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Bishop Power clarifies his call for reform

Canberra-Goulburn Auxiliary Bishop Pat Power has denied calling for the abolition of priestly celibacy as the answer to the Church's sexual abuse problems.

He was responding to media reports of what he had said in an ABC Radio interview on 25 August.

"Some reports looked as if I was saying celibacy was the cause of paedophilia," he said. "I did not use the word paedophilia as such and twice actually said celibacy was not the cause of sexual abuse."

He singled out Brisbane's Courier-Mail as having been particularly inaccurate in its reporting of his comments. The paper said Bishop Power had 'defied the Pope' by calling for optional celibacy.

In a subsequent article in Melbourne's The Age on August 28, Bishop Power said now was a time for reform in the Church.

"Much of that reform agenda is now being forced upon the Church in the light of widespread abuse among its members," he wrote. "A Church that has been overly triumphal, hierarchical and dominated from the top has been brought to its knees. Yet it is from such a lowly position that Catholicism can again become a truly servant Church, modelling the person of its founder."

Bishop Power told The Catholic Leader last week that reaction to his article had been 'overwhelmingly positive', with support from many Catholics and some non-Catholics.

Catholic Church must confront issue of celibacy (Bishop Pat Power, The Age 28/8/02)
Bishops firm on celibacy (27/8/02)
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

Renewed celibacy debate at cross purpose (James Murray, The Australian 30/8/02)

Catholic Leader

6 Sep 2002