I think it might be time to take a pause and look at the announcement that the PM made yesterday.
The PM has acknowledged that it is not about the Catholic Church but about the abuse of children.
It is about sexual, physical and psychological abuse of children. This abuse has occurred over many decades, even a century or more.
The PM was very careful in her announcement that much consolation must occur before the terms of reference are agreed on. We should all heed the PM’s cautious words when making the announcement. It is not time to crucify the Catholic Church or any other for that matter.
It is about men, and some women, whose evil sexual practices places children at risk. It is about these evil people who prey on innocent and vulnerable children. It is about paedophiles.
We are now, as we should be, focussing on the sexual abuse. It is not carried out by churches or any other institutions where children can be found.
Neither the Catholic Church nor any other is responsible for those who abuse children. These evil people seek out children, in all similar institutions where they have easy and safe access to them.
They are clever at ingratiating themselves within organizations, institutions and families. They are the uncle one relies on, the man that is always taking the boys on outings, the priest that leads the choir. The list is endless. No group that involves children are safe from these animals. Not even the lonely and struggling single mum. They are found everywhere.
They have flourished because society had, like ostriches, hid their heads in the sand denying what the children have been telling them. It flourishes because good people divert their eyes.
While one believes social ills should be kept secret, never mentioned in civil society, paedophilia, sexual abuse, misogyny or domestic violence will thrive.
The Church is not to blame for paedophilia, but it is to blame for not dealing with the offenders, putting the victims aside. Cardinal Pell is now on ABC 24. In my opinion, even today, is not taking responsibility for what has occurred under his watch. In fact he is a disgrace to the church.
His views on sexual abuse of children are about on the same level of his views on man made climate change. Both wrong.
Can he say why no priest or any other church employee has not been reported to the police under his watch?
I went to my newsagent in the local shopping centre. It was amazing seeing the headlines on the papers giving credit to the PM’s action. Spoke to two women at the bus stop, both of who said something has to be done. Comments from not a young woman, “Something has to be done. My nephew might still be alive. He hung himself a few months ago”. These comments from strangers.
It is like a floodgate has been open.
It is a shame that both Pell and O’Farrell had to be dragged screaming to do the right thing.
Would love to have access to that phone call between the PM and Pell yesterday.
This is a matter above politics and I would warn the Opposition leader to be careful with what he has to say.
We must stay focused on the abuse, not the institution.
Yes, the power of the church needs to be broken. After this, the powers of separation between church and state must be observed.
Church and State
What is the difference between the Church and the State? Why can’t we combine the two, or eliminate the one of the other? Recall the statement of our Lord when the Pharisees asked him if it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not. He replied: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Mt 22:17). Clearly there is a difference between Caesar’s state and God’s Church. Who gets what? What is the role of the Church and the role of the State in any society? If a healthy society requires a vibrant Church and an energetic State, what services do these two provide? What are their distinct functions?
Here is a simple way to explain the different roles of the Church and State in society. The Church deals with the eternal order, our eternal salvation, which is to be found ultimately in the Kingdom of God. The State deals with the temporal order, which is concerned with the here and now, the material well-being of citizens. God made us material bodies and immortal spirits. We are incarnate spirits, and spirit-filled bodies. Both dimensions of our being must be attented to. The spiritual well-being is by far the more important, but we cannot neglect the material needs of our bodied existence.
During the night, listening to the radio, some claims that Mr Whitlam is to blame for bringing in no fault divorce. Other beliefs if priests were allowed to marry would divert the problem.
Sorry, no, it will not. These evil people will marry to access to children. Many do marry; have their own children, whom they go on to abuse.
Please do not take the abuse of these children as an excuse to attack the churches, they are two different problems.
It is sickening listening to Pell attacking the media, claiming there are no problems or that if so, they have been dealt with. Like his mate, he could not get away from the interview quick enough.
To any that have suffered, or your families, I give my condolences. It must be a hard day for you today.
It will probably be one of the most important Royal Commission that we have had in this country.
It will pull together the many other investigations we have had previously into one umbrella. There have been many. This time it is an overview of all abuse.
Let’s hope we get results.