For a change, a Catholic media agency’s look at the tumult in Toowoomba

There are virtually always many sides to the story when it comes to the bad governance of a parish or diocese, heck, any human endeavor.

Here is another view of the Diocese of Toowoomba, whence Bp. William Morris was recently removed as ordinary.

This one is from a Catholic news agency, rather than from the National Catholic Fishwrap, against whom we PROTEST.

From CNA with my emphases and comments.

In Toowoomba, legacy of ‘Bishop Bill’ is confusion and one new priest in 18 years
By David Kerr

Toowoomba, Australia, May 11, 2011 / 11:38 am (CNA).- Norm and Mavis Power moved to Toowoomba back in 1959, not long after getting married. The attractions of the Queensland city were obvious for a young couple hoping for a family – good schools, a pleasant climate and so many green spaces and parks it’s known across Australia as “the Garden City.” But that wasn’t all.

“Most importantly, we wanted our children to be brought up in the Catholic faith,” explains Mavis.

“At that time there was a monastery right in the middle of the town run by the Blessed Sacrament Fathers. It was a real center of prayer and activity. In fact, all the city’s Catholic churches were full. The life of the Church was so vibrant. Now, though, the monastery is closed and those same churches are empty. It’s so, so sad.”

Catholic life in Toowoomba changed – and changed radically – back in 1993. [I suspect it started to change even before 1993.] That was the year the city got a new bishop. Father William Martin Morris was a 49-year-old parish priest from the nearby Diocese of Brisbane. Styling himself as “Bishop Bill,” his innovations were very radical, very visible and instantly applied. [What?  No long process of wide consultation with the faithful and lots of dialogue?]

Out went clerical dress. Instead the bishop wore shirt and tie emblazoned with a diocesan crest. Each priest was issued with one as well.  [Let me absorb that: He.Gave.Neckties.To.Priests.  Okay… got it.]

Out went individual confessions. In came collectivized penance services in which participants are granted “general absolution.[That happened in a lot of places, but generally before 1993.  It was starting to go out in the USA, I think, by then.  Sure, it was still rampant, but I think they tide had turned.  But Australia was much farther behind and farther gone.] Under Church law, general absolution is to be used in extreme circumstances. Under “Bishop Bill” the rare exception became the ordinary rule.

Out went the traditional model of governance by a Catholic bishop. In came a form of administration by committee — including committees appointing priests. [A reading from the Book of Z: “For God so loved the world, that He did not send a committee.”] In fact, Bishop Morris’ tenure began with a service held in a local retreat center. There he asked the priests of the diocese to sign his letter of appointment from Rome “to indicate their acceptance” of him as their bishop. [And if they didn’t sign?  The priest might need that tie after all.  It is interesting that liberals like to talk big and open and new and collegial.  When they are crossed they punish with the Old Law.]

Out went the traditional understanding of priesthood. Many parishes started to be run by nuns and lay people with priests only used to administer some sacraments some of the time.

And out went a traditional understanding of the authority of the Church.

So when the Vatican asked Bishop Morris to desist with the practice of general absolution, he responded by carrying out a survey of parishioners on the issue before responding to Rome.

For many ordinary Catholics like the Norm and Mavis Power, life became pretty tough and very upsetting.

“The bishop would tell people what they wanted to hear, not what the Catholic Church teaches,” says Mavis, a mother of five who went on to work with disabled people later in life. Norm, a retired telecoms engineer, agrees.

Instead of individual confession people would be told to come up in a line, write their sins on a piece of paper and put it in a jar. Plus, an inappropriate form of lay participation was promoted everywhere. So on a Sunday if a priest was away for the weekend they would no longer get a neighboring priest but would, instead, ask lay people to lead the service and give out communion on the grounds that they’d ‘want to keep the community together.’”

For the likes of the Power family this isn’t just a matter of arcane rules or abstract dogma. For them, the teachings and practice of the Catholic Church provide the wellspring for a good and happy life and – for that matter – a better world too. So to withhold or subvert those teachings is viewed as both cruel and abusive[There it is, friends.  It is a form of cruelty.]

