Temple Police of Oz

John Allen’s Taliban Catholics are Bishop Bill’s Temple Police. Rome investigates a bishop. They listen to complainers, but they don’t consult the man’s closest colleagues. Fr Jamie Collins, parish priest, reported on his parish’s dismay:

They are devastated by the news because Bishop Bill had a wonderful rapport with the smaller communities in the diocese.

A lot of people feel hurt and devastated by what’s happened, especially as he has always been so open and transparent in his own leadership.

I think their faith will be affected in some way, but I think like Bill, they’re not angry but sad. It has caused them to question their faith in Church leadership.

One does not put faith in human leadership.

If I were a conspiracy theorist, I’d have to concede a lot of this administrative mismanagement looks like intentional self-sabotage. Taking a grenade launcher to one’s own foot–that sort of competence.

As for Toowoomba Catholics and their view of Church leadership? Ask ’em about Catholics and a few of their big-city cardinals.

As for the Fitful Fifteen, they should feel very affirmed. They’re able to groom and manipulate the higher levels of Church authority like a pedophile. Any doubt as to who’s running the Church these days?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Church News, Commentary, Ministry, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Temple Police of Oz

  1. FrMichael says:

    The departed bishop could have saved his job by disavowing his Advent Letter and reaffirming his Catholic belief in Apostolic Succession and Holy Orders. As he could not, the “Fitful 15” prevailed, Deo Gratias! These few faithful souls are like Abraham and Lot in the midst of Sodom.

    • Jimmy Mac says:

      “There is always a temptation for church authorities to try to use their power to stamp out dissent. The effort is rarely successful, because dissent simply seeks another forum, where it may become even more virulent. To the extent that the suppression is successful, it may also do harm. It inhibits good theology from performing its critical task, and it is detrimental to the atmosphere of freedom in the church. The acceptance of true doctrine should not be a matter of blind conformity, as though truth could be imposed by decree. The church, as a society that respects the freedom of the human conscience, must avoid procedures that savor of intellectual tyranny.

      Where dissent is kept within the bounds I have indicated, it is not fatal to the church as a community of faith and witness. If it does occur, it will be limited, reluctant, and respectful.”

      Avery Dulles http://www.vatican2voice.org/8conscience/dulles.htm

  2. Todd says:

    And you know this how? Is this a secret knowledge like gnosticism, a sort of divining like holding a vibrating stick over a patch of ground?

    You are an experienced pastor, I think. You do know what happens when this situation is taken to extremes in a parish, don’t you? How easily you guys can be manipulated? The very first pastor I worked for allowed himself to dance to the tune of his own Temple Police. Made him look like a spineless sap. He was a laughingstock in some quarters–including among his own allies.

  3. Jimmy Mac says:

    I didn’t know that being a Roman Catholic bishop – a successor to the apostles – is a “job.” I guess that means that he is an employee and subject to “downsizing” at the whim of the CEO.


  4. FrMichael says:

    Jimmy Mac, the bishop isn’t some nutcase dissenting theologian. He is a successor to the Apostles, responsible for teaching the Catholic Faith in his diocese. His take on Protestant ministers serving as potential leaders of a Catholic Eucharist is quite repugnant to Catholic sacramental theology, both in its erroneous understanding of Apostolic Succession as well as the sacerdotal role in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

    Quite frankly, the man is a living example of the dreadful priestly formation found Down Under. It makes even our slack seminaries look good by comparison. This bishop needs some exposure to the Council of Trent’s dogmatic decrees and Pius XII’s Mediator Dei.

    • Jimmy Mac says:

      Desperate time call for desperate measures. The times are desperate because of the idiocy of the Vaticanes who insist on mistaking uniformity for unity. Imposing an outmoded eurocentric idea of what the priesthood should look like everywhere has resulted in (1) concubinage since time immermorial, (2) a lack of creativity and innovation, and (3) the resulting lack of Eucharist because of a slavish insistence on mandatory celibacy for all priests in all places at all times.

      This intransigence is simple nonsense and you know it.

  5. Todd says:

    “Jimmy Mac, the bishop isn’t some nutcase dissenting theologian.”

    The question might be: why is he being treated as such?

    At the very least, the issues he raises–but does not participate in–should be discussed amongst theologians and bishops, if for nothing else than to clarify and recast these matters in light of modern scholarship and pastoral situations.

    For one example, I have grave doubts about returning inactive Catholic priests to full time ministry.

    But the issue of viri probati in small isolated communities should be addressed substantially. What’s the point of having a shiny sacramental theology if many lay people have little access to celebrating it?

    You seem to think of these matters in terms of the perspective of the priesthood. But if you were placed on interdict, I suspect your spiritual life would be somewhat out of balance. Perhaps it is time to consider the life of natives, ranchers, and other Catholics who live in dioceses like Toowoomba.

    While you may have a sound grasp of Trent and Mediator Dei, it might be that other aspects of your priestly training are sorely lacking.

  6. FrMichael says:

    Todd, while some of his ideas might (a very big “might”) be worth discussion, others are so contrary to the Catholic Faith that they deserve immediate censure and correction. The fact that this man was ordained a bishop despite his unfamiliarity and belief in some of the basics of the dogmatic theology of Holy Orders and the Eucharist is a damning indictment of the Church in Australia, those who appointed him bishop in the first place, his episcopal peers who didn’t seem to realize that such an ignorant man was in office as a bishop, and the diocesan priests who are dismayed over his removal.

  7. Mike K says:

    Fr. Michael–

    Might I suggest that you re-read Cardinal Dulles’ quote that Jimmy Mac posted?

    Does Bishop Morris’ pastoral imply that he is “unfamiliar” with the dogmatic theology of Holy Orders and the Eucharist? Might not his pastoral imply that we need to think outside the box to resolve the priest shortage? Notice the first option he lists is the viri probati. There is no known theological issue behind not ordaining the viri probati – only issues with the “discipline.”

    BTW: I don’t support any option he lists other than the first one. And note that he implies that he will follow the rules in ordaining celibate men (and utlizing priests from other countries where necessary) until/unless the proposals he lists are discussed.

  8. FrMichael says:

    Mike K:

    Actually, some of his statements do indeed indicate that he is unfamiliar with the dogmatic theology of Holy Orders and the Eucharist. Or that he has renounced his promise made prior to episcopal conscration that he adheres to the Roman Magisterium. Either one requires his removal from his see.

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