Outraged Catholics say Australian church leaders are ‘locked in a misogynistic and unaccountable culture’

The Newcastle Herald

March 22, 2018

By Joanne McCarthy

AUSTRALIAN Catholic church leaders are “locked in a misogynistic and unaccountable culture” that has failed to adequately respond to the child sexual abuse scandal and is denying the need for urgent reform, say Catholic groups meeting in Canberra on Friday to demand change.

More than 50 leading Catholic reformists are expected to seek an urgent meeting with Australia’s bishops after a request to release the first formal church assessment of child abuse royal commission recommendations was declined last week by Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart.

The lack of a decisive response on systemic reform after the “catastrophe of sex abuse by clergy” was “the last straw for many committed Catholics”, said Australian Catholic Coalition for Church Reform in a statement on Thursday.

Coalition convenor Peter Johnstone said the Canberra meeting is a direct response to the bishops’ refusal to release a Truth Justice and Healing Council analysis of the royal commission’s findings and recommendations before a bishops’ conference in May. It was given to a senior church leaders group several weeks ago.

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