“It’s been pretty difficult. Really upsetting actually,” says Mavis, “and whenever we wrote to the bishop about any of these things we were always told it was us who were in the wrong.”

In November 2006, though, everything changed. Suddenly unhappiness with Bishop Morris went global. No longer did he just have to placate the Power family of Toowoomba. He now had to explain himself to powers-that-be in Rome. The reason? A pastoral letter written to his entire diocese.

In it Bishop Morris promoted the idea of ordaining women and married men as well as allowing Anglicans, Lutherans and other religions to preside at Mass[I am still trying to wrap my mind around that fantasy.  Unless he simply no longer believed in the Church’s teachings about the sacraments, how could he have for an instant thought that a Lutheran minister could have anything to do with Mass. It boggles the mind.  I guess he was entirely bound up in the “church with a human face” rubbish pushed by Schillebeeckx.  That’s what we had in seminary in the late 80’s.]

Again, all this flew in the face of Catholic Church teaching and tradition. This marked the beginning of the end for Bishop Morris.

In December 2006 the Vatican asked him to visit Rome as soon as possible in order to discuss his views. Bishop Morris told them he couldn’t possibly make the journey — for, at least, five months. [Cunctando regitur mundus.] Clearly surprised by this answer, the Vatican wrote again, only a month later, with a similar request.

Again, Bishop Morris said “no.” [So much for dialogue.]

“The whole thing was incredible. The flight from Brisbane to Rome takes about 12 hours and there at least one flight a day,” a senior Australian cleric told CNA. “Yet here’s this bishop telling the Vatican that he can’t make that trip at all for nearly half a year! That reaction was little short of scandalous. [No.   It is scandalous.] Any bishop worth his salt would hasten to Rome as quickly as possible. To be honest I think Bishop Morris was hoping that if he strung things out for long enough Rome would just forget all about it. That was never going to happen.”

Rather than wait, the Vatican sent in the well-respected [Not by Fishwrap.] American Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap. of Denver to review the happenings in Toowoomba. He visited the diocese in April 2007 speaking to all sides involved. In September Bishop Morris was asked to resign.

According to the senior Australian cleric, who asked that his name be withheld, the process again moved very slowly. [Because Rome will do nearly anything to avoid removing a bishop.]

“It took Bishop Morris, wait for it, four months to say ‘no.’ He was then, again, asked to resign in February 2008. This time he took a grand total ten months to, again, finally, reply ‘no.’”

Bishop Morris even managed to secure a meeting with the Pope. This took place in June 2009. The message from the pontiff to him was the same – resign. The reply from the bishop, this time five months later, was also the same – no. [Imagine now what Morris might have done to a priest in Toowoomba who simply implemented Summorum Pontificum or went a bit beyond and stopped using the Novus Ordo.  A priest who didn’t want to wear his damn tie!  D’ya think that Bp. Morris would have told the priest to stop what he was doing?  Perhaps even remove the priest?  And the priest did a Pfleger and said “no”, do you think the bishop would have suspended that priest?  D’ya think?   This is all supposition, of course.  A tie-wearing, tie-giving bishop who just wants to be called “Bill” would never do that!]

The endgame, however, came earlier this year. In a compromise move, Rome told Bishop Morris that he could retire rather than resign. [One of Caesar’s principles of warfare is that you should always leave an honorable escape route.  After that, if your opponent doesn’t take it, overwhelm with irresistible force.] Bishop Morris agreed. Both sides then set a date of May 2 for the announcement. Bishop Morris then made it public on April 27, five days early. The news quickly divided Australia.

The temple police get their man,” opined journalist Michael McKenna in The Australian newspaper. [HURRAH FOR THE TEMPLE POLICE!]The Catholic Church’s worst enemy resides in the Vatican,” [LOL!] claimed columnist Barney Zwartz in The Age newspaper.

