August 10th 2002

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: The future of the Australian Democrats

Latham steals limelight from lacklustre ALP

New Zealand Labour forced into new coalition

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Rob the Builder / Mayhem in Lilliput / Fear of wages

ECONOMY: New agenda needed to address social breakdown

WA Liberals' new policy positions

Could India help in Afghanistan? (letter)

Clerical scandals: another view (letter)

Families now a luxury (letter)

COMMENT: Stalin's heirs live on ... in Australia

BIOETHICS: American stem cell expert to visit

UNITED STATES: Why Bush ended funding for UN population control agency

LAW: International Criminal Court decision to dog government

BOOKS: Our Posthuman Future, by Francis Fukuyama

BOOKS: The Price of Motherhood, by Ann Crittenden

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Shirley Nolan: a case for euthanasia?

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Clerical scandals: another view (letter)

by Peter D. Howard

News Weekly, August 10, 2002

Your editorial (NW, June 29) and Peter R McNamara's letter (NW, July 13) both express the revulsion and sense of betrayal that many of us feel at the laxity and connivance of too many bishops over the sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, apart from other institutions.

Particularly valuable is the frank assessment by the US Bishops' Conference President Bishop Wilton Gregory, that this crisis is not a crisis of faith among the laity, but "about a profound loss of confidence by the faithful in our leadership as shepherds."

What you identify, but Mr McNamara seems to miss, is that both here and in the USA, the scandal is mainly about homosexual abuse not pedophilia and further, the scandal is much more widespread as spiritual abuse in seminaries, schools, parishes and religious orders.

Thus the profound loss of confidence in many bishops has been with the faithful for thirty years, when the laxity of such bishops following Vatican II has allowed dissent to violate the truth in all of the areas above, despite a massive number of exposures of such abuses.

Dissenters, who include some priests, want to change the Church's teaching on all moral and some faith issues and are ipso facto not part of the faithful, but have been allowed to ravage the flock. The promotion of the homosexual life-style has been part of parishioner abuse in the Brisbane archdiocese.

The appointment of bishops who are faithful is the first step; those who express resentment of Rome's authority by word and deed should be reconciled or be relieved of responsibility. The good care of and concern for, the flock should be non-negotiable. We support fully your call for the renewal or closure of seminaries, schools and education bureaucracies, and religious orders, and would add Catholic media, which promote dissent.

Peter D. Howard,
Association of Catholic Parents,
Brisbane, Qld

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