Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"The Culture of Discretion"

In a lengthy Pentecost letter to his local church, the chief shepherd of Australia's capital see took the unusual step of detailing his path to awareness of the scope of sexual abuse in the church... and the even more unusual step of naming the factors that contributed to it, including the legacy of Irish Jansenism and, indeed, "a certain triumphalism in the Catholic Church."

The source is especially notable: now 62, Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Canberra and Goulburn is regarded as a star still on the rise, and not just by the folks Down Under. A Scripture scholar and veteran of the Secretariat of State, the Melbourne native served on the editorial committee for the impending reboot of the Roman Missal and has already been tipped as a front-runner for the Aussie church's pre-eminent post should, as has been widely expected, Cardinal George Pell of Sydney be appointed prefect of the Congregation for Bishops in the coming weeks.

Given the context -- and, candidly, the worthwhile nature of the complete text -- here in full is Coleridge's 4,000-word letter, titled "Seeing the Faces, Hearing the Voices":