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Bishop Geoffrey Robinson asks Sign my Petition


I just found this in my In-box and thought it worth sharing even though I doubt that such a petition would be of much help on this long standing problem’

Iain —

I have sat and listened to many stories of horrific sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, stories that made me ashamed to be a priest and a Catholic.

I have listened to people whose lives have been ruined and I have felt a sadness and horror I cannot put into words. I have spent time with people close to suicide and I have watched the moving struggle of others trying to put their lives together again.

As a young teenager I was abused myself and I hope this makes me more sensitive. What’s happened within our Church has been nothing short of a catastrophe. Only the annihilation of the causes of this abuse will do, so that this can never happen again.

And there’s a real chance right now that we can begin this process. Media attention is focussed more than ever before on getting answers. A Royal Commission is underway. And the new Pope has promised to listen more.

That’s why I’ve started a petition on change.org calling on Pope Francis to convene a full council of the church on this issue — and finally begin an open, transparent process to identify and remove the causes of this abuse.

Will you add your name to my petition?

Almost two decades ago I helped set up some of the Church’s first responses to this issue — and I knew then and know now that this was only the beginning.

I have felt the disapproval of authorities in the Church when I tried speaking out. But they will not be able to simply ignore the message any longer if enough of you join me and stand with thousands of other Catholics and victims of abuse.

I still believe in the great beauty of the Church. It’s sustained me through the worst of this ugliness. Now I have hope that we can truly confront the horror of this abuse and ensure it never happens again.For Christ Sake: End Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church…for good.

Thanks for being with me,

Bishop Geoffrey Robinson

Sign my Petition

With Blessings Comrades




  1. GD says:

    Until the Catholic Church gets rid of the celibacy edict and begins reporting all instances of pedophilia to the government for retribution, I won’t be signing any petitions that are merely ‘promising’ to once again ‘address’ these vile issues that are still part and parcel of the 21st Century Catholic Church.

  2. Iain Hall says:

    That is a reasonable position GD but I took the view that at the very least the petition is well intentioned even if entirely futile.

  3. deknarf says:

    As if the RC Church will pay any attention to a petition. It will continue on it’s self righteous, self indulgent way to determine the fate, and set the rules for those who follow its beliefs. More fool them! Marx was right. It’s just a shame that a professed Communist made the statement!

  4. Ray Dixon says:

    A petition on the Pope? What’s the point of appealing to the head honcho of the very organisation that has as much as condoned this abuse or, at the very least, covered it up and intimidated/bought off the victims (which is the same thing as condoning & promoting it). As if we can trust the Church to police and reform itself. No way. The only way to stop the abuse and bring about change is via the law. Charge the bastards. Charge every single Bishop or official who failed to report these offences to authorities as accessories – no matter how long ago it occured. Charge them, try them, convict them and jail them – even if that includes people as high up as Pell. Just do it. We’re all sick of it and what’s needed is an absolute rout of the filth and pious incompetence of these sick people.

  5. Iain Hall says:

    As I say in the intro to this post I very much doubt that it will make any difference, but it certainly won’t hurt either now will it?
    Just remember though that the longest journey starts with just one step…

  6. Ray Dixon says:

    Signing petitions never achieves anything, Iain. It’s way too passive.

  7. Monica O'Brien says:

    I am a 75 year old, barely hanging on by my fingertips Catholic. It is time for decent Catholic clergy to stop sitting on the fence and stand up and be counted, no matter to what personal cost. I believe in the saying, “Evil prevails when good people (in this case MEN) do nothing.” Any person, no matter whom, who knows of abuse and does or says nothing is as much a criminal and sinner as the perpetrator. As a woman and life-long Catholic, within the church, I have always felt sidelined, powerless, voiceless and of little account. Most of the abuse could be easily lanced and cleansed from the body of the church if the men holding the power stood for truth and justice. The Catholic Church is being destroyed by the putrid sores it carries within itself and the whole body of the church will, and should, die if the infection ISN’T taken out. If there was an end to celibacy, women priests were allowed and the church rid itself of the hypocrites and impostors, we could all be proud to be Catholic, something of which I am now ashamed to admit.
    Monica O’Brien,

