The retired Sydney bishop Geoffrey Robinson, who designed Australia’s Catholic clergy sex abuse response, wants to force the Vatican to tackle the crisis at its source – and that means reforming the Vatican itself.
He has started a petition to demand a global church council, like Vatican II.He reckons that the election of new Pope Francis opens the door to change – if Francis means what he says.
But the Pope will find it hard to make the radical changes that are needed, unless he has a massive public movement behind him. That’s what Robinson hopes his effort will create, a kind of “Catholic Spring” to bring down the old order.
He identifies many problems: the lack of professional organisation and structure, the lack of women and laity in positions of real power, the cult of clericalism (setting priests above ordinary people), celibacy, deference to authority.
LGBTI people should get behind the Bishops initiative: around the world, the Roman Catholic Church is mobilising its massive resources, not to help the poor, but to demonise LGBTI and block our progress to equality. And Church opposition to condoms is a direct contributor to the massive spread of AIDS in developing countries.
When the head of the church in Australia, the personal spiritual advisor to the probable next Prime Minister, says with a straight face, that a woman having an abortion is a greater sin than a priest abusing a child, it’s clear that nothing less than a revolution is required.
Please support the bishops campaign and sign the petition.