Some 375 years have passed since then, and the Vatican is no less afraid of the truth. Geoffrey Robinson, a 70-year-old retired Australian bishop, has written a book that suggests "the Catholic Church examine the roles that power and sex played in the clergy abuse crisis," according to a story in today's Boston Globe. The book, and Robinson's speaking tour, has Church leaders up in arms. Here are the outrageous actions that have some American bishops banning him from speaking at their churches:
[Robinson] called for the pope to commission a study of ways in which church teachings, including mandatory celibacy, may have contributed to the abuse, and for an investigation of institutional factors that contributed to the moving of abusive priests from one parish to another by bishops.Imagine! Suggesting a closer look at the factors that contributed to this traumatic and costly -- in terms of the trust of parishioners as well as dollars -- episode, one that has likely changed permanently the Catholic Church in the US. Robinson did speak locally at a parish in Dedham and at the Paulist Center in Boston. Cardinal Sean O'Malley finally got a decision right, apparently realizing the backlash he might have faced if he forced Robinson to move off diocesan property, being that the scandal started in Boston.
In 1990, years before he would become the current pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger gave a speech in which he said that, though Galileo had been right, the Church of the time knew better because the idea that the Earth was not at the center of the universe would have upset the social and ethical balance of the time. Then and now, the leadership of the Catholic Church believes that its members cannot be trusted with the truth.