Tuesday, 3 May 2011

It's twitching...a reading list on the dismissal of Bishop Morris of Toowoomba

At last some action on the bishop front!

By far the best commentary on the subject - Joshua of Psallite Sapienter (thank you for stepping up!) in a blog post entitled Good Riddance!

The Blessed JP II legacy:  usquequo...

Bishop Morris was appointed in 1992.  Fr Frank Brennan SJ, orchestrating the acatholica rebellion against the Pope's action, provides this helpful anecdote on Bishop Morris' consecration to help explain why so many of us had despaired of action such as this ever happening:

His episcopal ordination was a wonderful occasion, even though after it when I praised the liturgy, one of the visiting bishops said, "Actually I prefer the Roman rite."

At last the real new springtime starts - with a spring clean!

Rorate Caeli points out that this is the third bishop dismissed by the Pope this year - the others were Bishop of Pointe-Noire, in Congo-Brazzaville, and the Bishop of Orvieto-Todi, Italy. 

And in reality there are a few more one could add to this list - Bishop Malone of Newcastle-Maitland (a man with similarly heterodox views) had his resignation accepted, rather than the appointment of a coadjutor that he sought, for example. 

Presumably Bishop Power's much signalled 'retirement' is not too far behind. 

And then there are the collection of liberal Australian bishops (mixed in with one or two entirely orthodox and excellent bishops who one might hope stay on!) who will reach the age limit in the next few months.

That still leaves a few entrenched problems yet to be addressed mind you...

The official statements

The dismissal:
Nuntio's press release

New Apostolic Administrator's Pastoral Statement.

Media and commentary
  • Fr Z gives the Australian's report the treatment;
  • Queensland blogger Vexilla Regis ( a new one to me!);
  • a triumph for lay action (albeit not the sort the liberals were hoping for!) according to the Courier Mail;
  • only the Fairfax media could publish an article on the dismissal leading off with a quote from an Anglican (!) bishop on the unfairness of dismissing an allegedly Catholic bishop for his views on women's ordination a week after a thousand or so Anglicans joined the English Catholic Church due in no little part to this very issue!
  • as Joshua points out in his commentary listed above, Stockholm Syndrome is rife;
  • the ABC gives ex-bishop Morris a chance to vent, aided and abetted by some of the usual suspects;
  • the Australian, usually rather more sympathetic to mainstream Catholic positions, continues to take a surprisingly negative view of Bishop Morris' dismissal.
The (predictable) acatholic response

  • Cath News (note the comment from Bishop Heenan of Rockhampton, aged 73.25!);
  • aCatholica (normally I wouldn't link here, but it is worth a quick skims if only for Fr Brennan's letter);
  • and for sheer hypocrisy, Eureka Street's Andrew Hamilton surely wins the prize, with a piece on how we should be concerned for the human cost of all this on the bishop and his fellow bishops.  Pretty sure they wouldn't be taking the line if the crime was sexual abuse rather than heresy and leading one's flock astray!

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