Authors Greg Erlandson and Matthew Bunson continue the discussion they began in the book from Our Sunday Visitor, Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis: Working for Reform and Renewal. Send us feedback at email@example.com. Kindle Edition available for download at amazon.com.
Australian Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Canberra and Goulburn defended the role of Pope Benedict XVI in the sex abuse crisis on Monday, the day after issuing an 4,000-word open letter, “Seeing the Faces, Hearing the Voices, A Pentecost Letter on Sexual Abuse of the Young in the Catholic Church.” In the letter he described the culture that led to the sexual abuse crisis in his country.
Archbishop Coleridge offered a blunt assessment of the cultural failings of the Australian Church and focused on several key factors:
He also noted that while clerical celibacy was not in itself a factor, “like any form of the Christian life lived seriously – it has its perils.”
He stressed that there are no easy fixes to the problem and that the Church is Australia is “in for the long haul.” Still, he expressed hope for the future: “History shows that new and unexpected surges of Gospel energy have come not infrequently in the wake of devastation.”
While sharply critical of the failures of some of Australia’s bishops in his letter, he vigorously defended Pope Benedict on Australian radio on Monday as the key figure for leading the Church through this difficult time. "As cardinal and as pope, he has acted as vigorously as I think he can without claiming that he's got a magic wand or that the pope can just speak a word from on high and it all happens," Archbishop Coleridge said.
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