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Bishops firm on celibacy

A number of Australian bishops surveyed by The Australian newspaper have failed to echo Canberra-Goulburn Auxiliary Bishop Pat Power's weekend call for a review of the celibacy rule.

Bishop Power told ABC Local Radio's Pat Power, auxiliary bishop for Canberra-Goulburn, said at the weekend that removing the tradition would reduce the incidence of sex abuse in the church.

"The priest living within the safety and the security and the happiness of the family life would be less likely, I think, to be tempted in that way," Bishop Power said.

But of the bishops contacted yesterday by The Australian, none supported his view.

Kevin Manning, Bishop of Parramatta in western Sydney, said there is "no factual information to prove there is an association or relationship between celibacy and child abuse". He continued: "The Pope is quite adamant that the celibacy rule remains; I'm in accordance with that."

Bishop of Darwin Ted Collins said celibacy could not be blamed for the incidence of child sex abuse by clergy. Pedophilia is an "aberration", he said.

Bishop of Ballarat Peter Connors said the issue was "in the hands of the Pope". "Until the Pope decides otherwise, that is the way it is," he said.

Canberra bishop urges rethink on celibacy (26/8/02)
Australian Bishop Urges End to Clerical Celibacy (Catholic World News)
Courier-Mail (26/8/02)
ABC Radio Sunday Profile | summary | audio
Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn | Bishop Patrick Power

The Australian (payment required)

27 Aug 2002