Reformers urge Chinan bishops to release report on child sexual abuse royal commission

By , 17/12/2018 16:21

Catholic Church faces ‘make or break time’ President: Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart says the Catholic Church is not diminished because of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Spokesman: Truth Justice and Healing Council chief executive Francis Sullivan represents the Catholic Church at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Concerns: n Institute of Company Directors chief executive Elizabeth Proust, a former chair of the Truth Justice and Healing Council.

Reforms: Former Catholic priest Paul Collins says the n Catholic Church faces its most profound crisis in 230 years.

TweetFacebookNot to make that document available is just another sign of continuing secrecy by the bishops.

Former Catholic priest Dr Peter WilkinsonI do not intend to pre-empt that event or comment on other ideas until the bishops have had the opportunity to meet and discuss the matter.

Melbourne Archbishop Denis HartGod and Caesar, former Catholic priest andauthor Paul Collins said n Catholicism was facing the most profound crisis in its 230-year history. But governmentreliance on the church to provide a significant proportion of ’s social welfare, health, aged care and education services meant the church’s crisis was a serious concern for all ns, he said.

“n Catholicism is a hollowed-out institution with declining membership, mediocre leadership and a 17thCentury governance structure that is hopelessly inadequate in pluralist societies,” Mr Collins said.

“Yet this very shaky institution is the foundation for a vast ministerial enterprise in education, health, aged care and social welfare that is largely funded by government.”

Mr Collins said 2016 figures showed only 8-10 per cent of Catholics attended regular Mass, with “overseas-born Catholics saving Mass attendance figures from collapse”.

One third of regular attendees were over 70, only 9 per cent of 15-29 year olds were regular attendees, and the church would experience an acute shortage of priests after 2022 because of the retirement or death of a large group of priests.

Mr Collins said n bishops were failing to respond to clear signs by Pope Francis who is “trying to shift Catholicism in a more pastorally-responsive direction”.

Dr Wilkinson said Pope Francis had made it clear he supported the concept of subsidiarity – where a central authority like the Vatican has a subsidiary function – and a more inclusive church with local decision-making rather than “what so often happens now, which is that the first port of call for bishops is Rome”.

“If ’s bishops can’t understand what’s going on then we’re going nowhere,” Dr Wilkinson said.

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