Speaking at a Catholic Social Services Conference in Melbourne late last month, Mr Fitzgerald highlighted the ‘’disease’’ of ‘clericalism’ - the belief that the church’s male-only clergy are mystical beings, accountable to the Pope and to God, not to civil society or church laity.
Robert Fitzgerald said clericalism was a ‘‘disease’’.

Mr Fitzgerald, a practising Catholic, described the leadership of the church as "arrogant’’:
"A church that placed its own reputation above the interests of those victims and survivors and did so knowingly and willingly in a way that would cause further harm to those victims.’’