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When Pope Francis was elected he instanced two major issues that needed addressing: Firstly, reform of the Roman Curia (the Church’s civil service), and secondly establishing the underlying causes of child abuse by clerics and the cover up of that abuse by higher-placed clerics such as bishops and cardinals.
Judging by recent letters and columns in your newspaper, he has a fight on his hands and not just with Curia. The best that all of these people can do is to try to shut down discussion by silence and censorship with spurious appeals to divine ordnance as if the Curia was God speaking directly to us — clearly the Pope does not think so.
Tony Flannery claims in his book A Question of Conscience that ‘clericalism’ — the exclusive, celibate, male, self-propagating distribution of power in the Roman Catholic Church and the seminary system in which this is developed must be indicted as a primary cause.
It is in this context that he raises the closely related questions of the exclusion of women from ministry and the need for a radical re-think of sexual ethics in particular.
These questions will not go away no matter how many ostriches bury their heads in a ‘North Korean’ posture.
The current Pope clearly wishes to again open ‘Pope John’s windows’ and let at least a mild breeze penetrate — clearly there are some people with a strong preference for cobwebs.
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