Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

FRAN­CIS Sullivan, of the Catholic Church’s Truth, Jus­tice and Heal­ing Coun­cil, said in re­sponse to the wide­spread child abuse re­vealed in the Royal Com­mis­sion “as Catholics we hang our heads in shame”.

No, Frank. As Catholics we are dis­gusted that our trust has been abused, not only by “bad priests” and bad mem­bers of reli­gious or­ders but even more so by the pow­ers that be (priests and the hi­er­ar­chy) who cov­ered up the wrong­do­ing and in “mov­ing on” per­pet­u­ated this abuse, thus putting many other in­no­cent, trust­ing peo­ple in harm’s way.

As Catholics, we are be­trayed and ashamed that our lead­ers are of such poor lead­er­ship qual­ity.

Poor lead­er­ship al­lowed ill­suited men to act (and con­tinue to act) as our spir­i­tual di­rec­tors and lead­ers of a par­ish, or in ed­u­ca­tion en­trusted with the care of chil­dren and the vul­ner­a­ble.

In­ac­tion when crimes were recog­nised to have been com­mit­ted left vic­tims and their fam­i­lies suf­fer­ing sys­temic abuse on top of the abuse of evil peo­ple.

True lead­er­ship would have recog­nised the need to re­port crime to the po­lice.

True lead­er­ship would have fore­seen that al­low­ing “bad reli­gious” to con­tinue to work meant that all in­no­cent priests would be re­garded with sus­pi­cion. Qual­ity over quan­tity would have given a bet­ter out­come for all.

The church’s canon law is not above the law of the land. ROSE BIAN­CHINI, East Vic­to­ria Park.

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