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Theology, history, canon law may figure in lay role in addressing crisis / Catholic News Service on CatholicPhilly.com
Reform is a constant in church history, he (Carlos Eire, a professor of history and religious studies at Yale University) added, because “corruption is a constant in human history.” (Catholic News Service on CatholicPhill.com)
A panel of academics at a Feb. 6 conference on the clergy sex abuse crisis noted that the current crisis is not the first scandal to confront the church, and that the church has had trouble putting those scandals to rest.
“The clergy has had ‘the power to correct themselves,’ said Carlos Eire, a professor of history and religious studies at Yale University, ‘but throughout all of this time, that power has been used very unevenly and ineffectively.’ Reform is a constant in church history, he added, because ‘corruption is a constant in human history.’
“Eire was one of three panelists at the second in a series of programs called ‘Healing the Breach of Trust’ at The Catholic University of America in Washington. The Feb. 6 program was subtitled ‘The Role of the Laity in Responding to the Crisis: Theological and Historical Foundations.’ It was sponsored by the university’s Institute of Human Ecology.”
By Mark Pattison, Catholic News Service, on CatholicPhilly.com — Read more …
“Peter Johnstone, president of the Australian group Catholics for Renewal, formed after revelations of abuse began to become public, called the church “dysfunctional, in that it is doing things that are totally contrary to its mission.”
In a wide-ranging discussion, members of Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and experts called to testify discussed how good business practices might or might not make children less vulnerable.
“The hearing included discussion of church governance, celibacy and what seminarians are being taught about power and leadership …
“(Maureen) Cleary (nonprofit governance consultant) and Patrick Parkinson, a law professor at Sydney University, spoke of the need for more involvement by laypeople to help break the institutional church’s system of clericalism, a pyramid structure of authority discussed in previous sessions.
“Peter Johnstone, president of the Australian group Catholics for Renewal, formed after revelations of abuse began to become public, called the church ‘dysfunctional, in that it is doing things that are totally contrary to its mission.’
“‘Essential requirements of good governance are usually seen as being … about accountability, transparency, leadership, listening, and (aligning the) culture and the leadership of the church, through accountability and transparency, to its mission,’ he said.”
By Catholic News Service on CatholicPhilly.com — Read more …