Los Angeles, Calif., May 19, 2008 / 17:10 pm
Cardinal Roger Mahony has denied an Australian bishop permission to speak in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles after the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference issued a statement warning of “doctrinal difficulties” present in the bishop’s writings.
In 2007 Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, the retired auxiliary bishop of Sydney, published a book titled “Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church: Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus.” Bishop Robinson argued in his book that because the Church refuses to reexamine Catholic teachings on extramarital sex, women priests, homosexuality, and papal power, the Church is not serious about responding to clerical sexual abuse but is only “managing” it.
In a May 8 statement, the Australian bishops said that Bishop Robinson’s questioning of the authority of the Catholic Church to teach the truth definitively is connected to the bishop’s “uncertainty about the knowledge and authority of Christ himself.”
Bishop Robinson is presently on a U.S. lecture tour sponsored by Voice of the Faithful, an activist group formed in response to the clerical sexual abuse scandal. He responded to the Australian bishops’ statement in a May 15 letter, which is posted on the web site of Voice of the Faithful. He said the statement was “disappointing,” and continued: