The Catholic Church of Australia may refuse to celibacy

© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Astapkovich in fotoracconti priest. Archival photoThe Catholic Church of Australia may refuse to celibacy© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Astapkovich the image Bank

The Catholic Church of Australia may review the practice of celibacy (obligatory vow of celibacy — ed.) against the backdrop of allegations of Catholic priests of pedophilia, reported the Sydney Morning Herald, citing Archbishop of Melbourne Denis HART.

HART’s statement is a reaction to the publication on Friday of the final report of the state Commission that five years was engaged in investigation of cases of pedophilia in educational institutions, particularly religious. The Commission found that in approximately 61.8% of all known cases of pedophilia was involved in the Catholic Church.

The state Commission has issued a total of 409 guidelines to avoid abuse of a minor. In particular, the Commission recommended the Catholic Church of Australia to request permission of the Vatican on the introduction of a voluntary vow of celibacy for priests of the diocese. Also, the Board recommended to compel priests to report all cases of pedophilia, including those which they have learned during confession.

The Archbishop of Melbourne HART apologized to all victims of violence and their families and said he will do everything in its power to eradicate the «shame culture of secrecy and self-protection».

However, HART said that the Church cannot break the seal of confession, as thus violate Church canons. «I can’t imagine that the sacred nature of confession will ever change… I think everyone understands that in the Catholic and Orthodox practice, confession is always confidential,» he said.

«As for such disciplines as celibacy, it is a question of another order, that the Church can change…», he added.

Cases of pedophilia in the ranks of the priests are one of the main problems for the Roman Catholic Church. In June 2016 the Pope simplified the procedure for the resignation of bishops for ignoring cases of pedophilia. He found that among the serious grounds for the immediate suspension of the Bishop is the negligence shown to them, including in responding to complaints of «sexual violence against children», as well as in relation to «vulnerable groups» of adults on the part of the clergy of his diocese.

Source