Monday, 24 October 2011

How not to heal the wounds of division: Bishop Morris strikes back - and on the official diocesan website!

I rather over-optimistically suggested a day or so back, that the Morris affair might finally be behind us. 

Unfortunately not.

A reader has alerted me to a response to the Australian bishops' statement from the man himself. 

Worse, it is positively highlighted by a link on the front page of the official Diocese of Toowoomba website!  Hopefully not for too much longer...

Bishop Morris lashes out

The response itself is what you might expect from Bishop Morris given his long history of protestantism - denials that he did anything wrong; refusal to accept the judgment of the Pope; and claims of unfair processes.   Apparently it is the text of a letter he sent the Australian bishops back in May.

And it is followed up by a threat to publish his story in full (how much more is there to tell!  He's been on the ABC and everywhere else).

Is continuing this fight really in anyone's best interests?  After all, there are further canonical consequences that are possible, even if they are rarely applied to bishops...

A challenge...

One of the lines repeated yet again in this document is that Bishop Morris was not actually advocating for women priests or use of protestant ministers, just flagging that the issue was being discussed. 

So here is my challenge to Bishop Morris: come out and definitively, without any equivocation, state that you accept the teaching of Pope John Paul II that women are incapable of being ordained as priests. 

Come out and positively state that you accept that protestant ministers cannot effect transubstantiation, and thus substitute for catholic priests when it comes to the Eucharist. 

Come out and positively state that you accept that, as canon law sets out, the Pope has 'supreme, full, immediate and universal ordinary power in the Church, and he can always freely exercise this power' (CL 331).

Come out and affirm some basic doctrines and disciplines of the Church, and then actual Catholics might take you more seriously.

In the meantime, we should surely be praying for the conversion and  reconciliation of Bishop Morris to the Church, for the souls endangered by his ministry, and the healing of the division his actions have caused.


Robert said...

I bet we won't see the answers to those questions from Morris as he doesn't believe what the Catholic church teaches - how in God's name he was appointed is beyond me. How is it possible for a man to live a lie and take on the position of successor of the apostles and not believe in what it means? How does one obtain any peace when you are facing this internal battle with your very being every waking moment.

A Canberra Observer said...

Yes, good luck on this one Terra.

The fact that this got published in Toowoomba highlights the level of de facto schism.

As to Morris himself, churlish and self-absorbed are words that come to mind. But, as everyone keeps recalling, he was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO pastoral.