Catholic Bishop Calls for Resignation of Bishops Who Failed to Address Child Sexual Abuse
March 24, 2016
|PHOTO: Bishop Robinson said there needed to be "death and resurrection" in the church this Easter. (ABC News)|
An Australian bishop has called on Pope Francis to request the resignation of every bishop who has failed to properly address cases of child sexual abuse.
Roman Catholic Bishop Geoffrey Robinson said there needed to be "death and resurrection" in the church this Easter to restore trust and credibility.
"Every bishop who has ever been responsible for the abuse of a child, because he did not do what he should have done, should be asked to resign," Bishop Robinson, now retired, said in an interview with ABC Radio religion specialist Noel Debien.
His suggestion would mean the resignation of hundreds of bishops worldwide.
"The church has lost almost all credibility," he said.
"It has got to be seen to be confronting anything and everything which has contributed."
Bishop Robinson also said the church must "get rid of obligatory celibacy" and called for a shift in the role of women in the church.
"Women must be brought into every level of the church in a far, far greater way than they are," he said.
He also said Catholic teaching on sexuality must be "looked at again from the beginning" — including homosexuality.
"They must look at gay people, and that concept of what's natural," he said.
Bishop Robinson was a key player in the Catholic Church's response to child sexual abuse by members of the clergy between 1994 and 2003.
He was a member and chairman of the Bishops' National Committee for Professional Standards — part of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, which dealt with complaints of sexual abuse.
He was also one of the founders and chairman of Encompass Australasia, a program Bishop Robinson said offered treatment to "hundreds of priests and religious with psychological problems of one form or another".
Bishop Robinson has written books including Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church and For Christ's Sake.