Monday, May 24, 2010

Down Under

It's a good sign when archbishops start speaking out:

Archbishop Mark Coleridge, whose archdiocese is based in the national capital of Canberra, took the unusual step of writing an open letter attempting to explain the culture that led the church to turn a blind eye to priests accused of molesting children.

Factors include a determination to protect the church's reputation, a culture of discretion, "institutionalized immaturity" of priests fostered by seminary training, and an outlook of "sin and forgiveness rather than crime and punishment," Coleridge wrote.

Clerical celibacy was not itself a factor but it "has its perils," he wrote. "The discipline of celibacy may also have been attractive to men in whom there were paedophile tendencies which may not have been explicitly recognised by the men themselves when they entered the seminary."

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