Thursday, 12 May 2011

The effects of the Morris affair on the faithful in Toowoomba

I should mention that there is another helpful article from the Catholic News Agency on the Toowoomba affair (including a quote from moi-même from my ABC piece, albeit a quote that gets a bit of a pan from Fr Z!  Yup, always nice to feel the luv), that frames the debate around the effects on orthodox Catholics in the diocese, and the general flavour of the ex-Bishop's reign.

Here is an extract as a taster:

"Styling himself as “Bishop Bill,” his innovations were very radical, very visible and instantly applied.

Out went clerical dress. Instead the bishop wore shirt and tie emblazoned with a diocesan crest. Each priest was issued with one as well.

Out went individual confessions. In came collectivized penance services in which participants are granted “general absolution.” 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. 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.

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."

Do go read the whole thing.


Kate said...


I saw that quote from Fr. Z as well!

Your contributions are reaching far and wide!


In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,


Kate said...

Posted on behalf of (another) Kate

Good grief ! Bishop Morris has finally been sacked and isn't that grand. Now who is next ?


PM said...

As for who's next, we had the spectacle of a 'Catholic' school principal and professed religious(!), in the context of an interview disparaging World Youth Day in 2008, declare that 'you can be a good Catholic without going to Mass on Sunday' whixh was a quaint old Irish tribal custom. His bishop's response seems to have been to leave him undisturbed in office for another three years until he moved on in the fullnesss of time.

I am told there is an old clerical joke to the effect that the purpose of the zuchetto is to cover the hole left by the extraction of the spine which is a secret part of the episcopal consecration rite.

A Canberra Observer said...

And we have Arbp Wilson fronting for the ACBC with a very weasel-worded statement. A statement to engender docility to the chief Pastor of the Church? I doubt it. A thin veneer over de facto schism.

I wonder if the Pope feels like Abraham ? "But Lord there are at least TEN good bishops in Australia ..."
[If God has a sense of humour he responds in the voice of the Chief from Maxwell Smart: "I don't think so Benny" ... "Would you believe ..."]

And then we have the 'Catholic Religious of Australia' statement as they emote about their distress. Open hostility and tied up in their own empowerment. Sad, really sad.