Posts Tagged Bishop Geoffrey Robinson
In a day of remarkable evidence before the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, Bishop Geoffrey Robinson offered damning assessments of the most senior Catholic clerics on the planet. Pope John Paul II ‘handled the abuse poorly’ Cardinal George Pell was a ‘most ineffectual bishop’ and ‘the majority of the priests wished he’d get transferred somewhere else.’ Even Pope Francis is not providing ‘real leadership.’
“But his most chilling and telling statement about the Catholic church was the one he made about the church hierarchy’s response to revelations about child sexual abuse: “What we got was silence, so bishops were loyal to the silence.”
Commentary by Kristina Keneally in The Guardian — Click here to read the rest of this column. Kristina Keneally is a Guardian columnist and 42nd premiere of New South Wales, who holds a Master’s degree in theology.
“Pope Francis was yet to show strong leadership on the issue”
Cardinal George Pell ‘destroyed the unity’ of the Catholic church’s response to child sex abuse, an Australian bishop has told the royal commission.
“Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, who played a key role in developing the Australian church’s response to child sex abuse, also said Pope Francis was yet to show strong leadership on the issue and one of his predecessors, John Paul II, responded ‘poorly’ to revelations of child abuse.
“Robinson worked with other bishops on an Australia-wide clergy response to abuse, Towards Healing, from 1994. When Towards Healing was close to finalization in 1996, Pell created the Melbourne Response, taking the country’s largest diocese out of a united response.
“Robinson said Pell, then the archbishop of Melbourne, created the rival program because he wanted to be seen as a leader on abuse.”
By Bridie Jabour, The Guardian — Click here to read the rest of this story.
By Steve Dzida, Voice of the Faithful® Orange County, California
“So now I tell you, have nothing to do with these men, and let them go. For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God.” So said the Pharisee Gamaliel to the Sanhedrin as they considered what to do with the disciples of Jesus who, inspired by the Holy Spirit, were preaching boldly and openly the good news of Jesus.
Unfortunately for our beloved Church, our Church officials continue to disregard Gamaliel’s sage advice. Bishop Geoffrey Robinson from Australia toured the U.S. several years ago urging Church officials to investigate the clergy sex abuse scandal thoroughly and courageously no matter where it might lead them. Judging such a message to be rebellious and dangerous, American bishops refused him permission to speak on Church property across the country. Bishop Robinson’s powerful message, delivered with humility and faith, resonated with thousands of committed Catholics across the country. Despite the “heads in the sand” approach of Church officials, Bishop Robinson’s message and the abuse scandal have not just gone away.
Fast forward to 2013. Fr. Helmut Schuller of Austria has just completed a cross-country, U.S. tour in which he proclaimed such “radical” notions as (1) the Eucharist is a symbol of inclusion and must not be used as a weapon against the People of God; (2) the Holy Spirit speaks through all the People of God, not just those who have been ordained; and (3) God made both men and women in God’s own image and likeness so we should not prohibit ordination of women. Fr. Schuller urged all of us to stand up as “Church citizens” and speak our minds to the hierarchy about matters of importance to the life of our Church. Once again, ignoring the wisdom of Gamaliel, American bishops prohibited Fr. Schuller from appearing on Church property. Consequently his tour itinerary was marked with appearances at Protestant churches and secular locations. Judge for yourself; use this link — http://www.wbur.org/2013/07/18/helmut-schuller-reformist-priest — to learn more about Fr. Schuller’s message.
So what will we do? We who are citizens of the Church, members of the People of God, baptized and sealed in the Holy Spirit—what will we do? Let us deliver the message to our pastors and our bishops that we will no longer sit still as they do their best to silence the Spirit’s voice in God’s people. Let us tell our pastors and our bishops that we expect them to stand up and speak up, as did Bishop Robinson and Fr. Schuller, to call for the structural changes that are necessary to preserve and protect our Church. Let us tell our pastors and our bishops that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Church and we will not tolerate their sacrificing and rationing the Eucharist in order to preserve the vestiges of an all-male, celibate priesthood. Most importantly, let us call on each and every one of us people in the pews to rise up and take our places as the People of God, called by the Spirit, to deliver the good news of the Gospel to our Church officials who have lost their way.
The Roman Catholic Church clergy sexual abuse scandal in Australia continues to prompt calls for reform, particularly since the beginning earlier this year of the Australian national royal commission inquiry. Now, two former Australian bishops have joined Emeritus Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Sydney Geoffrey Robinson to seek reforms and to promote a Vatican III to look at the structure of Church.
A group of rebel Catholic bishops have today (June 4) launched a petition to tell the people at the top – the Pope and the Vatican – to act to stop the abuse of children within the church. Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, emeritus auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Sydney, said the national royal commission into institutionalized child sex abuse could bring healing and change laws but it could not force the church hierarchy to make fundamental changes.” From story by Janet Fife-Yeoman, The Daily Telegraph, “Catholic Bishops Launch Appeal to Church for Action on Child Abuse,” as the story appeared in The Australian — Click here to read the entire article.
National Catholic Reporter columnist Jamie Manson interviewed Bishop Robinson several days before his announcement of his online petition for an ecumenical council and a new book.
Robinson, a retired auxiliary bishop from Sydney, created the petition in conjunction with the release of his latest book, For Christ’s Sake: End Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church…for Good. The book, like the petition, calls on the church hierarchy to confront the systemic causes, like moral immaturity and the celibate culture, that have contributed both to the abuse and to the bishops’ woefully inadequate response to the crisis.” Read Ms. Manson’s entire interview by clicking here.
The Australian media have covered the continent’s child sexual abuse scandal extensively. Here are links to a couple of additional news stories about Bishop Robinson’s petition and book:
“Moving on to even more difficult territory, bishops and religious leaders need to grapple with the fact that to this day there has never been any serious inquiry into the factors within the Church that may have contributed to abuse. The John Jay study in the United States contained much good material, but it did not answer this need.” Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, former auxiliary bishop of Sydney