Meanwhile, Bishop Morris has repeatedly taken to the television and radio airwaves [And the more he talks, the clearer the situation becomes.] claiming he was “denied natural justice due to a lack of process” by the Vatican. He also claims that his meeting with the Pope was, “like the Inquisition. He was immovable. There was no dialogue.[Sorry.  I used to talk with Joseph Card. Ratzinger all the time.  He was patient and asked questions and answered questions and explained and permitted more questions, and listened, and explained…. get the point?]

Others, however, see things differently.

“The reality is that if Bishop Morris of Toowoomba had been working for a commercial organization covered by the Trades Practices Act,” wrote columnist Kate Edwards on the ABC News website, “he would surely have been liable for prosecution on the grounds of false and misleading advertising. He represented himself as teaching the Catholic faith – but was not in fact doing so!”  [Caution.  Don’t let anyone frame this in terms of a bishop being a mere branch manager or employee of the Vatican.  That is what the Church’s enemies will try to do.]

“Morris’s removal sends a clear message to bishops, in Australia and around the world. The Holy See’s patience is not, as it long seemed, limitless,” wrote journalist Christopher Pearson, again in The Australian. “The more realistic, liberal bishops are going to have to kiss goodbye to any lingering fantasies they clung to in the 90s of ordaining nuns, or at least keep it to themselves.”  [And the biological solution is at work as well.]

The row in the secular press reflects a similar division within the Catholic community. In fact, Vatican officials have been so worried by the dominance of unorthodox belief and practice in large parts of Catholic Australia that in 1998 they summoned the country’s bishops to a meeting.

The result was a “Statement of Conclusions” which offered a blunt critique of where the church in Australia was falling short in terms of Catholic orthodoxy.  The stakes are high.

The next few years will be crucial for the future of Catholicism in Australia with many big, important dioceses falling vacant – Brisbane, Hobart, Perth. The whole hue of the episcopal conference could be made over in the next two years. That gives added significance to the fall-out from events in Toowoomba,” says another senior Australian priest who spoke to CNA.  [Do you recall my explanation of what I think was a point of John Paul II’s and now Benedict’s pontificate?  Target the heartland of the USA to change the episcopate.  A new type of bishop will emerge from that central core.  Eventually the English speaking Church will be affected.]

Meanwhile back in Toowoomba, the job of rebuilding begins.  [Brick by brick, perhaps?  Reason #757630 for Summorum Pontificum?]

The Diocese of Toowoomba spans more than 188,000 square miles and has a Catholic population of roughly 66,000 served by 35 parishes.

Bishop Brian Finnegan of Brisbane has now been appointed an administrator until a new bishop can be found. Whoever gets the job will have their work cut out, sources tell CNA.

I don’t think there’s been one priestly vocation in all the years Bishop Morris was in charge. Perhaps one – and he was a late vocation. And there are no young people. [Lord have mercy.] Take a look at their website – their ‘Ministry for Young People’ has no staff because they have no young people. It’s all old folk in dwindling number. Most of their priests are over-65 and their youngest priest is in his late forties!

That situation compares miserably to other Australian diocese where a revival in Catholic orthodoxy had led, in recent years, to a revival in vocations and parish life.

As for the Powers, they’ve now got 13 grandchildren to help bring-up in the Catholic faith. They say they’ll keep praying for a good new bishop – and for their previous bishop too.  [I am glad that last part was added.]

So.. I ask… Fishwrap‘s versions or CNA‘s?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Brick by Brick, Our Catholic Identity, The Drill, The future and our choices and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Doesn’t the (effective) sacking of a bishop or any other Church official for promoting heresy — as opposed to coming up with some alternative grounds — itself reflect a sea change? For example, when the unspeakable Matthew Fox was expelled from the Order of Preachers, it was for “disobedience,” not heresy. Not the same thing as unseating a bishop, but has there not been a reluctance to call a spade a spade in such cases?

  2. skull kid says:

    A very sad story, but lots of hope too.

    More and more, I think this issue needs to be framed in the light (or should I say dark) of the abuse scandal. The priests who abused sexually are on the same wicked spectrum as those who abuse liturgically, doctrinally, sacramentally. All are abusers, and all defile the Catholic faith. If nothing else, perhaps we can shame them into hopefully amending their lives, or leaving the Church if they are unwilling to serve.

