Advice from Down Under

Geraldine Doogue at Australia’s Eureka Street offers up some advice for Pope Francis.

I’d propose a substantial, largely public, Vatican-led inquiry, into why the Church has been so troubled by sexual abuse across various countries. Was it due to priestly formation, celibacy, parish structure, sexual orientation, lack of ongoing sexual counselling, bad theology or other issues? Answering all of these core questions from within would not only satisfy the public but would genuinely set the Church up better for future service.

I think Pope Francis has the credibility to do this. And despite my own preference for subsidiarity, I doubt any country has escaped the fallout from sins of power, secrecy, abuse, and corruption. I would add to this a study of recent bishops. I don’t have much hope this will happen, but you never know.

Ms Doogue quotes a former priest and judge Chris Geraghty

We’ve got a bloody good story, terrific heroes, a wonderful storyline, wonderful metaphors and beautiful narratives. It’s a story full of myths and legends. There are lots of bad things — crusades, wars of religion — but the story is an epic one.

I think this is right. We need to expand a bit beyond the Blessed Mother, the (male) apostles, the (male) national patron saints, and such. We need to tell a lot of stories, including some of our own contemporary ones. (like, for example, why this guy isn’t fast-tracked to sainthood, ahead of another round of religious founders, if need be).

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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