Tuesday, October 19, 2010
AUSTRALIA: RUDD DEFENDS CATHOLIC CHURCH
Cath News report: Kevin Rudd has launched a vigorous defence of the Catholic Church's response to child abuse, saying the canonisation of Mary MacKillop should prompt Australians to a fairer appreciation of the church's contribution to their nation's history, The Australian reports.
Addressing a press conference after an audience with the Pope, the Foreign Minister said while many people criticised the church it was time to more openly acknowledge its positive contributions.
Asked about the church's response to clergy abusing children he said it had taken action and "I would like to acknowledge the enormous work which the church has done and other Christian churches in dealing with this blight on all of human kind".
Mr Rudd said the church did not get the credit it deserved for its role in Australian society. "(For) Australians whatever their views of religion and whatever their denominational affiliation it is important to acknowledge the central role which the church has played positively in the history of our nation," he said.
"Were there no churches in the early 19th century, just following European settlement, there would have been no schools, no hospitals, no care for the poor.
In a separate interview, Mr Rudd said he believed in miracles. But the former prime minister insists questions about his own religious beliefs are irrelevant and has called on all Australians to celebrate the fact the Catholic Church is to recognise Mother Mary as a saint.
"On the questions of the miracles associated with Mary MacKillop's life, I will not comment directly," Mr Rudd told Network Ten when asked if he believed in miracles, according to an AAP report in the Sydney Morning Herald.
"(But) if you're asking me as a Christian believer, do I accept the proposition of the supernatural and of supernatural intervention, well of course one follows from the other."