  3. Prof. Basto says:

    Frankly, reading this story I find the Holy See’s slow pace regarding this matter inexplicable.

    Families in pain because Catholic Faith in the diocese is faltering, rampant abuse, doctrines contrary to the Deposit of Faith held by the bishop and then, finally, after several delays, the Vatican reaches the conclusion that it has to ask the prelate to resign. He refuses. And then, instead of giving him one opportunity and then removing him, they give him several other opportunities, he stalls, they wait months instead of acting quickly, and only then is he finally removed. In the mean time, he continued governing his diocese and time that could have been used for a Catholic restoration was lost.

    Also, why is this Morris still a canonically a bishop? Given the account above, removal is not sufficient. This man does not deserve to be a bishop emeritus. If he holds that female ordination is possible, for instance, he should not be allowed to continue to say Holy Mass and to officiate at the celebration of the Sacraments, much less as a Bishop, a high-Priest.

    The President of Paraguay was a bishop and he was dismissed from the clerical state as a penal measure. Bishop Morris should also be dismissed from the clerical state, or at least degraded from the Episcopacy (before anyone say anything, I know that the Sacrament is indelible; but canonically, the Church has in the past deposed bishops from acting as bishops and removed their status as such; if that is not done, at least a suspension would seem an appropriate response to his views re. female ordination). What is scandalous is to have this man as a Bishop, able to pontificate, to vote at Ecumenical Councils, etc. In this case, mere removal from the See is clearly not enough.

  4. Emilio III says:

    Might it be time to dust off the Rite for the Degradation of a Bishop?

  5. Henry Edwards says:

    So to withhold or subvert those teachings is viewed as both cruel and abusive. [There it is, friends. It is a form of cruelty.]

    I believe that the unremitting serial spiritual abuse of faithful Catholics over the past forty years by callous tinpots and tyrants at all levels in the Church has been far greater in its cumulative cruelty and disastrous spiritual effect — affecting tens of millions — than any other form of clerical abuse that we have heard about.

  6. Charlotte Allen says:

    It’s all pretty pathetic in Toowoomba. I did a Google search, and it seems that Morris had a nun running one of the parishes who’d gotten some sort of certificate as a marriage celebrant. All of these characters seem to be Irish. What is with the Irish and apostasy these days? Morris’s main defender is an ex-priest (but still a “pastor”) named Peter Kennedy who’d headed a church in South Brisbane where the baptism formula was “the Creator, the Liberator, and the Sustainer” and the priests refused to wear traditional vestments. They also blessed gay unions and were very into “social justice.”

  7. Incidentally: if the Pope orders a bishop to resign, and the bishop refuses, isn’t that an act of schism?

  8. dcs says:

    In December 2006 the Vatican asked him to visit Rome as soon as possible in order to discuss his views.

    When the late Fr. Feeney was ordered to Rome in October 1952 and demurred, he was declared excommunicated a mere four months later.

  9. Gail F says:

    “”church with a human face” rubbish pushed by Schillebeeckx”
    I just had him in a class at a seminary, the last one (that I’m aware of) still taught by anyone who bought into that generation of theologians. I literally could not believe what I was reading. It was very difficult to finish the class but I figured it was, in the end, good — because so much weirdness finally made sense when I saw where it came from. And I also saw how it happened. On paper, S.’s ideas are interesting and even, many times, exciting and illuminating. It is when you take them to their logical conclusions that the alarm bells go off, and I think many people don’t think that far ahead — they just adopt this new, great stuff, and it naturally leads them somewhere they didn’t know they were going to go.

  10. I agree with Il Professore. Five years?! Seriously?

    It is difficult to reconcile the painfully (even just to read about!) lengthy process through which so many Catholics were suffering at the hands of Billy the Bishop with the image of the Church as Holy Mother.

    Is it unreasonable for the faithful to expect more of the Holy See in the way of protection from the likes of this episcopal imposter?

