Bookmark and Share
My Photo


    Opinions expressed on the Insight Scoop weblog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Ignatius Press. Links on this weblog to articles do not necessarily imply agreement by the author or by Ignatius Press with the contents of the articles. Links are provided to foster discussion of important issues. Readers should make their own evaluations of the contents of such articles.


« Ignatius Press Religious Education resources | Main | The non-quote of this non-existent month »

Friday, August 24, 2007


Nick Milne

Note the positioning of the word "Israel" next to this "sleeping" "man's" "mouth;" how both "Darwin" and "Israel" are placed above "New Testament," which is itself partially obscured.

The evidence speaks for itself, people!


This book will electrify the Catholic Church to the same degree that licking a 9V battery does.



Is there an relation between this Bishop Robinson and a certain Episcopalien Bishop?

It is really amazing that God waited all this time to reveal what he really meant about sex and about authority in the Church.

But Martin Luther was a piker along side of this guy when you realize that if the Church follows Bishop Robinson's revolutionary advice there will be instantly less sin in the world. Poof! Shazam! America for sure would be instantly a more virtuous place, and who knows, we might even be able to get a cause for beatification of Hugh Heffner when he finally heads to that great bunny ranch in the sky. St. Hugh? St. Heff? Mmmm.....

However, that ain't the half of it. For those with a long view, just think, with a few more strokes of the Papal pen, we could get rid of all sin in the world. That's right. We could have this place all ship-shape and tidied up by the time Jesus comes back. Won't he be surprised? Considering the state it was in when he left.

...Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Meg Q

Awww, I thought you were gonna comment on the Mother Teresa book, and here it's just some old-fogey lost-in-the-"Spirit of Vatican II" retired bishop. Dude.

P.S. Nice pic - that's how I feel when I read this sort of thing, too.

Meg Q

P.P.S.: This part is genius, Carl:
"[T}he faith community that holds these beliefs is already alive and well. I call it the First Community Gathering of Unchurched, Secularist Oregonians, but, of course, this group is not limited to the state in which I dwell. And there are variations, such as the Post-Modern Sisterhood of Dogma-Lite Liberal Protestants and the Faithless, Droning Voice of Dissenting, Aging Sixties Liberal Catholics."

But don't forget the First Community Non-Gathering of Unchurched Secularists. I understand their membership is even bigger than the First Community Gathering.

Carl Olson

I understand their membership is even bigger than the First Community Gathering.

Yes, much, much larger. But without drums (sacred music), body paints (sacred art), and certain perception-enhancing substances (sacred incense). Each year here in Lane County, Oregon, a special "church conference" is convened, called the Oregon Country Fair. It reinacts and relieves great events of the communities collective memory of the Sixties, including dancing, inhaling, singing, "making love," eating, drinking, and sleeping.


Frankly, I'm more disturbed that your picture shows you with a Raymond Brown book.... (Actually, it's a pretty good one.)

Paul Rodden

Maybe it's something in the Robinson ecclesiastical "gene" line?:

Bishop John AT Robinson
Bishop Gene Robinson
Bishop Geoffrey Robinson...


He's suggesting one thing, which should send you running for the hills:

Salvation without the cross.

There's nothing more seductive and more evil than that idea.

Dale Price

"He recognises that sex can be misused and can damage people, but wants a sexual ethic based on the good and harm done to people and their relationships. This understanding would leave room for both sex outside marriage and homosexual sex."

The "Gospel" of Free Willy.

Yeah. Electrifyingly radical.

The Episcopal Church Welcomes You!

Carl Olson

Frankly, I'm more disturbed that your picture shows you with a Raymond Brown book.... (Actually, it's a pretty good one.)

Father Brown actually wrote quite a few good books, especially his commentary on John's Gospel, which is a monumental work of scholarship. Doesn't mean I agree with him on everything, but he's not nearly as thelogically liberal as he is sometimes accused of being.

M. Jordan Lichens

To sum up this argument: the Catholic Church cannot be Catholic and still remain Catholic and therefore has to drop everything that makes the Church Catholic in order to become truly Catholic. Good thinking, I'll get on it.

Robert Miller

Does it strike anyone else besides me that there is an intensity of conflict among Catholics -- and between Catholics and secularists -- in Australia that isn't happening anywhere else in the English-speaking world?

Perhaps the Australians are the "new" (true?) Irish: They take their faith seriously. The motherland long since has followed its US cousins on the road to Kennedy/JC Murray worship. But the outbackers are still fighting it out.

Just a thesis, at this point. But Irish Catholicism desperately needs redeeming. Its "absence" from the life of the universal Church since the 1960s has been a tremendous loss. Let us hope that Cardinal Pell will find a way to bring the Irish back to the Church via Australia.

