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Saturday, 24 May 2008

They don't like it up 'em

It must be American Catholicism's worst nightmare. An Australian bishop who's written a book critical of how the Catholic hierarchy handled the pervy-priests scandals is now doing a speaking tour.

But, according to a story in today's Tablet, the weekly newspaper of the Catholic Church in Britain:

On the eve of his first overseas trip to promote Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church: reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus, retired Sydney Auxiliary Bishop Geoffrey Robinson was "den[ied] permission" to speak in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles by Cardinal Roger Mahony after a statement from the Australian bishops cited "doctrinal difficulties" in Bishop Robinson's "questioning of the authority of the Church".

Oops! Big mistake. Mustn't question their authority. They don't like that. But that's not all:

In a private letter to the prelate leaked by an Australian website, Cardinal Mahony urged Bishop Robinson, whose book examined how the Church handled the sex-abuse crisis, to "cancel the entire speaking tour", which began last week in Philadelphia and includes stops in New York, Seattle, San Diego and Boston, where the US Church's sex-abuse crisis came to international attention in 2002. The cardinal noted that the prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, had likewise insisted that Bishop Robinson not appear in America.

Well, Bishop, I strongly suggest you do as the mafiosi of the church tell you. Go back to Oz this instant! Apologise now! Admit you're wrong, and the entire Catholic Church is right.

You can read the Introduction to Robinson's book here. It's a PDF.

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