A proposed letter to the editor for Australian Newspapers. Notify us
I would appreciate your thoughts and input on this.
What purpose does a Church serve?
Is there a need today for a Church or religion which is unable to practice what it preaches?
Is there a need today for a Church or religion which has a hierarchy which is unable to practice what it preaches, a church or religion which is unable to provide natural or restorative justice to the many victims of clergy abuse. Abuses carried out by its own priests.
Is there a genuine need today for a Church or religion which is unable to provide adequate and appropriate compensation to its many victims of sexual and other abuses, a Church or religion which is unable to provide adequate healing opportunities or practical measures of assistance for the many who have been deeply harmed?
There is a need for a Church or religion when it is in such a state to acknowledge that it has got a problem and to acknowledge that it is handling it badly in the most un-Christian way. That is a plainly obvious fact to all who look.
There is a need today for a Church or religion which is able to provide natural and restorative justice to those harmed by its clergy and by its continued failure to act in a responsible Christian way.
There is a need today for a Church or religion which is able to provide adequate healing to those harmed by its clergy and the former mistakes of its hierarchy.
There is a need today for a Church or religion which is able to provide adequate compensation to those harmed by its clergy, there is a need today for a Church whose hierarchy is able to practice what it preaches.
That can provide the grounds for a Church or religion which is able to also practice what it preaches and truly balance the scales of justice for all those harmed by these past actions against children.
Unless a Church or religion today can be seen to practice what it preaches in this area it does lose creditability within a society.
Catholics in particular feel the stigma of this on a daily basis and this factor alone drives a wedge between the many who proclaim their Christianity and the Catholic way of cloistered bishops overly influenced by legal, insurance, financiers and other commercial consultants. Where are the councils and Boards, where are the consultations with our Justice and Community leaders, where is the open dialog with Government, with Welfare, where is the opportunity for community input?
It is nowhere to be found. It is a fact that these issues are attempted to be dealt with by cloistered bishops, legal, insurance and other commercial interests - is it any wonder church hierarchies are unable to act in a Christian way?
It seems the question of "Are we acting in a Christian way?" is never asked, therefore it is never answered.
It is obvious to those in need of such compassion and those who support them that it has never been willingly offered without some impossibly expensive legal, financial, silencing or other condition or argument when what they are saying is that not only does the law of the land say it is rightful to make repair for damage caused but they go on to say that it is more importantly the proper Christian way to act.
There are some even who say it would not only be humane it would also be a potential act of kindness if the Church were to provide the ability for the involvement of community, professionals, victims and Government to come together to define and implement the measures needed to achieve not only legal justice but also provides the social justice principals supported by the Church.
What purpose does a Church serve if it is unable to provide these things to the children of its own parishioners?
What purpose do other Churches serve when they remain silent and inactive on this issue? What purpose is being served when our Premiers and Attorney Generals, when our Prime Minister and Politicians also remain silent and inactive on this issue?
The painful fact is the knowledge that many of the answers lay with those who have had the unfortunate experience and those who work with them. The one thing which can begin to bring about the right outcomes is to put victims, professional health workers, church and government together in discussion.
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.Pedophilia and sexual abuse of children in Australia