  11. “For the likes of the Power family this isn’t just a matter of arcane rules or abstract dogma. For them, the teachings and practice of the Catholic Church provide the wellspring for a good and happy life and – for that matter – a better world too. So to withhold or subvert those teachings is viewed as both cruel and abusive.”

    Not just for the likes of the Power family – for everybody! It’s just that it’s the likes of the Power family, i.e. faithful Catholics, that realise that the teachings of the Catholic Church provide the wellspring for a good and happy life and a better world!

  12. Athelstan says:

    He also claims that his meeting with the Pope was, “like the Inquisition. He was immovable. There was no dialogue.” Of course not. In Morris-think, “dialogue” is only genuine when the orthodox authority surrenders unconditionally to the demand for the new innovation, or something close enough.

    Which goes to show that not even Cardinal Ottaviano on his least pleasant day was anything like as intolerant, unbending or authoritarian as an intransigent modernist like Rev. Bill Morris. Your quip about how much less indulgent Morris would surely have been to a tradition-minded priest (than the Vatican was to him) is dead on target here, Fr. Z. One thinks of Neuhaus’s Law: Where orthodoxy is optional, is will sooner or later be proscribed. Bishop Morris simply skipped the “optional” stage once he took control of Toowoomba, apparently. One vocation in seventeen years? How many orthodox young men were turned away or forced to flee in Toowoomba? Morris sounds as bad as Kenneth Untener (+Saginaw 1980-2004) – arguably, even worse.

    The framing story about the Power family is heartbreaking. I will ponder it the next time I think I have it bad in my diocese. And pray that Holy Father finds a good bishop to rebuild Toowoomba from the rubble.

  13. jflare says:

    I remember being uncomfortable with attending Mass while stationed in Eastern Washington. I’d found a place that was in communion with the local bishop, that I could find, and that seemed liturgically..survivable..if not great. I had recently “come back” to this church after having attended Mass at another church which offered liturgical dance on occasion.
    Then along came the day that the priest, upon beginning Mass, introduced us to the lady pastor of a local Lutheran church. ..Who offered the homily.
    As I recall, I promptly began my parish search again, because, even if I could tolerate the idea of a lady being ordained a minister–I couldn’t and can’t, by the way–I felt I could not tolerate a LUTHERAN offering the homily at CATHOLIC Mass. I didn’t know much of anything at all about canon law, nor did I know of any appropriate means to express my displeasure with the situation. I DID know, though, that however well-intentioned the minister might be, a Protestant had no real business being a homilist for Catholic Mass.
    (Interesting how my mother, who converted to Catholicism from Methodism after marrying my father, needed little help understanding this concept. Some years before this event, when a friend of mine was being confirmed in the Lutheran church, Mom wouldn’t allow me to go to Communion with the Lutherans. When I questioned her about this, she told me we weren’t confirmed as Lutherans; even when I commented that I wasn’t confirmed as a Catholic either, she still wouldn’t relent. God Bless Mom!)
    I’ll hope the folks in Eastern Washington have begun recovering from their floppy bishop by now, but who knows?

    On a different note, sounds like this Australian diocese has more of a crisis than most of us have seen. Is there anything practical that we can do to help them out? Only idea that comes to mind would be a fundraiser somewhere to send cash to help them fly in some priests or else send some folks to seminary to speed things along. Doesn’t seem to me that could happen with any ease though.

    Anything else we can do? [Be as good and as faithful as you can be and pray, even offering alms and fasting and other mortifications for their conversion.]

  14. BaedaBenedictus says:

    Wow, Bishop Morris took 17 years to turn his diocese into mission territory. He’s got to be down there with the likes of Remi di Roo, Reginald Cawcutt, Hans Hermann Groër, Thomas Gumbleton, Rembert Weakland, Raymond Hunthausen in the bottom rung of episcopal wolves devastating the sheepfold.

    Such a shame that Rome inflicted this horrific prelate on the people of that diocese and then took so long to “retire” him.

    God bless Norm and Mavis Power for holding on throughout this ordeal and not leaving for the SSPX or other churches altogether. What a strong faith they have!

