The Australian bishop whose « devastating critique » of sex abuse in the Church (Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church: reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus) became a controversial bestseller last year has come under fire from the American hierarchy at the start of a month-long US tour.

Retired Sydney Auxiliary Bishop Geoffrey Robinson was « den[ied] permission  » to speak in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles by Cardinal Roger Mahony after a statement from the Australian bishops cited « doctrinal difficulties » in Bishop Robinson’s « questioning of the authority of the Church. »

Cardinal Mahony wrote to Bishop Robinson warning him to « cancel the entire speaking tour. » The tour which began in Philadelphia includes stops in New York, Seattle, San Diego and Boston. Bishop Robinson is scheduled to speak in suburban Encino on June 12.

Critics alleged that the move by Cardinal Mahony — one echoed by bishops in other dioceses where Bishop Robinson is to speak – had less to do with « safe[guarding] the teachings of the Church » than Mahony’s desire to contain the fallout from the abuse scandals, which saw Mahony pay $660 million to victims last summer.

The Church-reform group, Voice of the Faithful, protested over what it saw as an attempt to « silence » a « courageous Catholic. » Last week the group awarded the bishop its « Priest of Integrity Award. »

Bishop Robinson says: « My book is about the response to the revelations of sexual abuse within the Church. Sexual abuse is all about power and sex, so it is surely reasonable to ask questions about power and sex in the Church … We must be free to follow the argument wherever it leads. »

The American cardinals and bishops trying to silence Bishop Robinson will argue they must protect the people in the pews (« the faithful ») from being scandalized.

I would suggest ordinary Catholics are scandalized allright – not by Bishop Robinson – but by the hierachical heavy-hitters who are tying to muzzle their brother.

Do you agree?



  1. 1
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    I do.

  2. 2
    Heidi Gulatee Says:

    I do too! Thank you, Neil, for bringing this up! We have to deal with it. And the truth has its out way of coming out. Once started there is no stopping it.

  3. 3
    Cornelius T. Zen Says:

    Good morrow, all!
    The sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests should not be covered up. It should be exposed, like cancer, and excised, like cancer. Such abuse is malignant, and will consume the entire host body, given the time. The Church exists to serve the faithful, not the other way around. The Church ill serves the faithful when it fails to rout out the evil in its midst. Whatever is not actively opposed is passively supported. All the denial in the world will not make the foul deeds of sick men go away.
    Jesus once said: He who is not with me is against me. In this respect, the Church has taken a stand against the faithful, and thus, against Him. It seeks to preserve its earthly influence, all the while, neglecting its divine duty. No wonder Jesus wept. CTZen.

  4. 4
    Chimera Says:

    Mahoney has a history of badly mangling, mismanaging, and just plain abrogating « justice » arising from sex abuse cases. This quote from his Wikipedia page explains his reasons very succinctly for trying to silence the retired bishop:

    « On July 16, 2007, Mahony and the Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles apologized for abuses by priests after 508 victims reached to a record-breaking settlement worth $660m (£324m), with an average of $1.3m for each plaintiff. Mahony described the abuse as a « terrible sin and crime », after a series of trials into sex abuse claims since the 1940s were to begin. The agreement, if approved by a judge, will settle all 15 upcoming pedophilia trials against the Los Angeles archdiocese and avoids the threat of Mahony being forced to testify about how the Church dealt with abuses spanning the 1940s to 1990s. Since 2002 nearly 1,000 people filed sexual abuse claims in California. The $660m-deal dwarfs the $157m settlement paid by the Archdiocese of Boston. »

    He wants to avoid being put on the stand and forced to testify, so he wants that agreement to be approved. He therefore wants to prevent any further information from reaching the ears of the judge. Robinson’s book threatens him on a personal level.

  5. 5
    Peter LeBlanc Says:

    Everyone deserves their « Day in Court » where injustice occurrs, including Bishop Robinson if he has something to say. However, in the end there has to be some move for reconciliation, otherwise Christianity has no voice in its primary purpose of forgiveness.

  6. 6
    jim Says:

    In Bishop Robinson’s book, he states that the causes of sexual abuse are to be sought in the psychological state of the abusers, in their ideas about power and sex, and in the environment that shapes them. He claims that these factors are woven together in a church culture that needs to be changed if the roots of sexual abuse are to be excised. He explores broadly how this church culture developed and how it could be changed. Now – the Australian Bishops Conference, in referring to Robinson’s book, judged that matters of faith were at stake. It is evident that they want to protect the church and not the victims of abuse. Same ole same ole.

