By Chris McGillion, Geraldine Doogue
Why Catholicism in Australia has didn't retain its relevance regardless of common proof of a starvation for that means, values and a renewed experience of group.
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Extra info for A Long Way from Rome: Why the Australian Catholic Church Is in Crisis
But often the ‘problem’ was ‘addressed’ without the alleged offender having to confront anything more upsetting than a change of address. Complaints about Evans, for instance, first surfaced while he was teaching at St Patrick’s College in the Sydney suburb of Strathfield. Rather than confronting Evans, Church authorities moved him to Wollongong, where he subsequently became headmaster of Edmund Rice College. QXD 16/6/03 11:44 AM Page 26 A LONG WAY FROM ROME children and to continue a high public profile life as a local radio celebrity and newspaper columnist.
Two weeks after the Catholic Weekly endorsed the decision to manage the trial, its Melbourne counterpart, Kairos, carried an article by Father Anthony Fisher, the epsicopal vicar for health care for the Melbourne Archdiocese, attacking Church involvement in the project. Fisher, who was described by one Church source as ‘[Archbishop George] Pell’s right-hand man’, wrote that no program set up to facilitate or condone drug abuse could be ethical—let alone acceptable for a Church agency’. His article was the first sign that the decision taken by the Sisters of Charity—and, at the very least, initially not opposed in any active way by Clancy—was under serious challenge.
Nothing less than a dramatic and decisive response could hope to reverse the situation. The vote on a ‘plan of action’ incorporating the 25 recommendations—including finalisation of a set of principles and procedures to govern the way Church authorities would deal with complaints of clerical sexual abuse—was 36 in favour to none against, with one abstention. That vote was significant for several reasons. It meant that the old closed ranks and crisis management approach had been dropped. It also meant that those bishops who had been inclined to tough out the publicity generated by the Royal Commission into Police Corruption, as well as the wider controversy generated by the sexual abuse issue, had been talked around by other bishops who felt the need for urgent and decisive action.
A Long Way from Rome: Why the Australian Catholic Church Is in Crisis by Chris McGillion, Geraldine Doogue