I write as a response to Bishop Paul Bird's comment in The Courier March 7, "a men's healing centre would be unaffordable for the Ballarat Catholic diocese."
I find this quite astounding.
As I am not a Catholic, I do not know how the Catholic Church's finances work.
However, like many members of the public, I do read about and observe the riches of the Catholic Church.
It is a very wealthy organization.
If it is true that the Ballarat diocese cannot afford to do anything regarding the healing of its victims, can't the Vatican come to the rescue?
Cardinal Pell did promise the Ballarat survivors, that he would attend to the provision of a healing centre in Ballarat.
It is ridiculous to say there are already facilities at St. John of God Hospital which can deal with the trauma.
This may be so, but they are far from adequate given the volume of work.
The Ballarat Diocese and Bishop Bird have a magnificent opportunity to do something good on behalf of the Church.
Please step up and find the money and get the ball rolling.
Bishop Bird also commented in The Courier, August 15, about religious ministries being added to the list of mandated reporters of child sexual abuse.
According to him, such a move will "not make children safer."
If such a crime is spoken of in the confessional, the reporting of this will prevent the abuser from further offences.
Having spent most of my working life as a relationship counsellor, I can assure you sexual abuse is often revealed in the course of airing other problems.
I am sure this would happen in a priest and worshipper relationship.
Once the priest is party to the knowledge or even suspects something is wrong, he must act to prevent further damage.
We must protect the children in every way we can.
Jesus taught this.
I am worried the hierarchy of the Catholic Church is still clinging to the past.
Lorraine Collishaw, Newington.