Dom Hugh Somerville-Knapman OSB

Bishop Robinson's little missile (pop-gun?) is probably the last hurrah of the militant liberalism that held sway in the church in Australia nigh on 30 years. It is still a church with deep divisions, and the liturgy suffered there immensely. But change has come about through the appointment of truly Catholic men as bishops. Cardinal Pell is the most strident of them (!) but the others are quietly re-setting the agenda back along the lines of orthodox Catholicism while remaining open to authentic modern developments (eg the archbishops of Perth and Adelaide). The appointment of bishops is crucial, and if takes a year or more to appoint a new one occasionally, then it is worth the wait if a good man is appointed.



I am a regular reader of your site and I find it most enlightening and interesting. However I feel that your attitude to a Bishop in the Church, who IS brave enough to write about such genuinely troublesome contemporary matters in the church is less than respectful of another human being, irrespective of his views. I have not read the book, therefore cannot comment on its content. Ridiculing another human being, despite his views, I personally think is unworthy of your eminent website.

Dom Hugh Somerville-Knapman OSB

Let's be precise - if there is any ridicule, it is of Robinson's views not his person. And I think his views deserve ridicule. Actually I believe they deserve condemnation. What he is doing is not brave at all. He is pandering to the press, and now stands to make a lot of money from the book sales and publicity. He is retired so he cannot be "punished" in any way. He has nothing to lose and everything to gain. That a bishop can undermine the church so grotesquely appalls me. The brave thing to do would have been to defend the church and put some proper perspective on the sexual abuse crisis. For example to attribute the crisis to celibacy is indeed ridiculous and simplistic - one only needs to count how many married protestant and Anglican pastors have abused children to see that. Sexual abuse is the result of sin not celibacy, and it is a sin not solely sexual but also one of power and abuse of trust. Thereafter to indulge vain theological fantasies is absurd, and very uncatholic, and I use the lowercase "c" deliberately.

Gabriel Austin

One wishes to be not unrespectful of Dom Hugh, but I wonder if he has considered that the Pharisees [and scribes and such] were the bishops of the temple.

The bishop's book on the serious problems in the Church would have been more welcome had he written them while still bishopying.

His comments on the importance of sex seem to be those of a man with little experience.

Dom Hugh Somerville-Knapman OSB

With similar respect to Gabriel, I must admit I have never conceived of the Pharisees as the bishops of the Temple. This may be due to the fact that the Pharisees had no functions in the Temple beyond those of any normal Jew. They were not priests, and rather represented a reform movement within Judaism, and are the foundation of modern, priestless, Judaism.

So I am at a loss as to how modern bishops can be compared to Pharisees. My fear is that it is an oblique way of calling them hypocrites. SOME may well be, but all? And we must remember that the office of bishop is foundational to the church: no bishops, no church.

I do agree with Gabriel that Robinson seems to have little experience of matters relating to sexual conduct, though that may be seen as a good thing!

Carl Olson

Ridiculing another human being, despite his views, I personally think is unworthy of your eminent website.

I wasn't aware that pointing out error and critiquing bad ideas constituted ridicule. Has the definition really become so broad and meaningless?

Carl Olson

Sexual abuse is the result of sin not celibacy, and it is a sin not solely sexual but also one of power and abuse of trust.

Very well put. Thank you for your comments, Dom Hugh.


It is perhaps much better to critique a book directly rather then through a review with quotes chosen for their shock value.
Bishop Robinson is a very well respected Bishop here in Australia for his work in setting up a process for dealing with issue of sexual abuse by priests. I am told by people in this field in the US that the Australian program for dealing with victims is the best one available and was used by them as a model for their own programs.
It may well be that Bishop Robinson does have the kind of intensive experience of the nature of this kind of abuse and its results that made him write this book dealing with this and similar subjects.
I would not condemn his book without a careful reading of it myself.
It well may be much more orthodox than the review presents.

Carl Olson

MaryM: I've read enough of Bishop Robinson to be rather certain that my criticisms are valid. I did not remark upon his work re: sexual abuse because 1) it wasn't pertinent to the topic, and 2) it's not a topic I follow too closely. I think that G.K. Chesterton may have identified part of the problem that seems evident to me in Robinson's beliefs and approach when he wrote: "The reformer is always right about what is wrong. He is generally wrong about what is right."

Willie Christensen

peastick misattend typhlectomy wheezer diacetylene rentable unite snying
Prudential Dehoff Realtors

The comments to this entry are closed.

Ignatius Insight


Ignatius Press

Catholic World Report


Blogs & Sites We Like

June 2018

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Blog powered by Typepad