The abuse story bubbles on.
The dioceses of Parramatta and Armidale have released the terms of reference for the Inquiry into the 'Fr F' case. They look to cover the ground appropriately, while leaving it open to be able to comment on any other matters of relevance.
The Age has a story today of another failure by police to pursue action against a priest, this time Melbourne's infamous Fr Pickering.
Based only on what is in the public domain, it is pretty clear that there are several more of these, highlighting the need for the Church to get in front of the issue, and pro-actively and transparently identify any cases that may not have been handled properly in the past.
On the more positive side, it is not often I can recommend an article over at Eureka Street (or agree with many of the commenters over there!), but today's article on this subject by Fr Peter Day of Canberra is a very constructive contribution indeed.
The bottom line, as the article suggests, is that:
"It is not good enough to adopt a siege mentality by blaming an 'aggressive anti-Catholic media'. It is not good enough to say 'that happened a long time ago under someone else's watch'. It is not good enough to say 'that's an Irish problem, that's a Boston problem', or that it is 'disloyal' to raise these matters publicly.
There has to be a collective, universal response: to remain silent and passive is to perpetuate the effects of the abuse on both victims and the Church."
Fr Day makes a number of concrete suggestions, all worth considering. And some of the commenters add some important points to that. Fr Mick Mac Andrew in particular, notes that:
"There has to be a collective, universal response..." and it can only begin if us priests are seen to be doing it, renewing our own personal lives of belief and action. We need to be seen and known for taking days of prayer, attending spiritual direction and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, engaging men of our parishes in asking their support as we live chaste lives..." "