  15. ContraMundum says:

    Speaking of Schillebeeckx, is it true that if someone had succeeded in tricking him into saying his name backwards, he would have been forced to return to his home in the 5th dimension?

  16. James Joseph says:

    Wow! Why the Diocese of Albany and her Lavender Curtain doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

  17. Captain Peabody says:

    It’s hard to imagine a Catholic Bishop having a private meeting with the Supreme Pontiff and Successor of Peter in which he is ordered to resign from the episcopacy because his leadership is directly harming and degrading the souls entrusted to his care and then coming out of it even more secure in his own righteousness and justification than before.

    I mean, think about it. You are a Catholic Bishop; you have been solemnly ordained and entrusted with the care of thousands of souls; you have been ordered to a special, private audience with the POPE, who you believe is the head of the College of Bishops and the successor of Peter, in which he tells you that your presence and leadership is directly harming the souls under your care, and orders you to resign from your post. PAPA RATZINGER, the kindly old scholar who likes cats and Orange Fanta, is ordering you to resign, in the modern Vatican which on principle pretty much never removes Bishops from their posts. For a modern Catholic Bishop, it really doesn’t get any worse than that.

    Call me insecure, but if that happened to me, no matter how assured I was before, after that I think I’d start having some very serious doubts about my life, my beliefs, and my leadership abilities.
    Honestly, I’d be a quivering mass of self-hating jelly after that.

    And yet this guy goes through it, goes home, and continues on his merry way with nary a second thought, continues to evade and postpone judgement, and then when he’s finally sacked goes on TV outlets and pontificates about his own righteousness and justification and the cravenness and oppression of everyone else.

    I admit, the perfect arrogance and self-assuredness of these people is simply breathtaking.

  18. mrsmontoya says:

    How did these bishops get appointed in the first place? Why are they only now receiving attention from Rome?

  19. jflare says:

    Hi Captain Peabody,
    This line caught me wondering a little:
    “…you have been ordered to a special, private audience with the POPE, WHO YOU BELIEVE is the head of the College of Bishops and the successor of Peter…”.

    Question: Did the good bishop truly believe that part?
    From all the rumpus, I gather perhaps he didn’t so much….

  20. Stephen Matthew says:

    Captain Peabody,

    I agree, to a point. I would likely have to be put under some form of mental health treatment after such an experience.

    On the other hand, like G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown, I can see myself doing the same sorts of things all too easily. I know too well what it is like to deceive, to try to escape the truth and its consequences.

  21. amenamen says:

    Were the neckties also issued to nuns and lay people?
    Or are they only for the clergy?

    Do most lay people in Australia wear neckties?

  22. Jane says:

    The church in Australia is not divided. There are two churches; the Catholic Church and the New Church. Lots of the New Church people are holding positions in our parishes. My own bishop is a very good bishop and we are so fortunate to have him.

  23. I could never have imagined such suffering and insanity! But am I not also capable of such atrocities and worse?
    Dignáre, Dómine, die isto * sine peccáto nos custodíre.
    Miserére nostri, Dómine, * miserére nostri.
    Fiat misericórdia tua, Dómine, super nos, * quemádmodum sperávimus in te.
    In te, Dómine, sperávi: * non confúndar in ætérnum.

  24. puma19 says:

