Sunday, 22 May 2011

The Morris affair - some reading

A two more useful commentaries have appeared in recent days that are well worth a look.

First, Christopher Pearson has a great column in the Weekend Australian, picking up the Record's editorial and contrasting it with the continuing angst being expressed in various liberal outlets.

Secondly, Fr Ray Blake has another interesting piece on the subject, portraying the situation as a failure on the part of Toowoomba priests and laity to voice and have their concerns recognised; and of the other Australian bishops to engage in sufficient fraternal correction. 

Well I agree in principle.  But there is something of a power imbalance between priests and their bishop.  And I suspect that many if not most Australian bishops more or less actually agreed with Bishop Morris, hence the famous 1999 Statement of Conclusions and the appointment of a co-adjutor for hold-out Archbishop Faulkner of Adelaide back in the day...They may well have counselled caution, but in the end, only the bishop himself could decide whether or not to accept their advice.

And there is a reason why the doctrine of papal primacy is far more important than any notion of episcopal collegiality!


Joshua said...

Years ago, I heard tell of plans of the Queensland episcopate and clergy to implement "Eucharistic sharing", whereby in any given town there would be a Catholic service (and no Protestant services) one or two Sundays a month, and on the other Sundays (by prior arrangement) one or other of the Anglican or Uniting Church would have a service - all Catholics, Anglicans, etc. would be encouraged to attend these different services, and there would be open communion at each.

I rejected this idea as simply unbelievable at the time, but now I am not so sure - since I have learnt that Morris may have winked at this being done in Toowoomba Diocese.

Joshua said...

I should add, at a Catholic funeral Mass in country Victoria - with the Catholic bishop present - I saw local Protestant clergy receive communion. So it does happen.

PM said...

Inteestingly, I hear that a previous bishop of Toowoomba who was asked to resign wasn't saved even by a profession of loyalty to the pope - he is said to have been seen swaying, bottle still in hand, declaiming "I Laaaaaarve Pius XII".

A Canberra Observer said...

Re Joshua's reportage - it was probably true. Certainly Morris sought to have a priests' assembly on a Sunday at the town of Roma (some 500km from Toowoomba) at which there would be THE ONLY Mass celebrated for the diocese that Sunday. I gather this plan fell over but NOT because of a revolt from the clergy. So far as I know there were only two staunch 'hold out' priests.

From what I understand, it would have been very difficult to withstand Bp Morris UNLESS the priest had the canonical surety of being a PARISH PRIEST as opposed to the now almost universal post of 'administrator'.

This is the bishop who sent all his clergy a neck tie for Christmas.

I know people who gave up and ended up with the SSPX.

Queensland is ALL MISSION country.

As to the aforementioned "Father Pat" - well its about time someone gave him a kick up the you know where too. 'Father Francis' was never going to be the one. It seems 'Bishop Mark' isn't either.