By Kay Ebeling
What a clear and direct opening paragraph: “Sexual abuse of minors by a significant number of priests, together with the attempts by many church authorities to conceal the abuse, constitute one of the ugliest stories ever to emerge from the Catholic Church. It is hard to imagine a more total contradiction of everything Jesus Christ stood for, and it would be difficult to overestimate the pervasive and lasting harm it has done to the Church.”
The book quoted above caused Roger Mahony to write: “I am hereby requesting that you cancel your visit to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Canon 763 makes it clear that the Diocesan Bishop must safeguard the preaching of God’s Word in his own Diocese. Under the provisions of Canon 763, I hereby deny you permission to speak in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.” -- Signed His Eminence, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles, May 9, 2008.
At least 10 other American bishops have sent letters like Roger Mahony’s urging Robinson to stay away, and the Australian Conference of Bishops has him under investigation because of his book “Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church.” There must be something worth seeing at Robinson's speaking engagements.
“These guys are like the Cosa Nostra, just like Frank Keating said,” says Tom Honore, pictured above, who organized the Culver City appearance, as an activist with A Call to Action. “Silence is their rule and that's why they're so angry about his book and what he’s saying.”
Robinson writes that the church is “fractured.” He says, “I felt that the demand was being made that I give my submission to the silence as well as to the words, and I could not do this."
Robinson’s ideas may be astonishing to Roman Catholics but once again as I forge through these stories, I realize how fortunate I was that my dad let me stop going to Catholic Church when I was 13 years old and showing so many signs of damage. My dad was only beginning to understand back in the early 1960s what rape by a priest in preschool years had done to my sister and me.
What Bishop Robinson is saying is not revolutionary. It’s what anyone who studies the Bible discovers about three or four books into the New Testament, that the problems in the Catholic Church date back to about the Year 100, when they started doing everything wrong and then built from there.
Plus, what Robinson is saying is considered by American bishops “dangerous to say” in “an institution that denounces homosexual behavior and all sexual activity outside of marriage but overlooks the perverted behavior of ‘celibate’ bishops and priests.”
That quote came in an email I think from Udo, and it expresses my thoughts exactly, although I have no idea who wrote it.
‘Every ounce of effort I put forward to bring Bishop Robinson here would be worth it if survivors came to be with this man’
“From having read the book and witnessed the tears and horrible devastation that this abuse has wreaked in the lives of survivors, I hope survivors will come to see Geoffrey Robinson,” Honore said. “It’s rare to hear someone who’s a person of faith who understands authentic living and love,” Honore says.
“I would feel that every ounce of effort that I put forward would be worth it if survivors come and be with this man. He has a lot to offer.”
The ballroom at Four Points Sheraton where Robinson is speaking holds 200 people. City of Angels will be there and we hope to have video footage of an overflow crowd come to hear Geoffrey Robinson, retired bishop from Australia, speak, hopefully we'll get an interview to post here at City of Angels Network.
Robinson goes to Hebrews 5 and I’ve been looking for a reason to quote that book in the New Testament since I started the blog a year and a half ago!
ME: Misuse of this one construct in one book of the New Testament, written specifically for the Hebrews, is one core problem with the Catholic Church, pretty damnable evidence of dirty laundry all the way back to the year 100 or so. I hear a lot of dialogue about Hebrews 5:2-3 and the Catholic Church at Bible studies I go to in my neighborhood.