By Chris McGillion, Geraldine Doogue
Why Catholicism in Australia has didn't preserve its relevance regardless of common facts of a starvation for that means, values and a renewed experience of neighborhood.
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Extra info for A Long Way from Rome: Why the Australian Catholic Church Is in Crisis
THE BACKLASH Privately, many bishops were angry at the way their visit to Rome had ended in controversy over the Statement of Conclusions, rather than in reflection over the debate at the Synod for Oceania. One bishop described the brief consultation that was held prior to the release of the document as a ‘parody’, and another commented that ‘anyone with any honesty would say there was a lot of duplicity involved’ in getting their assent. Those bishops who were not party to the Vatican meeting in November, including many who had spoken out most vociferously on the need for fundamental Church reform at the synod, were given little time to read or comment on the Statement before it was made public with their concurrence.
A direct consequence of this cultural attitude is the ready victimisation of women through sexual offence. ’11 The report noted that a ‘denial of the feminine’ remained a significant factor in the Catholic Church culture, including the notable absence of women in Church structures and positions of responsibility. ’12 The report found no evidence to suggest that the incidence of sexual abuse by priests and religious brothers was any higher than it is for males generally. But in the case of clergy who do abuse children, the pattern was the ‘complete opposite’ of that found in the general community, with boys more likely to be victims than girls.
Apart from this, no action was taken against either Evans or Comensoli until the Illawarra Mercury published its investigation into the story in October 1993. The ensuing scandal reactivated the police investigation. The following October Peter Comensoli pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting two boys, aged 11 years and 16 years, and was sentenced to 18 months in jail. Two months later, Michael Evans committed suicide on the day he was to be charged with similar offences. The matter, however, was raised again before the 1996 Wood Royal Commission into Police Corruption in New South Wales.
A Long Way from Rome: Why the Australian Catholic Church Is in Crisis by Chris McGillion, Geraldine Doogue