  8. Iain Hall says:

    Thank you for your comment and Welcome to my Sandpit Monica.
    I absolutely agree with you that the canker has to be removed however I also feel that there are a lot of opportunist anti-Catholics who are trying to destroy the church in its entirety in spite f the fact that the majority of its clergy and the congregation are not in anyway endorsing or protecting pedophiles.

  9. Monica O'Brien says:

    Yes, Iain, I agree there are those who are just delighted to see the downfall of the Catholic Church (I have come across blind prejudice all my life) but because of all the lies and cover-ups the hierarchy of the church is doing a fine job itself! I will mention just two cases in point – The Gerard Majella Order in Greystanes NSW. My family was an active, devoted part of the Greystanes Parish for 18 years, ten years of which was during the reign of these terrible hypocrites. Then there was our involvement with the St. Marys Church and Richard Cattell. Both these parishes are part of the Parramatta Diocese. I know all about the in-action and cover-ups of the then bishop. These are just an example of all our experiences.
    The majority of Catholics of my generation are in denial, it is much more comfortable to believe that abuse etc. is not systemic and just an occasional aberration. The churches are emptying and numbers will continue to decline unless truth and honesty prevails. I have so much grief because of the sense of betrayal which has been gathering momentum within me over the years.
    Monica O’Brien.

  10. Iain Hall says:

    I’m not a catholic, not even a lapsed one, but my wife is of that extraction and during my life I have met and befriended many Catholics that I have found to be both pious and sincere people and they get nothing but respect from me.
    From an historical point of view I think the the church suffers from the worst sort of inertia when it comes to reform and or rectifying such long standing problems. In fact I think that the church is only just beginning to come to terms with the difference a very well educated and questioning congregation makes to the way the church can function within secular modernity part of that is the acceptance of corporeal authority when its clergy commit any sort of crime, that is happening as is the realisation that priests have feet of clay no matter how sincere their vocations may be.

  11. Monica O'Brien says:

    Firstly, Iain, thank you for providing a forum where those such as I am able to have a small voice. As to my statement that I have, during my life, been confronted by religious prejudice – I only mentioned this in response to you saying that some of the attack comes from those who want to bring about the downfall of the Catholic Church. I didn’t mean to imply that all I encountered from those outside the Catholic Church was negative or prejudiced but prejudice certainly is still with us – and from all sides. I, for many years, have described myself as an ecumenical Catholic. I firmly believe in God and I don’t care by which path one travels, we are all headed to the same destination. I also believe that many, many non-believers will be in line for heaven far ahead of so many church going, “holy” people (who often go through the motions of what they perceive as being good) and are sure all atheists are doomed to hell. I know so many atheists who could certainly teach some so-called Christians a thing or two about “loving thy neighbour.”
    I have digressed from the subject of clergy abuse. Regardless of the fact that there are those who have their own agenda in criticizing the Catholic Church,the truth is the truth and Catholics and clergy, from the Pope down, has to acknowledge it and stop it NOW!
    With blessings,
    Monica O’Brien,
    Mudgee, NSW

  12. Monica O'Brien says:

    Ilain, I have just “googled” you and find there are many negative statements about you. Just the little I read appears that you and I have differing perceptions on issues such as race relations and politics. I came across your blogg because of the comment you received from Bishop Robinson, a good man. Have I been misled? I am sorry if this is the case.
    Monica O’Brien

  13. Iain Hall says:

    I have made enemies over the last eight years of blogging and some of them have gone to a great deal of effort to publish un truths about me and the opinions I hold.Please take the time to Read what I actually say rather than the distortions of my critics.

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