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Patronizing response shows influence of clericalism, giving ‘lip service' to respect for Laity

WE ASK THAT OUR SUPPORTERS REVIEW HEAL OUR CHURCH’S RECENT LETTER TO THE ARCHBISHOP, AS A FOLLOW UP TO OUR SUCCESSFUL COMMUNITY FORUM, AND THE BELOW RESPONSE FROM THE ARCHBISHOP. THE LETTERS TRULY SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES BUT IT IS EVIDENT THAT NOTHING HAS CHANGED THE CLERICAL PERSPECTIVE THAT GUIDES OUR LOCAL CHURCH. CONTRARY TO WHAT HAS HAPPENED ACROSS OUR COUNTRY, THE ARCHBISHOP HAS AGAIN DENIED OUR REQUEST TO ALLOW AN INDEPENDENTLY APPOINTED GROUP OF LAY PERSONS ACCESS TO FILES THAT RECORD THE FULL HISTORY OF THE ABUSE OF CHILDREN IN THIS DIOCESE AND THE OTHER DIOCESES IN THE STATE FOR WHICH THE ARCHBISHOP SERVES AS METROPOLITAN. WE KNOW MANY SURVIVORS COME FORWARD WHEN THE FULL TRUTH IS TOLD.
DESPITE OUR REPEATED REQUESTS TO ENGAGE IN DIALOGUE ON ISSUES RELATING TO THE OPENING OF THE DEACONATE TO WOMEN, WHICH HE HAS FULL AUTHORITY TO DO, OR THE ACCEPTANCE OF CATHOLIC LGBTQ+ MEMBERS, WE GET NO RESPONSE. INSTEAD, WE ARE LOOKING AT ADDITIONAL CLOSURES OF SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES.
THE FINAL PARAGRAPH OF HIS LETTER POIGNANTLY SHOWS ALLEGIANCE TO THE ‘MAGISTERIUM’ RATHER THAN THE SENSE OF THE FAITHFUL THAT WE HEAR REPEATED AMONG CATHOLICS WHO VALUE THE GOOD WORKS AND TRADITIONS OF OUR CHURCH. WE, AT HOC, ARE SADDENED BY THIS CONTINUED ‘STONEWALLING’ BUT WE REMAIN RESOLUTE IN OUR EFFORTS TO BRING ABOUT NEEDED CHANGE.

Below is the text of Archbishop Etienne's letter:




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