ARCHDIOCESE OF BRISBANE - THE BATHERSBY YEARS - THE SICK MAN OF THE AUSTRALIAN CHURCH

In modern History, Turkey toward the end of Ottoman rule, was referred to as the "Sick Man of Europe" There is little doubt, that as the Epicopate of several of her Bishops drew toward their routine end , and another sought to avoid being deposed, Queensland was "the sick man"of the Church in Australia.



CARDINAL WILLIAM LEVADA, THE NEW NUNCIO ARCHBISHOP LAZZAROTTO AND ARCHBISHOP BATHERSBY AT THE FOUNDATION STONE OF THE NEW HOLY SPIRIT SEMINARY BANYO - THE FOUR PRIESTS INCLUDING THE THEN RECTOR WERE PROFESSORIAL STAFF - ALL WERE GONE WITHIN THE YEAR.


But a visitor from Rome, following closely on the heels of an Apostolic Visitator to troubled Toowoomba Diocese, received scant attention in the Mass Media. Yet he was a true heavyweight - Cardinal William Levada ( pronounced improbably as" LevAYda" in the best American tradition) Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

On 26th April, 2008,His Eminence Blessed and Opened the new Holy Spirit Regional Seminary, whose Campus is carved out of the Northern edge of the massive Campus of the former Pius XII Regional Seminary at Banyo, which is now the campus of Australian Catholic University in Brisbane( save for its grand Chapel which remains under the control of the Rector of Holy Spirit Seminary.).

Cardinal Levada was accompanied by at least one happily familiar face, Father Tony Randazzo who worked with him at the time in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Father Randazzo was a Brisbane Priest who had several years before, been summoned by the Holy father - then John Paul II - to work in the CDF under the then Cardinal Ratzinger.


Don Randazzo is greeted by Il Santo Padre


The opening of the new Seminary provided the occasion for His Eminence's visit, but the likely reasons for the visit, were several :

(a) the report of the Apostolic Visitator to Toowoomba which had hardly "hit the desks"in the Holy See when His Eminence's visit was announced,

(b) the Archbishop Bathersby Advent Pastoral of 2006 at the same time as the infamous Morris Pastoral .It had received no Mass Media attention, but its theologically defective content had been reported in FOUNDATION and elsewhere. (Since then, it and the Morris Pastoral, had been deleted from their respective Diocesan Websites. And Archbishop Bathersby had forsaken his grey sports jacket for a clerical black suit coat).And,

(c) the parlous state of Vocations in the Province of Queensland stank all the way to Rome. At the time, the new Regional Seminary had only 3 or 4 Australian born Seminarians from its Provincial population of 900,000 Catholics. In addition there were 5 Seminarians from Nigeria.

The Vocations reality behind the composition of the student body was not lost on Cardinal Levada in the centre photo.


(d.) the alarming state of the administration of the Sacraments - particularly Baptism - in the Archdiocese of Brisbane.





THE NEW SEMINARY CHAPEL FR TOM "TWO TABLES" ELICH STRIKES AGAIN -  THE "BUTCHER'S BLOCK" ALTAR  IS OBSCURED BY THE AMBO - OR "TABLE OF THE WORD"
Observers were keenly interested to see the new Seminary's Chapel - at the interim location at a former Convent Chapel in suburban Wavell Heights the Seminarians had no kneelers or pews, but sat in a semi-circle on low level Scandinavian style TV chairs with their backs to the Tabernacle which was perched on a Coffee Table in a corner - this is no exaggeration.

As it transpired the new Chapel was something of an improvement , though small and ultra modern, with chairs arranged in Choir and a small Altar about the size of a Butcher's Block with a view out a large picture window to a grassy knoll. The view was only interrupted by a Dove shaped receptacle for the Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament, dangling on chains from the ceiling in the manner of some medieval churches before the nobility and security and practicality of the Tabernacle evolved

STIFF MEDICINE

Like every good Doctor visiting the Sick, His Eminence ensured he came well - provided. On Friday February 29th, 2008, the Holy See published the following :

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS PROPOSED

on the validity of Baptism conferred with the formulas

"I baptize you in the name of the Creator,
and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier", and
"I baptize you in the name of the Creator,
and of the Liberator, and of the Sustainer."

QUESTIONS

First Question: Whether the Baptism conferred with the formulas "I baptize you, in the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer and of the Sanctifier"and "I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Liberator, and of the Sustainer"is valid?

Second Question : Whether the persons baptized with those formulas have to be baptized in forma absoluta?


RESPONSES

To the First Question : NEGATIVE.


To the Second Question : AFFIRMATIVE.


The Supreme Pontiff  Benedict XVI, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, approved these Responses, adopted in the Ordinary Session of the Congregation, and ordered their publication.

ROME, from the Offices of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, February 1, 2008.

William Cardinal Levada
Prefect

+Angelo Amato , S.D.B.
Titular Archbishop of Sila"

So , "Negative"- such "Baptisms"" are not valid, and
        "Affirmative"- people so "Baptised"" cannot be "conditionally"Baptised, but must be properly baptised, because they are unbaptised.

BUFOONERY

Archbishop Bathersby might have preferred to resolve the whole matter out of the glare of public scrutiny.
However, when the Brisbane Courier Mail interviewed the Archdiocesan Chancellor Father Jim Spence, he effectively said that the "baptisms"were only "illicit"and not "invalid". In various ways , he was reported three times affirming this preposterous contradiction of the Holy See's decision. He immediately became an international Internet laughing stock - one commentator pointing out that his statements could be held as true ONLY when taken as opposites of his very words. Altogether, his farcical interventions gave a further tragic twist to a state of affairs imperilling the souls of those involved.

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