unrelated as liturgy gives me cause for considerable concern. More general reflection and less impulsiveness from the majority is warranted.

Gary Flynn | 05 May 2010  

There is ample room the Federal Government and Government Instituions to modify the power and authority of the clergy

daviddavoren | 05 May 2010  

In this low time of the church where many of those called to be shheperds are but hirelings fleeing as the sheep scatter to be ravaged by the wolfs, we should look at the prayer of the suffering Christ at a time when one of his bishops had betrayed him and 10 others had fled.

God my God, look upon me: why hast thou forsaken me? Far from my salvation are the words of my sins. O my God, I shall cry by day, and thou wilt not hear: and by night, and it shall not be reputed as folly in me. But thou dwellest in the holy place, the praise of Israel. In thee have our fathers hoped: they have hoped, and thou hast delivered them.
They cried to thee, and they were saved: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.7 But I am a worm, and no man: the reproach of men, and the outcast of the people. All they that saw me have laughed me to scorn: they have spoken with the lips, and wagged the head. He hoped in the Lord, let him deliver him: let him save him, seeing he delighteth in him.

Francis | 08 May 2010  

Thank you, so much! We need voices like yours in the church today. I wonder what I am getting myself in for, joining the Sisters of Mercy, thus becoming a "public face" of the church. But your words and those of the priests here in Adelaide are heartening. They hold fast to the vision of Vatican II and call us to move on from there. We here have women training the deacons.

Surely, with voices like yours, and those of all of us Catholics who want an inclusive church centred on the Reign of God, we can create the church of the future. But it will be a long and hard journey, I do not deny it. May the Spirit guide us all!

EY | 22 May 2010  

The catholics (those where believe the pope has authority over the scriptures) are better off repenting of pope worship and worshipping God according to the scriptures. I respect many people who call themselves "catholics", because they are scrupulous regarding morals. one aspect of this morality is honoring Gods design for the sexes. Ie, though women and men are equally valuable in Gods sight, they have been given different functions, in both the home and Church. In other words, i believe the scriptures say no women preachers. And generally that women should not have authority over men. I will say though that it seems possible some women are gifted with leadership, but keep in mind leadership for a group is not authority. For example, leadership is like the sails on a ship (administrator gift is the rudder according to the Greek word), whereby people are motivated by the leader to achieve a particular task for the Lord. Deborah strikes me as a female leader that agreed to go help the mens morale in battle, but whom also did not try to exercise authority by directing the war effort. The men knew how to do this already. Something to think about.

Ryan | 10 July 2010  

I note that the Catholica website lists Bishop Pat Power in its list of contributers.That frightens me for a start.

John Tobin | 09 March 2011  

A]Bishop Power the church has coped with and come through much worse than today's crisis! It was with regard to a council (359) that St. Jerome registered, "the whole world groaned and marvelled to find itself Arian". B]I would like to see genuine scientific research Appraisal that all Catholics or a momentous body of Catholics screams for the bishop's reform agenda[much already experimented with in the 'post-gone-sillier circus' with cataclysmic repercussions. C]it is nonsensical to imply the abuse crisis was generated by lack of women's input[not even USA jon jay report came at that one; what is blatantly evident is the abuse accusations declined exponentially from the start of jp2 reign-thereby accentuating the countermeasure of orthodoxis and orthopraxis http://fallibleblogma.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/abuse_chart.jpg D]the church over 2000 years changed bed pans of sick in hospitals and refuges[Teresa of Calcutta] beat that for humbler church;changing soiled diapers in maternity hospitals;and soiled kindergarten brats[you don't get a humbler church your lordship]

FATHER john michael george | 03 November 2011  

As a young Catholic living in a diverse, open-minded society, I feel completely disenfranchised with the Church. The liberal worldview that is held by the vast majority of Catholics is not reflected in the message of our clergy. Though I agree that the Church must not always do what is considered "popular", there is no doubt that the Clergy can be wrong, and that the Church can change as society progresses. The Church is run by humans, meaning the Church's traditions and practices are fallible. It is the ability to change that fuels my love for the Catholic Church, not its devotion to ridiculous traditions that please the more vocal minority of the Church's members (AKA the "traditionalists". Whom - according to Dr. K's comment - breed like rabbits and therefore control MY Church).

For our Church to grow, it must reform. We will only lose more members. Members who do love God, but refuse to believe he would approve of discrimination in his Church. There is absolutely no rational argument against women spreading the word of God just as men do. It is fundamentally un-Catholic to think otherwise.

The Church must reform in order to continue spreading Christ's message.

Luke | 09 January 2012  

Bishop Power is a beacon of light. Unfortunately too many other senior clergy in the Church are too transparent in their giving priority to protecting their outdated secretive bureaucracy rather than being informed by the Gospel. The priesthood is dying out as a result of this dis-connect. Due to the clear inability of the church hierarchy to lead reform from within, it will be enacted by lay catholics who are willing to challenge the obsolete policies and practices.

Frank Ross | 13 May 2012  

Thank you for speaking up for so many of us.

Annette Ryan | 19 August 2014  

Hi Bishop Godfrey your words give Inspiration courage hope to know Truth Faith and Justice I remember St Vincents College Syd my school Church Nuns Spiritual Music

Eileen Kennedy | 29 September 2014  

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