|National||CARDINAL CLANCY ADMITS SINS OF AUSTRALIAN CHURCH|
The Jubilee is an occasion for the Church to look at its own failings, according to Sydney's Archbishop Edward Clancy.
In a statement released today on behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, he said: "Since the Church is made up of human beings, it is always vulnerable to sin and error." He said that the Church's leaders 'bear the greatest responsibility but all members of the Church have reason to repent and ask forgiveness'.
Referring to specific failings, he continued: "When confronted with sexual abuse, and abuse of authority generally, we did not always respond appropriately, and many people suffered serious harm... In communicating the Church's teaching on marriage and sexuality, we have too often lacked compassion and understanding. The Church has not been sufficiently alert to the needs of particular groups, such as women, youth and migrants."
The Australian Bishops' statement is the local expression of moves by Pope John Paul II to have the Church address past transgression and inaction during the Jubilee Year. The Holy Father is due to deliver an address of apology in Rome on Sunday. The address stems from the document Memory and Reconciliation: The Church and the Faults of the Past. The document has been edited by the International Theological Commission and was presented at a conference in the Holy See Press Office last Tuesday, March 7.