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I’m a Catholic, a mother of Catholic school students (now grown), a former Catholic school teacher and a former Catholic youth worker.
I’m almost without words reading this report. Almost.

I have a few things to say here. Thread below. theguardian.com/world/2019/mar…
Bishop Kennedy has directed the Catholic schools in the Armidale diocese to stop checking that priests have Working With Children Checks. His reason? He says the diocese has already conducted these checks for priests and holds them on file.
In short, the Bishop is saying school principals should just trust him that all priests coming into their schools have already been cleared for Working With Children by the diocese.
This is a classic example of “clericalism” in the Catholic Church: that is, the clerical, ordained class (bishops,cardinals, priests) make the rules, hold the power, and demand that the laity (ordinary folks in the church) follow their rules.
What is gobsmacking here is that - despite all the evidence at the Royal Commission and around the world of the widespread incidence of child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy and the cover ups by the leadership of the Church - is that Bishop Kennedy thinks this rule is appropriate
Secrecy and a lack of transparency over the actions of Bishops and Cardinals is one of the reasons the Church is facing a crisis over child sexual abuse.
The Catholic hierarchy have lost all right to say to Catholic school teachers and parents “Trust us, we’ve checked these priests out and they are ok to work with kids.”
I’d like to know what the @ACBC1 or @AnthonyFisherOP thinks of this direction issues by Bishop Kennedy.

I think it flies in the face of every public utterance from the Australian Catholic Bishops that the clerical class has learned from its mistakes.
Frankly, I’d also like to know whether Bishop Kennedy has the legal right to stop a principal from asking a priest to provide his Working With Children check before he enters the school.
It saddens me greatly that this is the circumstance the Church is in. Many priests are good people trying to do good work. But the abuse of children by priests happens - and principals ought to be supported, not scolded, by a Bishop when they act to ensure children are safe.
As for Bishop Kennedy’s comments about the conviction of Cardinal Pell - I will repeat what I’ve said elsewhere - it is a kick in the guts for victims. It is re-traumatising. It disrespects the Australian law enforcement, legal & judicial system. It disrespects the jury.
To quote Francis Sullivan on #QandA Monday when asked about comments like those Bishop Kennedy has made about the verdict: “Everyone should just shut up.”
Despite all evidence, I want to hope the Church will confront this crisis with humility, contrition, a genuine conversion of the heart and real change.

Actions and comments like this from Bishop Kennedy just frustrate that hope, for me and so many Catholics.
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