My Lord Bishops
My brothers in Christ. In the last few days you will have received new disciplinary rules concerning acts of paedophilia by the clergy. These new rules were released with a statement alleging that the ordination of women is "a crime against sacraments". Including these two completely unrelated issues in the one statement is deeply offensive to all women; to all victims of paedophilia by the clergy; and to the millions of Catholics around the world whose practice of their faith through the Church has been challenged by the failure of many leaders in the Church to do everything possible to protect innocent children when they first became aware that there was even a remote possibility that one of the most evil sins possible may have occurred.
I urge you to return this statement to the Vatican, advising that it is unacceptable in this form whilst it links the ordination of women and paedophilia by the clergy in the one statement.
Moving to the reference to the ordination of women being “a crime against sacraments" - In February 1616, the leaders of our beloved Church claimed that Galileo’s heliocentric view, which placed the Sun at the centre of our planetary system and not the Earth, was "false and contrary to Scripture".
n July 2010, the leaders of our beloved Church have issued new rules which put attempts at the ordination of women among the "most serious crimes," along with paedophilia.
Both of these statements are equally in error and equally naive. Spiritually there is no difference between a man and a woman.
Our beloved Church is in the greatest crisis since the Reformation. I further urge you to respectfully request our Holy Father not to damage our Church in the same way that Pope Leo X did in 1521.
Martin Luther did not seek to commence a new religion and he was not right on many things. But he simply sought a moral church guided by the teachings of Jesus. The actions of Pope Leo X divided the Church and have been a matter of great distress to all Christians for almost 500 years.
In 2010, we already have a great separation in our Church; less dramatic but equally significant as 1521. We now have the Roman Catholic Church (being comprised of a majority of the Cardinals but possible only about 10% of the lay people around the world, as I can attest following recent trips to Europe and South America) and the Catholic Church (being comprised of a minority of the leadership, many priests and the vast majority of the people).
There is a limit to how many times you can divide something before there is nothing left. Please allow yourself to be guided by the Holy Spirit on this matter, regardless of the reaction you may expect to receive. Yours in the service of Jesus.
Garry Nolan, Australia
My Lord Bishops