Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Positions vacant...

With the announcement of the appointment of Archbishop Mark Coleridge as Archbishop of Brisbane, I thought it might be worth reminding ourselves of the remaining (large number of) episcopal vacancies in the country, and the key contenders.

We have had a steady stream of appointments of late: in the last couple of months the the vacancies of Armidale, Sandhurst and Perth have been filled.

But despite the fact that Australia only as a total of 28 geographical/Latin rite dioceses, there is still a long list yet to be filled...

Actually vacant

Wilcannia-Forbes - Vacant since the June 2009 resignation of Bishop Toohey, subsequently revealed to have been because of sexual sins, the diocese has long slated to be abolished due an unwieldily large territory, desperate lack of priests, abuse cases, and a poor financial situation.  But many want the diocese to continue, and so the saga drags on.  But not exactly a task that potential bishops are rushing to put up their hands to take on...

Toowoomba - Vacant since the May 2009 'early retirement' (or removal from Office) of Bishop Morris whose creative regime ignored Vatican rules on General Absolutions for many years, and put out an Advent newsletter raising the possibility of women and use of non-catholic priests being used in the Church. 

The Apostolic Administrator, Brisbane Auxiliary Brian Finnigan is rather close to the age limit (he is 73) and has in any case thus far at least failed to talk down the rebel Toowoomba 'Leadership' Group.  But maybe no one could achieve this!

Needed: one potential martyr!

Canberra-Goulburn: Archbishop Coleridge's move opens up another vacancy, this time in the nation's capital.  Like many Australian dioceses, it suffers from a shortage of priests and funds, though on the priest front, at least some turnaround had started under Archbishop Coleridge, who had started to build up a healthy number of seminarians. 

The current Auxiliary Bishop Patrick Power is surely not a contender: his publicly stated support for the ordination of women and other liberal touchstone issues caused him to write to the Pope asking if he could retire early last year.  Until this latest development, it was rumoured to be occurring very soon...

This could be a slot for one of the (few remaining) Sydney and Melbourne Auxiliaries to move into.  Oh for an Australian diocesan bishop with genuine liturgical sensibilities (yes, that is a hint.  Forget about those Anglicans, surely the Ordinariate is going nowhere?!).

Over the age limit and still in place

Hobart:  Archbishop Adrian Doyle turned 75 last November and the announcement of his replacement is expected at any time.  Many in Tasmania are waiting anxiously!  Tasmania challenges such as a lack of priests, but a commitment to greater permissiveness for the traditional Mass and orthopraxis more generally could do wonders for the Island State.

Ballarat: Bishop Peter Connors turned 75 in March.  Another diocese in which a change of approach is desperately needed.

Coming up...

Rockhampton: Bishop Brian Heenan turns 75 in August.  Hopefully the Holy See will continue to take every opportunity to move quickly to clean up the Black Hole that is Queensland...

Lismore: Bishop Jarrett of Lismore turns 75 in December, and has just completed what must have been a most trying stint as Apostolic Administrator of Brisbane.  But he could surely be left in place for several more years to come...

Broken Bay: Bishop Walker is currently aged 73, his birthday being in November.

Potential appointees....

So tell us all who you think should get a Guernsey!

There are the current Auxiliaries around the country of course, most obviously bishops Eliot(Melbourne) and Porteous (Sydney).

But surely there are more holy priests out there with some administrative ability to recommend themselves for the task!

6 comments:

John Fisher said...

Appointing Julian Porteous to a diocese as bishop rather than leaving him where he is would be a BIG mistake. Firstly he was not successful as Rector of Good Shepherd Seminary where abuse occured and he was taken in. Secondly he is Charismatic and thinks his feeling come from God. Thirdly he (or emotional reasons) shoves the Emmanuel Community with all it enthusiams down everyone's throat. Fourthy the new evangelism for him consists of guitar strumming in shopping mall. Fifthly he mouths the words of doctrine but his behaviour is contrary. He is the sort of "celebrant" who holds the frisbee host high in Mass then peeks over the top so he will be noticed. Yes there are commentaries upon commentaries all through a Mass said by Porteous.
Sixthly he has no teriary qualifications and studied in that corrupt hole Manly Seminary before it was closed!

ka said...

According to the Canberra press +Power has said he intends to proceed with his planned retirement

Kate said...

Thanks for those - on Bishop Porteous, yes I had found some of his writings on the NE less than inspiring, but I guess I was nonetheless impressed by some of the things he has had to say, and his attendance at the 40 Days for Life vigil. Always hard to judge these from a distance though!

Kate said...

PS Not sure I'm quite as negative as you John, about charismatics and direct inspiration (provided it is carefully discerned)!

Pro-Life said...

Some Possibilites...
Bishop Peter Elliott for Canberra/Goulburn
Bishop Julian Porteous for Hobart
Bishop Peter Comensoli or Bishop Terry Brady for Broken Bay
Bishop Vincent Long for Ballarat
Bishop Joseph Oudeman for Toowoomba?
Wilcannia Forbes – Fr. Peter Joseph

Kate said...

Hmm, seems a bit mean to leave Sydney and Melbourne without any Auxiliaries at all, particularly after some of these have only just been appointed!

But I'm certainly in favour of Bishop Eliot for Canberra!