Bishop Gets His Early Retirement

Australia’s sixth largest city gets a new episcopal appointee, and the outgoing bishop, Michael Malone, is planning to spend time in the Outback.

I’m emotionally drained by [handling sexual abuse cases] and feel disillusioned.

I love the Church but I am very aware of its faults.

Aside from being very public about his own feelings (he’s been publicly campaigning for a coadjutor for two years), Bishop Malone has also been openly critical of his brother bishops:

How could you not think that the whole purpose of the church is kind of in question when all this stuff has happened and it hasn’t sort of been responded to with greater ownership by all of us.

In the same link he describes the “black hole” of silence when addressing the issue with other prelates.

Beliefnet has a brief bit about it, including mention of an “attempted secret defrocking” of a priest back in 1995. Other bishops have told the press to talk to Malone about it. The outgoing bishop seems to have had some change of heart over the years.

Peter Gogarty, an Australian victims’ advocate and activist said:

(Malone) has admitted he’s stuffed up, but at least he’s confessed up.

He’s the only bishop in Australia, as far as I’m aware, who’s been willing to do that. Philip Wilson (Archbishop of Adelaide) knew about allegations against McAlinden but he’s refusing to speak. He looks like he’s only going through the motions when he speaks about sexual abuse of children by clergy.

Will the new guy, a West Sydney pastor, have anything to say? What do you suppose his bishop, Cardinal Pell would advise him? His classmates seems to have a high opinion.

I am amazed Bill wasn’t chosen to be a bishop at least ten years ago. He has always been very happy being a parish priest and I’m sure he would have been content to remain so.

A number of years ago, I heard from a person who should know that many more priests are turning down the pope’s call than those who accept. Clearly, a thankless job these days, not to mention a threat to a person’s immortal soul, given the way things run. One might hope that the Congregation of Bishops would be up for the task. But given the way the curia has handled English translation, I’m not holding out hope for that. And by the numbers of good parish priests turning down the cathedra, people on the inside feel the same way.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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