RETIRING Cardinal Edward Clancy of Sydney has accused spy networks within the Australian Church of having an “undue influence” on the Vatican at the Oceania Synod of Bishops in 1999.
In an ABC Local Radio interview last Sunday, Cardinal Clancy addressed issues of authority in the Church, including the outcome of the synod in Rome, which caused controversy in Australia.
A document critical of aspects of the Australian Church was drawn up by the Roman Curia after meetings with the bishops.
Cardinal Clancy was asked last Sunday what he felt about “a small group anxious about moves for change in the Church, which has taken on a policing role”, reporting to Rome.
He said he felt this group had “undue influence” on the Vatican.
“I came away (from the synod) feeling that our brethren in Rome didn’t fully understand the situation in real life as we have it here,” Cardinal Clancy said.
`”There’s a certain egalitarianism that other people often misread and misunderstand … and also an openness, a sense of inner freedom, that one doesn’t very often find in other people in other countries to the extent that one finds it among Australians.
“I would think this group … did exercise an undue influence in forming opinions and convictions over there. I think that was the big shortcoming of the meeting.
“Nevertheless, it was not a fruitless meeting by any means.”