Sunday, August 29, 2010

Redress for Victime of Clergy Abuse

A practical suggestion in the process of redress for victims of clergy abuse has to be the public acknowledgement of the criminal history of clergy like Kevin O'Donnell

  • All parish and archdiocesan histories should include an appendix noting the abuse history of clergy who are named as pastors and assistants in Parish and Diocesan records.

  • Deceased Bishops and Archbishops who contributed to the scandal of silence should be removed from their burial sites in Cathedrals and interred in public space with plain headstones and a comment explaining why their remains have been removed from a place of honour.

  • It is a custom in Catholic schools to have an honour board of former students who have ben ordained. I suggest clergy who have been convicted of sexual abuse and stripped of their priesthood have their names removed from such honour boards and an explanation included at the base of the board.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Shame and Deceit of the Catholic Church


Chrissie and Anthony Foster were like any other young family, raising their three daughters in suburban Melbourne with what they hoped were the right values. Chrissie could not have known that the stranger-danger she feared actually lurked in the presbytery attached to the girls' Catholic primary school. Father Kevin O'Donnell, a long-term paedophile, lived and worked there.

Two of their young daughters became victims of O'Donnell. And once the truth was revealed, the Fosters began a battle to find out how this could have happened. The Church offered silence, lies, denials and threats. Meanwhile, their daughters tried to piece together their fractured lives.

This is the chilling true story that made national and international headlines. Chrissie Foster's heartbreaking account of her family's suffering, and their determination to stand up for themselves against the might of the Catholic Church, is testament to the strength of a mother's love, and the resilience of the human spirit


James Campbell Sun Herald August 2010

Abuse of Trust: Child Sexual Abuse and the Churches ABC Radio National

Sex abuse victims distressed by the Catholic Clergy's compensation system ABC Stateline

Madonna King: CourierMail review

  • Sunday Herald Sun
  • August 29, 2010 12:00
  • O'Donnell's History and Little Action

    Speak No Evil Peter Ellingsen May 2002

    Friday, August 27, 2010

    Worship and power

    Christian fidelity is not the monopoly of ecclesial conformists. The Church is integral to the life of grace, but always in a way pointing beyond its present achievement: it gives us "a sacrament and instrumental sign" of a reality greater than itself: "intimate union with God and ... the unity of all humanity" (Lumen Gentium, n. 1). In the pilgrim Church, ideological purity is no sign of theological wisdom.

    Philip Endean SJ teaches theology at the University of Oxford. Read full text of Worship and power

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010

    What to wear to Mass?

    A news report from Church Resources with a good dose of religious kitsch announced that Hollywood star Mark Wahlberg attended Mass at St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney this week. We were even told that "Wahlberg, 39, was at Mass on Monday, wearing his golf clothes after a game with co-star Will Ferrell..."

    In the original report from the Herald Sun, Wahlberg is photographed arriving at the airport in what seems to be his golf gear, possible ready for Mass.

    However, Church Resources chose to use a Wikipedia image of Wahlberg seen here in his "Sunday Best".

    Both reports noted that Wahlberg is "a
    committed Catholic and Calvin Klein underwear model" so why couldn't we have one of those great shots in his undies that you can find all over google. Was he wearing CKs under his golf pants and in good sagging manners, did they peek out as he knelt in prayer? I'm sure Church Resources would have seen their ratings go through the roof had they used this pic of Wahlberg to accompany the article.

    Thursday, August 12, 2010

    Ramadan Karim

    As a Christian I stand in prayerful solidarity with my Muslim friends who are entering the season of Ramadan. I was alerted to the beginning of this Holy Season by one of my young Islamic friends on Facebook. Thanks Ayman for your call to all of us to consume less, to do random acts of mercy and to stop 5 times day to pray, be still and wonder at the 99 Most Beautiful Names of God.

    More than one billion Muslims across the world have begun observing Ramadan with soaring temperatures in the Middle East and elsewhere set to pose a challenge for many worshippers.

    For the next 30 days, believers will observe the holiest month in Islam by abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking and having sex from dawn to dusk (Extract of news item from Queensland Muslims.
    Read full text here)

    Shame Benedict Shame

    The latest news reports from the Vatican indicate that Pope Benedict XVI has refused to accept the resignations of two Irish Bishops,Eamonn Walsh and Raymond Field

    When the Bishops offered their resignations they wrote:

    "As we celebrate the Feast of Christmas, the Birth of our Saviour, the Prince of Peace, it is our hope that our action may help to bring the peace and reconciliation of Jesus Christ to the victims/survivors of child sexual abuse."

    Pope Benedict's refusal to accept their resignations suggests that the Vatican is not concerned about bringing " the peace and reconciliation of Jesus Christ to the victims/survivors of child sexual abuse."

    There are heretics in the Vatican By Vinnie Nauheimer © All rights reserved
    was published on August 12 2010 provides a perspective from survivors of clergy abuse

    Wednesday, August 11, 2010

    Jesus the Christ E-Conference

    On behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference I invite you to participate in the upcoming National eConference Jesus the Christ on Thursday, September 16th 2010. Fr Gerald O’Collins sj will share his understanding of Jesus Christ as Son of God, Son of man; fully human, truly divine. If your parish, college or community is not involved perhaps you may like to give it a go!

    This eConference is a faith formation experience and is designed for the ‘hungry and thirsty’ in our parishes, schools, colleges and hospitals. There are no costs involved. The Mary First Disciple eConference in May attracted over 60,000 participants. We will provide the ongoing support and necessary resources to make this a successful event for your community.

    The IT requirements for this eConference are very simple - a venue with broadband internet access, data projector, screen and a set of speakers. For more information and to register go to and to view previous eConferences, please visit and follow the links.

    Thursday, August 05, 2010

    'Religiosity' of Political Leaders in Australia Survey

    You might like to participate in this survey:

    My name is Grant Power.

    I am an Honours student at the University of Queensland — School of History, Religion, Philosophy and Classics. I am currently undertaking research into the impact of Australian political party leaders’ religious membership and religious activity on the voting intentions of different Christian denominations.

    The results of this survey will be used as research within my thesis.

    This research has received ethical clearance from the University of Queensland.

    The survey is completely confidential and should only take about ten minutes to complete.
    You may opt out of the survey at any time.

    Should you have any questions or enquiries, or if you would like to view the results, I am contactable at

    My Honours supervisor is Rev. Dr Neil Pembroke. You can contact Neil if you have any enquiries about the research being undertaken. His email is

    To participate in this survey, you must be:

    * At least 18 years of age.
    * A citizen of Australia.
    * A practicing Christian – attending a religious service at least once a year.

    You can participate in this survey once only.
    By participating in this survey, you signify that you fulfill these three requirements.

    Do you fulfill these three requirements?

    Thank you for your participation, it is greatly appreciated.

    Supporting research in our Community

    Wednesday, August 04, 2010

    Gay German theologian lashes Catholic Church

    A leading German theologian has been barred from the prestigious papal academy of Saint Thomas Aquinas after admitting he was gay, media reported Wednesday.

    David Berger, 42, a grammar school teacher and expert on the influential medieval philosopher Thomas Aquinas, told the daily Frankfurter Rundschau in April that he was a homosexual.

    Read full article here