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Monday, 9 June 2008

Power and sex in the Catholic Church

Geoffrey Robinson is in defiant mood. He's the Australian bishop who's touring the States promoting his book Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church: Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus, and, afraid of the interest he could revive in the pervy-priests scandal, fellow bishops are telling him to stay away from California.

He's saying up yours, and is going ahead. Robinson's thesis is that it's the nutty Catholic insistence on celibacy that's led to the scandal, which has cost the church millions in compensation as people have come forward and complained that they've been abused by Catholic priests. Robinson openly criticises the papacy for failing to provide guidance.

A story in the Los Angeles Times says,

Following direction from the Vatican, the California religious leaders and eight other prominent bishops around the country have asked former auxiliary Bishop Geoffrey Robinson of Sydney to steer clear of their dioceses because of his "problematic positions" on priestly celibacy and other issues.

Cardinal Roger Mahoney of Los Angeles has written a joint letter with nine other American bishops, warning Robinson that his visit could be "a source of disunity and cause of confusion among the faithful of the particular churches we serve".

And we all know why it could be a source of disunity, don't we? They'd all rather the pervy-priests scandal were laid to rest for ever, and don't like it when the whole filthy, disgusting business is raised again.

Mahoney wrote to Robinson last month, "I hereby deny you permission to speak in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles."

But 70-year-old Robinson says he has no intention of cancelling, and will be in California tomorrow.

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