VERDICT ON RETIRED BISHOP WILLIAM MORRIS
|DESPITE APPEARANCES THIS WAS THE BISHOP OF TOOWOOMBA|
Two folk have sought to post comments here in support of Bishop Morris and attacking the Church and the Holy Father - not on my watch !
Bishop Morris and the Mass Media have tried to portray the matter as solely relating to female ordination and the issue of celibacy; but as the former Bishop of Toowoomba is so adept at playing the Media organs, it seems appropriate to borrow a much -used T.V. commercial line : "BUT WAIT!...THERE'S MORE !"
More indeed let's read the December , 2006 Issue of "FOUNDATION"'s front page story :
"IS THE BISHOP WELL?
Advent Pastoral Letters have produced some tainted fruit in Queensland this year................But the recently received Advent Pastoral Letter of Bishop William Morris of Toowoomba is so exceptionable that it is alarming and leads to concern about the Bishop's health:
"Given our deeply held belief in the primacy of Eucharist for the identity, continuity and life of each parish community, we may well need to be much more open towards other options for ensuring that Eucharist may be celebrated. Several responses have been discussed internationally, nationally and locally :
-ordaining married, single or widowed men who are chosen and endorsed by their local community;
-welcoming former priests, married or single, back to active ministry;
-ordaining women,married or single;
-recognising Anglican, Lutheran and Uniting Church Orders.
While we continue to reflect carefully on these options, we remain committed to actively promoting vocations to the current celibate male priesthood and open to inviting priests from overseas."
The Bishop speaks of the four nominated categories as "these options"on which "we continue to reflect carefully".
In several instances the nominated "options"are no option at all :
(a) Recognising Anglican, Lutheran, and Uniting Church Orders -
It is hard to believe that the Bishop is so ill - informed or ignorant as to make these suggestions. Surely he knows of Leo XIII's Apostolicae Curae which definitely and with solid careful reasoning declared Anglican Orders as invalid. Surely he knows the significance of Apostolic Succession, of the validity of Orders, and of the historic heretical beliefs on matters sacramental and others of Lutherans and (Presbyterian, Methodist) Uniting Church ministers
(b)It seems that the Bishop is unaware of or contemptuous of the irreformable ( CDF Responsum 22 November, 1995 N.47) teaching of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. But he cannot be unaware. We are then left to assume that he is contemptuous of that Magisterial teaching or seriously unwell. In either case how can he continue to hold office?
(c)Welcoming former priests, married or single, back to active ministry - is marvellously or mischievously imprecise and disingenuous. Firstly, some priests who have left the ministry have been formally laicised and are free to marry. Others have simply walked away with their girlfriends or boyfriends and ignored their vows. More of the priests who have left the Priesthood have done so under disgraceful circumstances of sexual scandal and theft or long-term dereliction of duty. Does any right thinking Catholic ( let alone any healthy Bishop) want to welcome back to the Priesthood those who have proved themselves unfaithful in the past?
Further, what motives would lead them back? Failed marriages? Bad employment history?? Or are we again to "welcome back"those whose fidelity to the Church was never strong or feigned?
There are of course, instances of Priests who have been laicised, married and then widowed. A few of these cases have already been accepted back. But the glib and disingenuous "option"presented glosses over so many problems and horrors that one cannot believe that it has been presented with a good intention, unless by someone unwell.
(d)The first option is presented in a theologically flawed way - it is the "viri probati"concept proffered by a few far out liberals at the Bishops Synod but roundly rejected by the Synod Fathers.
Firstly, men who have a Priestly vocation are not "chosen....by their local parish community"- they are chosen by God.
Secondly, single men are ordained already - how is this an "option?"
Thirdly, widowed men are ordained already - how is this an "option?"
Fourthly, the Church has resolutely and repeatedly and even very recently re-affirmed the importance of the rule of priestly celibacy which is of scriptural origin and may be traced back to Apostolic times as has been authoritatively demonstrated in The Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy ( by Father Christian Cochini S.J.Ignatius Press)
All of these points are alarming and call gravel into question the Bishop's health. No normal, healthy Catholic Bishop could make such errors. How long can this situation be allowed to continue?
The Pastoral Letter placed very heavy emphasis on projections as to the ageing and declining numbers of clergy and Diocesan plans for lay leadership. What seems to be behind all of these developments is a creeping protestantism in effect, whilst fidelity to Church teaching is undermined by the suggestion of such specious "options"as above. The Pastoral Letter only once uses the word "vocations"and never the word "holiness".
THIRD RITE AGAIN!
Further, the bishop despite the most direct instructions from the Holy See, is persisting in his penchant for the Third Rite of Reconciliation - i.e. General Absolution. This is attested by this extract from the Stanthorpe Parish Newsletter for the Second Sunday of Advent:
"The Bishop has given permission for the Communal Rite of Reconciliation (Ed. the 2nd Rite) to be celebrated before Christmas - next Wednesday 13th December at 10.00 a.m. and Monday 18th December at 7.00 p.m. Please be aware, however, that the Communal Rite(with General Absolution if large numbers come) is never intended to be the only time the Sacrament is celebrated. If you are celebrating the Communal Rite and are aware of a grave sin, you should, at the earliest opportunity in the future , celebrate the individual Rite of Reconciliation , mentioning those grave sins, but it is also very freeing , especially when the Lord says to us through the Priest "I absolve(forgive) you from your sins ... go in peace."(Emphasis added - Ed.)
Where do we begin to comment on the above? Well, firstly, the term "" Communal Rite"is normally used for the Second Rite of Reconciliation which still involves individual confession and absolution. General Absolution may not be given because of "large numbers"- that is simply insufficient cause. Imminent risk of death, e.g. ship sinking, tsunami, major earthquake or the like do justify it.
The nonsensical post - Conciliar use of the word "celebrate"to avoid saying "confess"and "hearing confessions"is ludicrous and reduces the whole reference to trivial levels whilst hiding the true nature of the Sacrament and its proper administration.
Toowoomba Diocese faces grave problems, but one of them seems to be at its very head. Can one speak of being in communion with the Holy Father whilst promoting such ideas? The answer is obvious. "
So there it is. Bishop Morris is condemned out of his own mouth and the fact is well recognised in a contemporaneous report. END OF STORY.