keywords: Clergy Sexual Abuse

  • RELIGION

    Betting on the Synod

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 29 October 2015
    6 Comments

    The journalist Claud Cockburn once said that Catholics could never bet on the election of a pope because they believed it was all up to the Holy Spirit. He was mistaken — many Catholics then and now would place a bet on anything and everything. His reasoning also overlooked the Catholic understanding that human beings cooperate with the Holy Spirit. But his association of God's action with the election and actions of popes provides a lens for looking at the recently concluded Synod on the Family.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The type of leadership Australians want

    • Paul Jensen
    • 21 September 2015
    5 Comments

    Malcolm Turnbull's main justification for challenging Tony Abbott was that the former PM was not capable of providing the economic leadership the nation needs. Abbott's leadership style emphasised strength rather than consultation, which is what he thought people wanted. What they actually wanted was revealed in a recent survey conducted by Swinburne University.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Confessions of a news junkie who hides the news from his kids

    • Barry Gittins
    • 10 July 2015
    8 Comments

    Fielding questions about the latest shark attack or car crash, or government culling of charities, is relatively straightforward. But not the horrific patricide committed by Cy Walsh, son of Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh, and the wounding of his wife Meredith. It baffled my family and I couldn’t come close to explaining it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The burning of a tainted church

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 16 April 2015
    76 Comments

    The burning of a church offers possibilities. It would be a bold and noble gesture, exactly measured to the destruction done to the Catholic Church by priests' sexual abuse, to leave the ruined walls of St James as a shrine to the victims, a record of the evil that was done, and a pledge that never again will children be unprotected in the Catholic Church.

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  • RELIGION

    Catholic press struggles to earn trust

    • Tim Wallace
    • 07 October 2014
    21 Comments

    The sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church has affected mass attendance and contributions to the collection plate. The credibility of its newspapers has also taken a hit, with coverage of the crisis generally following the official line. The publications must  appease both their clerical owners and their supporters, the readers, whose trust needs to be earned and maintained.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The challenge of a five-year Royal Commission

    • Frank Brennan
    • 09 September 2014
    17 Comments

    All church members, and not just the victims who continue to suffer, need light, transparency and accountability if the opaque injustices of the past are to be rectified. Justice Peter McClellan and his fellow commissioners have to do more to bring the states and territories to the table and to get real buy-in by all governments. 

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  • RELIGION

    Magnanimous memoir of a 'dead canary' bishop

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 24 July 2014
    41 Comments

    In mines, where bad air could be lethal, miners used to bring canaries with them. If they fell ill and died, the miners had warning to get out. The recent book by Bishop Bill Morris, replete with documentary evidence, tells the story of a canary caught in the shafts of Vatican culture. His early expiry date pointed to something amiss in the governance of the church, heralding the larger disclosures in the Royal Commission on sexual abuse.

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  • RELIGION

    Rules won't restore the Church

    • Chris McGillion and Damian Grace
    • 23 July 2014
    20 Comments

    It is widely assumed that rules are the solution to transgressions such as those being investigated by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Rules are useful. They can be framed to aid compliance and deter wrongdoing. It is no argument against them to say that people will still offend, but if rules are more legal requirements than the expression of genuine morality, they will have limited effectiveness.

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  • RELIGION

    Why Bishop Morris was sacked

    • Frank Brennan
    • 24 June 2014
    53 Comments

    'My one new insight from reading Bill's book is that he was sacked because he was too much a team player with his local church ... the Romans hoped to shatter the morale and direction of those who had planned the pastoral strategies of a country diocese stretched to the limits as a Eucharistic community soon to be deprived of priests in the Roman mould.' Frank Brennan launches Benedict, Me and the Cardinals Three by Bishop William Morris.

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  • RELIGION

    In defence of Cardinal Pell

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 April 2014
    30 Comments

    I write to defend Cardinal Pell in the wake of Elizabeth Farrelly's claim in the Fairfax press that Pell, when appearing before Justice McClellan at the Royal Commission, proposed a 'priestly child abuse insurance scheme'. Pell is not one of my fans, and neither am I one of his. But I think Farrelly has unfairly kicked him when he is down, and muddied the waters about what is a critical issue for the victims of child sexual abuse.

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  • RELIGION

    Deeper dysfunction behind the Ellis case

    • Tim Wallace
    • 03 April 2014
    12 Comments

    In 2004, two years into the Sydney Archdiocese's botched handling of a sexual abuse complaint against Fr Aidan Duggan, the executive director of the Church's National Committee for Professional Standards did something extraordinary: he inquired into whether Duggan, prior to joining the Archdiocese in 1974, had form. It is the only evidence of a Church official actively attempting to check Duggan's past — an attempt destined to fail.

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  • RELIGION

    Commission hearings' trail of collateral devastation

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 03 April 2014
    21 Comments

    Damage was done to the reputations of Pell's secretary Dr Michael Casey, and to the solicitors from the his chosen legal team Coors, who would have heard clearly the warning of Justice McClellan that saying they were following their client's instructions would be no defence. There is the damage done to the Australian Church as a whole, and, of course, the damge to Pell himself. This is not how he wanted his reign in Sydney to end.

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