  7. 7

    Mahony remains the single largest criminal enabler, aid & abetter of pedophiles in the American Roman Catholic Church; costing laity BILLIONS OF DOLLARS, with no consequences for his personal body count of thousands of children, raped, sodomized, orally copulated, physically maimed, mentally tortured, extorted, abducted, kidnapped, suicided, murdered, etc. in Fresno, Stockton, & LA.

    Watch the 2006 US Academy Award BEST DOCUMENTARY nominated: ‘DELIVER US FROM EVIL’ for free at http://www.youtube.com.

    Also out on DVD is ‘VOWS OF SILENCE’ that is recommended.

    Stalin once quipped: « One death is indeed a tragedy, a thousand a statisitc ».

    Roger Mahony is the Church’s PRIME example equivalent to Stalin’s rationalization.

    At http://www.bishop-accountability.org/abusetracker, daily, there are more and more (dozens per day) verified stories of the ongoing criminal cover up of Mahony and the curia.

    At http://www.amazon.com, there are over 90 recently published books on the curia criminal cover up, from such salient and cogent authors as: Leon Podles, Jason Berry, Richard Sipe, David Yallop. and Fr. Thomas, Doyle, OP, in addition to the courageous and honest writings, and lectures, by the Good Bishop Robinson.

    The solution to this mutiple decades crime spree of racketeering, obstruction of juctice, perjury, tax evasion, embezzlement, fraud, aid and abetting, etc., by evil office holders like Mahony, Egan, Law, O’Malley, Rigali, George, Hummes, Sodano, Bertone, Pell, Rivera, McCarrick, Leveda, Maida, etc. is simple. THE LAITY MUST STOP DONATING!

    100% of all church revenue is derived from the laity.

    Shut off the money value, and Rome is forced into moving against guilty red hats and miters, as they feably did (kicking and screaming) on overtly guilty serial pedophile founder Marciel of the Mexican Cult Like Legion Of Christ.

    Alternatively to these evil office holders not being removed, is EXCOMMUNICATION; still a mild and Chrsitian Mercy move, versus what these evil office holders truly deserve.

    No Curia Accountability? NO LAITY MONIES!

    It’s that simple, and already happening, as the internal numbers at the USCCB already show a 43% drop in revenue collected in the last 12 months in the USA (hence the dog and pony show Damage Control Tour in DC and NYC of Benedict XVI th which amounted to only words and no actions, other than more denials by Leveda of guilt by the curia).

    God With God Laity! But Keep Your Wallets Zipped Closed!

    Albino Lucani
    (Formerly John Paul I, Reporting From Heaven)

  8. 8
    Amos Says:

    In the words of Captain Louis Renault: “Shocking! Shocking!”

  9. 9
    TMaccaro Says:

    I agree. In fact as a member of VOTF, I will be attending one of Bishop Robinson’s lectures scheduled next week in Cleveland, Ohio.

  10. 10


    We all envy you. We would like to join you in Cleveland for Bishop Robinson’s appearance.
    Thank you for you comment.

  11. 11
    Fr. Michael Anthony Gifford osf Says:

    It is the same ol same ol. Protect the good old boys by using the lie that it is necessary to protect the laity from scandle. Which is worse, telling the truth or telling a lie? God bless Bishop Robison.

  12. 12

    Fr. Michael Anthony Gifford:

    Thanks for your comment, Father. I wish Bishop Robinson were speaking in Montreal.

  13. 13
    George Z Says:

    When I read the gospels today I see the current intitutional Catholic church being in exactly the same position as the institutional Church in the time of Jesus. One cannot give what one does not have. Worse with no vision and only fear and control as the M.O. the power brokers in the church are insulated from coversion, blinded by hate, and frozen from any true connection with the rest of humanity.

    Jesus saved his most scathing comments for these type of people in the gospels…… »brood of vipers »….indeed!

    Thanks God for the few that are honest and human enough to care and to risk their own name, like Bishop Robinson and Joan Chittister and Dan Berrigan see http://theologyinthevineyard.wordpress.com/ and http://www.benetvision.org/

    regards George

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