Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Australian Bishops Take Fellow Bishop to Task

Release negative critique of a book he published, from the Australian Bishops Conference:

In 2007 Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, retired Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of
Sydney, published a book entitled “Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic
Church: Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus.”
We are grateful for the
contribution Bishop Robinson has made to the life of the Church. We are deeply
indebted to him for his years of effort to bring help and healing to those who
have suffered sexual abuse and for what he has done to establish protocols of
professional standards for Church personnel in this area. In responding to the
issues raised in the book, we do not question his good faith. However, people
have a right to know clearly what the Catholic Church believes and teaches, and
the Bishops have a corresponding duty to set this forth, as we seek to do in
this statement.
After correspondence and conversation with Bishop Robinson,
it is clear that doctrinal difficulties remain. Central to these is a
questioning of the authority of the Catholic Church to teach the truth
definitively. In Saint John’s Gospel, Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit to
the disciples in order to lead them into the fullness of the truth (cf. John
16:13). It is Catholic teaching that the Church has been endowed with this gift
of truth.
The book’s questioning of the authority of the Church is connected
to Bishop Robinson’s uncertainty about the knowledge and authority of Christ
himself. Catholics believe that the Church, founded by Christ, is endowed by him
with a teaching office which endures through time. This is why the Church’s
Magisterium teaches the truth authoritatively in the name of Christ. The book
casts doubt upon these teachings.
This leads in turn to the questioning of
Catholic teaching on, among other things, the nature of Tradition, the
inspiration of the Holy Scripture, the infallibility of the Councils and the
Pope, the authority of the Creeds, the nature of the ministerial priesthood and
central elements of the Church’s moral teaching.
The authority entrusted by
Christ to his Church may at times be poorly exercised, especially in shaping
policy and practice in complex areas of pastoral and human concern. This does
not, in Catholic belief, invalidate the Church’s authority to teach particular
truths of faith and morals.

No comments:

Post a Comment