Regular visitors to this blog will be aware that I am less than impressed with Peter Cosgrove's promotion as a public role model for Catholicism.
What makes this appearance of the much decorated and lauded war hero so disgraceful is that he is sharing the platform with the popular Bishop Bill Morris the Bishop Eremitis of Towwoomba. There is a wealth of hermeneutic to be unpacked in the profiles of the speakers which place Morris last in the listing.Perhaps the order is designed to provide gender balance for Margaret Vider, the lone female member of the panel.Mark Coleridge, the Archbishop of Brisbane has described the Year of Grace as a time to "contemplate the face of Christ". I ask the Archbishop, where is the face of Christ in having General Peter Cosgrove leading the panel of speakers for this event?
In March 2003 Bishop William Morris, was chairman of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, which released a statement condemning the War in Iraq
In a 2010 interview with the ABC News Peter Cosgrove stated "I wasn't particularly conscious that the church was taking a very strong position". It's hard to believe that the then Defense Chief was not aware of public opposition to the War from the Vatican and the Australian Catholic Bishops.
The presence of Peter Cosgrove as a public face of Catholicism is disgraceful in the Year of Grace. His acknowledgement of mistakes made in Iraq barely makes him a model penitent. The Australian Catholic Bishops have lost another opportunity to stand with the Church's tradition of nonviolence and peacemaking.