    Neck ties for priests is not just a Toowoomba problem or fashion statement. The archdiocese of Hobart where there are about 34 priests, has long had this dress. The vast majority wear ties and this has been there since Guilford Young was bishop 20 years ago. Its a creeping problem of identification and clerical submergence like so many religious orders in Australia and the USA where nuns throw off their religious habits, have hair styles and try to look ‘normal’ and uncommitted. But their numbers have tumbled and tumbled whilst Blessed M Teresa’s nuns have skyrocketed. They wear their white saris and cross and rosary beads with great enthusiasm and their numbers just blossom. |What a message they give of poverty of spirit in life and dress.
    But back to +Morris. It appears that Rome gave this bishop years of patience and forebearance and endeavoured to get him back on track.
    Now a plane trip to Rome is about 18 years from Brisbane, not 12, and yet he could not fly there at a week’s notice or close to that? What rubbish. This case has gone on and on and on and the facts are that he has delayed and delayed the process. I was curious to know if he went to the audience with the Holy Father dressed in suit and tie? Or did he have his cassock and cross on? Let’s know what happened.
    But this is a sad case in Australia where the liberal-left wing ordained ministry has been on the rise for over 2 decades and has seeped into the life of the Church.
    It is why now there is a major problem for apppointing solid new bishops. The dioceses of Sandhurst, Willcania-Forbes and now Toowoomba are vacant. Perth, Brisbane and Hobart archdioceses will soon be vacant and then Ballarat. That’s 7 in my counting. So where will they come from? Not many auxiliaries. +Finnegan is 72 and can only be stopgap in Toowoomba.
    There is a massive problem in selecting new suitable bishops. It took 18 months to name a new bishop in Sale recently and that is a small diocese.
    Indeed, the Catholic Church in Australia has a major leadership problem. It is in an episcopal desert and searching for fresh, strong, leaders who can take the Church forward. The laxity of the last 20-30 years has now come to fruition in having a Church which will have major difficulties for some time.
    Time to get back to prayer, holy priests and solid seminary formation. But it needs to have more spiritual recruting processes for priests. The errors of the past are coming back to haunt Downunder Catholicism in a massive way.

  25. puma19 says:

    Ooops………I meant 18 hours, not years. That would be a long flight!!! sorry.

  26. Scott W. says:

    I knew there was more to this than one article about women’s ordination. There is a whole host of canonical violations just in that testimony–who knows what else he didn’t know. Anyway, that’s three bishop removals in less than a year–that’s gotta be a record compared to recent years.

  27. Legisperitus says:

    I don’t know what Schillebeeckxxkcxkx was teaching back in the day, but there’s no institution or system of thought on this earth with a more human face than vibrant, traditional Catholicism.

  28. Grabski says:

    So when the Vatican asked Bishop Morris to desist with the practice of general absolution, he responded by carrying out a survey of parishioners on the issue before responding to Rome.

    This to me is the most scandalous practice. The people know that they need confession, but don’t want to face up to it.

    The ‘pastor’ enables them (Father/Bishop said it’s OK) through the communal penance services. Father/Bishop undermines the traditional understanding, the people feel they met hteir obligations. Win/win, as it were, innovation.

    But since there’s a penance service at the beginning of each Mass, this communal service is redundant for venial sins. SO it’s only point is to undermine the traditional understanding of the sacrament (unless followed by individual confession, natch).

  29. Frank H says:


    I wonder if so0me solid USA bishops could be exported to Australia?

  30. Bryan Boyle says:

    @Frank H: and deprive the US of what few solid bishops we have? Sheesh..we have enough problems up here dealing with the wreckage that has been wrought by the Jadot clique that’s now experiencing Fr. Z’s biological solution than to have a few to spare.

    I’d like to think we’ll keep our good ones here…and worry about the mission territories later….

  31. nanetteclaret says:

    A possible solution to the Australia problem could come in the form of the Anglican Use when the Ordinariate is established there. The Traditional Anglican Communion has within it many traditional, faithful Anglo-Catholics who are intending to “Cross the Tiber,” including many priests and several bishops. “Anglicanorum Coetibus” was promulgated due in large part to an appeal by the TAC, whose Archbishop is in Australia, to come into the Church as a group. As as result, I believe the Catholic Church in Australia will be instantly revived when the Ordinariate is established there.

  32. Grabski says:

    Interesting, nanetteclaret However, I thought we have to make an attempt to attend Sunday Mass in our own rite.

    But since it’s an Anglican Use, does that mean we are free to attend even if the two churches (Anglican Use and Latin Rite) are around the corner from each other?

  33. Anglican Use is part of the Latin Rite. Sometimes this separation will have consequences (if you want to get ordained, that sort of thing), but for ordinary massgoing, it’s no problem. (I think the same thing is true for Rite of Braga, Milan, Dominican, and other Latin-side stuff.)

