— With AAP
1. Sydney Archbishop’s uncomfortable message about Cardinal Pell at Sunday mass.
The Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher has urged Catholic worshippers not to “draw any conclusions” following Cardinal George Pell’s conviction for child sexual abuse.
The Archbishop urged a mass at St Mary’s Cathedral on Sunday morning not to be “too quick to judge” and said church readings can show that things are not always what they seem.
“As the Cardinal’s matter is ongoing in the courts I cannot comment on the substance,” he said, the ABC reported.
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“Others have done so and some have raised serious questions for the appellate court to examine. If we are too quick to judge, we can end up joining the demonisers or the apologists, those baying for blood, or those in denial.
“Our readings remind us that things are not always what they seem, that we must look beneath the surface, and allow truth and justice to unfold in God’s good time.”
Archbishop Fisher said the Catholic Church had a lot to do in order to recover from “this dark chapter”.
“Many feel disheartened and are uncertain how to go on believing, worshipping, living the Christian gospel. Indeed some are not even sure they want to.”
He acknowledged the community was shaken by “reports about the shameful actions or inactions of church people towards children and vulnerable adults”.
“Apart from the terrible harm this does to the victims, who are our first concern, we also know it undermines people’s faith and trust.
“Followers of Christ must reverence every human person, especially the most vulnerable; we must welcome the truth however confronting it might be.”
Priests across Australia publicly addressed Pell’s conviction during their first Sunday masses since it became public.
The Archbishop of Melbourne Peter Conemsoli said the church had been “grievously wounded from the evil of sexual abuse,” the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
The Archbishop of Perth Timothy Costelloe did not speak about Pell during his sermon, but handed out a letter to worshippers at the end of mass.
His letter, obtained by the ABC, acknowledged Pell’s ongoing appeal and stated Costelloe would not make any comments until the legal process has been completed.
“I have come to the firm conviction that in order not to inflame the situation and be seen as trying to prejudice the outcome of the appeal process I should not make any comments… It is more appropriate for me to do my best to provide some support to the Catholic people of our Archdiocese who are all suffering in the present circumstances.”