Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Bishop Morris strikes again: spirit of Vatican IIism reigneth!

Bishop Morris has responded, in The Age today, to Archbishop Hart's letter.

Here it is with my comments:

"ARCHBISHOP Hart stated that Archbishop Charles Chaput (of Denver, sent by the Pope to investigate the Toowoomba diocese) discussed with me the contents of his report (Letters, 4/2). I categorically deny that Archbishop Chaput ever discussed with me what he was going to put in the report. His discussion was always focused on clarifying the questions he had brought with him from Rome and those that had arisen in his inquisitorial examination." [But isn't that exactly what was supposed to be going to his report?!  He was given some  questions from Rome to seek answers to and he discussed these with the bishop; more apparently arose in the course of his visit and he made these known to the bishop and sought responses from him! So in fact he did discuss what was going into his report with the Bishop...] 

Archbishop Hart's comments concerning the process by the Holy See are also inaccurate.

He is correct in stating the Pope did not act against canon law because he is the legislator and therefore decides what is canonical. [Well, that acknowledgment is something I guess.] However, he omits to acknowledge that while the Pope is the Vicar of Christ for the Universal Church, Vatican II clearly taught that each diocesan bishop is the Vicar of Christ in and for his diocese.[Oh dear, spirit of Vatican IIism at work again.  See below]

The Pope and diocesan bishops

It is perhaps worth reading some of what Vatican II's Constitution on Bishops (echoing Lumen Gentium) actually says on the respective roles of the Pope and diocesan bishops:

"2. In this Church of Christ the Roman pontiff, as the successor of Peter, to whom Christ entrusted the feeding of His sheep and lambs, enjoys supreme, full, immediate, and universal authority over the care of souls by divine institution. Therefore, as pastor of all the faithful, he is sent to provide for the common good of the universal Church and for the good of the individual churches. Hence, he holds a primacy of ordinary power over all the churches...

3...By virtue of sacramental consecration and hierarchical communion with the head and members of the college, bishops are constituted as members of the episcopal body....

8. (a) To bishops, as successors of the Apostles, in the dioceses entrusted to them, there belongs per se all the ordinary, proper, and immediate authority which is required for the exercise of their pastoral office. But this never in any way infringes upon the power which the Roman pontiff has...

9. In exercising supreme, full, and immediate power in the universal Church, the Roman pontiff makes use of the departments of the Roman Curia which, therefore, perform their duties in his name and with his authority for the good of the churches and in the service of the sacred pastors.

There is lots more along the same lines in the Constitution, and in Lumen Gentium, but you get the point I hope...

2 comments:

Joshua said...

So Morris was the Vicar of Christ in and for his diocese? Well the Vicar of Christ for his, and all other dioceses, found that he was unworthy of that office, and removed him from it. So he is no longer a Vicar of Christ!

A Canberra Observer said...

The arrogance of the man is breathtaking.