    But really, it’s not as if it’s a bad thing to attend Mass in another Catholic rite. If you’re not obliged-obliged to go to your own parish’s Mass, it’s not really all that different to go to another Rite. Obviously if you were doing it all the time you’d want to think about whether you were really changing Rites; and obviously, you want to abide by the rules of whatever Rite you’re attending for Communion, etc. without breaking the rules of your own Rite; but otherwise, we’re all Catholics.

  34. BaedaBenedictus says:


    Yes, you can attend any Catholic rite on Sunday.

    The problem with Anglicanorum Coetibus is that it will require the Australian Bishops Conference to implement. The Bishops Conference of England and Wales was surprisingly cooperative about it, and I would hope Australia would be the same. However, the Canadian Conference is really putting up roadblocks for the Ordinariate there, so you never know.

  35. nanetteclaret says:

    BaedaBenedictus –
    It’s not the Canadian Bishops Conference which is putting up roadblocks. On the contrary, it’s the Anglican Catholic Church in Canada (ACCC) which is slowing things down. For further info, you can read about it on The Anglo-Catholic blog site. The info there indicates that it has to do with technical issues, not with desire and/or intent. Also, my understanding is that because of “Anglicanorum Coetibus” the Bishops don’t have a choice. The Ordinariates are established by and answerable to the Holy See. Since the Ordinariates are “personal prelatures” it doesn’t matter if an Anglican Use Catholic Church is right around the corner from an OF Catholic Church (or EF for that matter). And since the OF, EF, and AU are all forms of the Latin Rite, one can go to any of them and fulfill his/her Sunday obligation. Finding a church which does Rite I of the AU is like hearing the Tridentine Mass in Olde English, with music like that sung by the Choir of King’s College Cambridge or the Cambridge Singers. Very devout, beautiful, reverent, and holy. Truly a treasure!

  36. The Egyptian says:

    Athelstan said;
    “He also claims that his meeting with the Pope was, “like the Inquisition. He was immovable. There was no dialogue.” Of course not. In Morris-think, “dialogue” is only genuine when the orthodox authority surrenders unconditionally to the demand for the new innovation, or something close enough. ”

    this quote from the Ma Ha Rushie said back in March 2010 came to mind

    Don’t doubt me anymore! It’s out in front of your eyes! Believe what you see, believe what you hear. It is real! The Catholic Church has a bunch of leftists in it who would just as soon destroy the church and remake it, as the government has liberals in it who want to remake our government and destroy the Constitution. Liberals are liberals. They do not value institutions until they run them and remake them in their own way, and nothing is sacred. Not the Catholic Church, not the Methodist Church. Nothing! Zilch, zero, nada.
    you cannot reason with a progressive liberal, they know they are right.

  37. Charlotte Allen says:

    @amenamen: I thought most Australian men dressed like Crocodile Dundee (while the women wear eentsy bikinis and Ugg boots). Those Toowoomba priests in their neckties must really stand out. I wonder if they’re mistaken for Mormons.

  38. amenamen says:

    @ Charlotte Allen: I was wondering if those nuns who run Twoowoomba parishes were issued the clerical neckties. Now, I really wish you had not made me think of what they really wear.

  39. Tony Layne says:

    “Out went the traditional model of governance by a Catholic bishop. In came a form of administration by committee — including committees appointing priests. [A reading from the Book of Z: “For God so loved the world, that He did not send a committee.”]” LOL!

  40. antipodeantony says:

    Check out these photos they had farewelling some unhabited nun in a Toowoomba parish. The parish priest is no where to be seen, unless he was of course the “Parish Team Leader” seen in one of the photos. There are ugly felt banners everywhere.

  41. thereseb says:


    I misread unhabited as uninhabited in your post, and then, reading some of the posts above got to wondering if indeed some of the protagonists are still inhabited by something very nasty indeed.

  42. Charles E Flynn says:

    Regarding: “Instead of individual confession people would be told to come up in a line, write their sins on a piece of paper and put it in a jar. ”

    I assume that a transparent glass jar would violate the seal of the pseudo-confessional.

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