Compliance burden a danger to those "who fall between cracks": Power

Canberra Auxiliary Bishop Pat Power has warned that compliance burdens imposed by the government, and even the church, could put at risk the many people "who fall between the cracks".

On Tuesday he gave the McCosker Oration at the annual conference of Catholic Social Services Australia at Coffs Harbour in NSW.

The cited the "earthiness" of Pope John XXIII. Then he challenged those in leadership positions to "remain close to people at the 'grass-roots', ready to listen to their stories of pain, abuse and neglect".

He said: "We [can] become so 'professional' that we lose sight of the human persons involved?"

Bishop Power suggested that having a "whole variety of services" does not guarangee that many people will not "fall between the cracks"?

He the cited the example of retired Sydney Auxiliary Bishop Geoffrey Robinson. He said Robinson was "one leader who has listened and remained in touch with his people."

He was referring to victims of troubled marriages and sexual abuse. Bishop Robinson recently published the highly-acclaimed "Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church".

Bishop Power praised Catholic Social Services Australia CEO Frank Quinlan for the organisation's response to the Government's measures to tackle the problems of child abuse in aboriginal communities.

"Such an approach recognises fundamental human rights, the human dignity of every person and community and the need to address the complexities of so many such issues," he said. "It is, moreover, a measured voice when so many elements such as the tabloid press are trotting out simplistic remedies."

An eye for those who fall between the cracks (Eureka Street, 12/9/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Bishop Pat Power (Canberra-Goulburn diocese)

Time for less "clerical" priesthood: Bishop Power (CathNews, 22/8/07)

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