News

Church credibility ‘almost lost’

POPE Francis has been urged to ask for the resignation of all Catholic bishops who have failed to properly address child sexual abuse cases.

Australian Roman Catholic Bishop Geoffrey Robinson made the call yesterday in an effort to restore "trust and credibility" in the Church.

Bishop Robinson told ABC Radio National every bishop who was responsible for the abuse of a child "because he did not do what he should have done" should be asked to resign.

If Pope Francis was to act on Bishop Robinson's urging, hundreds of bishops worldwide could resign.

Bishop Robinson said the church had lost "almost all its credibility" and had to be seen to be confronting the problem.

He also called for more women to be allowed involvement in the Church at senior levels and an end to the Catholic rule of mandatory celibacy for priests.

Bishop Robinson, a former chairman of the Bishops' National Conference for Professional Standards, also called on the Church to reassess its teachings on sexuality and homosexuality.

It comes as the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse continues its inquiries.

The commission released a consultation paper this week on the "best practices" for institutions responding to child abuse complaints.

The paper canvasses potential complaint handling processes for institutions, as well as measures that "protect the child, provide justice to the victim and hold perpetrators to account", RC chief executive Philip Reed has said.

The commission also held hearings this week to examine a series of child sexual abuse cases at the Uniting Church-run Knox Grammar School in Wahroonga, New South Wales, between 1970 and 2012.

During those hearings, the commission rejected former teacher Christopher Fotis's applications for suppression orders on information related to cases at the school.

Mr Fotis asked the commission to suppress references to him being suspected of groping a boy at the school - allegations he denied.

Topics:  catholic church child sexual abuse national pope francis

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