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Australian bishop calls for ‘total systemic reform,’ says celibacy discipline should end

April 27, 2010

Saying that “the current crisis facing the Catholic Church arising out of sexual abuse is arguably the most serious challenge the Church has faced since the Reformation,” an Australian bishop says that the Church needs “total systemic reform.”

“The reform needed by the Church today will involve much more than just ‘tinkering around the edges,’” writes Auxiliary Bishop Pat Power of Canberra-Goulburn. “Issues such as the authoritarian nature of the Church, compulsory celibacy for the clergy, the participation of women in the Church, the teaching on sexuality in all aspects cannot be brushed aside. Listening must be a key component of reform and at times that will involve listening to unpalatable truths. It needs to be recognised that all wisdom does not reside exclusively in the present all male leadership of the Church and that the voices of the faithful must be heard.”


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  • Posted by: - Apr. 28, 2010 6:39 PM ET USA

    That kind of thought had me learn music in the 80's, change lyrics 10 years later (sexism concerns), then leave choir altogether in 2001. There was no point. When I found a parish that offered (and still offers) Chant and polyphony, I returned to the loft. With all due respect, Your Excellency, I've learned more about the faith from need and puzzlement than normal means. Focus on teaching, preaching, and living the faith; your Church will fill quickly. Do otherwise....

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Apr. 28, 2010 12:15 PM ET USA

    As you read the Bishop's piece, try substituting "public schools" for "Catholic Church," "Horace Mann" for "Jesus," and "No Child Left Behind Act" for "Second Vatican Council." You will realize just how very boring and tedious his remarks are.

  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - Apr. 28, 2010 8:46 AM ET USA

    Good thing he is an auxiliary bishop and thus his damage is very limited. He will hopefully be made even more irrelevant.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 28, 2010 5:30 AM ET USA

    WRONG,Bishop Power- the most serious challenge facing the Church is dissident priests and bishops who go about saying what they wrongly think people want to hear, like yourself. Catholics are crying out for LEADERSHIP and ORTHODOXY- perhaps you could treat us some. You say many Catholics are saying "enough is enough"- quite right,and I believe it's dissenters like you who are driving them out. A good shepherd knows his sheep- you, Bishop Power, don't seem to know your sheep very well at all.

  • Posted by: voxfem - Apr. 27, 2010 11:00 PM ET USA

    I wonder if the bishop considers obedience, self-control, self-sacrifice, and Biblical truth to be some of the "unpalatable truths" that need to be listened to.

  • Posted by: EiLL - Apr. 27, 2010 9:27 PM ET USA

    With Bishops like this, who needs enemies? Who will define the Bishop's "unpalatable truths?"

  • Posted by: - Apr. 27, 2010 6:27 PM ET USA

    This guy has been undermining Church teaching ever since the previous Pope inexplicably appointed him (and many others like him) a bishop. Not only has he no understanding of Church teaching, he suffers the monumental hallucination of thinking that he's the voice of reform in the Church. This man is a cause of grave scandal. If Archbishop Coleridge doesn't step up and publicly reprimand him, then both of them should be sacked and a new archbishop appointed for Canberra (with no auxiliary).

  • Posted by: Chatholic - Apr. 27, 2010 6:08 PM ET USA

    This bishop evidently doesn't talk to Jesus very much.

  • Posted by: Bellarminite1 - Apr. 27, 2010 3:56 PM ET USA

    If priestly celibacy were to end, how many would wind up shacking up with their boyfriends? Pick your scandal . . .

  • Posted by: - Apr. 27, 2010 2:43 PM ET USA

    I am so exceedingly tired of these liberals who have not a clue what they are talking about. At least in my diocese, women many of them feminists, have infiltrated every area. Espicially that of catechis and liturgy and the entire thing is a mess. The music is Haugen & Hass junk. It has been said before but what we need is a reform of the reform. The first reform being getting liberals out of the clergy and feminist women out of leadership position. Yes, I am a woman. I am also a convert

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Apr. 27, 2010 6:47 AM ET USA

    Well, here's the voice of one of the faithful (me): With all due respect, Bishop Power, please shut up until you learn your faith, or at least have an original thought!