A favoured spiritual guru of New Zealand’s liberal episcopate has come out defending the inappropriate sexual behaviour of the former Bishop of Palmerston North, Charles Drennan.
Joy Cowley, an 83-year-old “children’s author” and retreat leader in Catholic parishes, and even Diocesan clergy retreats, told Radio New Zealand news that the late teens were an appropriate age where a sexual relationship with a much older bishop would be okay.
"Probably early teens, I would say would be inappropriate," she said.
"In my day it would be late teens, these days girls are much more educated," so late teens would be okay, "I should think so".
"It would depend on the quality and the sincerity of the relationship. You know, there's one element you've left out, and that's love. People fall in love. I don't think this man would have had sex with anyone that he wasn't in love with."
It was not predatory nor was it an abuse of power by the bishop, she said.
Another Catholic women she knew agreed with this, she said adding that she would be happy for the bishop to have continued serving while carrying on the relationship.
"Well, I would say that that would make him a much better bishop. He would know how to work with women, wouldn't he? As a man, he wouldn't be just hopping on one foot."
"It's such a waste to see him sidelined over some indiscretion. And I believe it was quite small because it certainly wasn't a case of abuse".
"Maybe this needed to happen to give the church a seismic shift," she said.
She said she was defending clergy who acted on their sexual urges. "How can you do this to a man for being human?"
The deluded darling of the liberal elite in the Church in New Zealand has unmasked the rotten state of Catholicism in that country.
It is no surprise to hear the anecdotal evidence of clergy forums where celibacy is attacked. An endless litany of heterodox international speakers have had open access to dioceses and educational institutions over the decades, producing a local church that is barely recognisable as Catholic anymore.
Cowley’s campaign for married clergy has a very personal edge to it, as recounted in a 2004 profile in The Listener.
In 1985, her second husband, Malcom Mason (25 years her senior), died of cancer. Towards the end, Mason would only let his children, his wife and Catholic priest Terry Coles near him.
Cowley: "After Malcolm died, Terry and I were getting a bit close. I thought, this won't do because he's a Catholic priest, so I went down to the South Island. We still kept in touch. But he wasn't well and couldn't cope with the loneliness - some priests don't. They either break out of it, get ill with depression or escape.
"One day he rang me up with the most unromantic of proposals. He said: 'Bugger this, I want to get married.' I thought he'd met someone else, and finally he said, 'What do you think about that?' I was quiet for a moment and then something inside me said, 'Why not?'"
“Why not” indeed? Cowley is a symbol of all that is wrong in the Church in New Zealand, adrift from the fullness of the faith, living instead a self-made “spirituality” that revels in its disdain of traditional Catholicism.
Will the Bishops of New Zealand finally show some courage and condemn Cowley for her outlandish views? Or will they continue to promote and encourage her in whatever gobbledygook she spouts?
This unsightly delusional creature ought to keep her mouth shut, get a better fitting/more realistic hairpiece, fixing her teeth and spending whatever little time she has left by being productive and knitting socks for babies.