Wednesday, November 30, 2011


T.A.C. Head John Hepworth
Its that man again.

Opening the iPad App for THE AUSTRALIAN newspaper at the breakfast table this morning one finds him,  he is walking into a clearly signposted Adelaide Police Headquarters, to lay a formal complaint about his allegations of homosexual rape by now dead clerics and a Seminarian now a respected Parish Priest and community leader.Of course, that is his right, and has been for the last thirty or whatever years.

But is it being too sceptical to wonder how Press photographers happened to know which Police Station he would approach and precisely when he would be there?And how they were able to get just the right angle to catch him with the sign behind him?

And is it unreasonable  to be shocked to read the Paper's report of clear statements by Mr. Michael Abbott Q.C. who conducted the independent Inquiry on which Adelaide Archdiocese' decision against the Hepworth allegations? Mr. Abbott is quoted as saying : "Archbishop Hepworth chose not to make any written statement ; he chose not to put anything in writing; he chose not to give me any list of witnesses to contact; he chose not to participate --full stop." 

One must feel very sorry for John Hepworth, whether his allegations are ultimately justifiable, or he is in some way mentally disturbed. But his participation in this kind of Media theatre is rapidly eroding sympathy for him, and his failure to co-operate with Mr Abbott's Inquiry tends to accelerate that erosion.

In addition, the Paper reports the Archdiocese as saying it had urged John Hepworth to take his allegations to the Police for 4 years since he originally made the allegations.

Again, we need to keep John Hepworth in our prayers.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011



On 15th September,2011 , in the post entitled "Qui Bono?" ("Who benefits?") we looked at the allegations of homosexual rape by TAC Head and former Catholic Priest John Hepworth. If Hepworth had hoped the situation he alleged would advantage him in any way , he is disappointed.

As we indicated in that 15th September, 2011 post, the Complementary Norms issued with ANGLICANORUM COETIBUS on 4th November, 2009 seemed clearly framed with the Hepworth particulars in mind.It was confirmed on 25th November,  by the Secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference that the provisions of the Complementary Norms would prevent Hepworth from returning to Priestly ministry in the Catholic Church. There was no surprise in this, the prohibition has been there , publicly available in the Norms, for two years.

If anyone thought the allegations made by Hepworth against two deceased Priests and a former Seminarian, now a senior and much respected Parish Priest, would lead to Hepworth being given special treatment, they were wrong. The Norms have held fast, an important test in the Ordinariate history which will face many and varied exceptional cases.

Now the Archdiocese of Adelaide has resolved the case of the allegations Hepworth made. The process set up by the Archdiocese involved an independent inquiry by Mr Michael Abbott Q.C. who questioned 29 witnesses who were involved at the time and the examination of contemporaneous documents relating to the events.It has now been announced that the inquiry has found that there is no substance in the claims.

Monsignor Dempsey, the the Seminarian referred to but not named by Hepworth when he made his allegations, was named by Senator Nick Xenophon the well known Media Tart from the coward's castle of Parliamentary Privilege. Monsignor Dempsey has consistently denied any sexual involvement with Hepworth whether involuntary or consensual. He remains on leave from his Parish responsibilities.

John Hepworth must have our undying gratitude for his undoubted role in leading the Traditional Anglican Communion of some 400,000 souls worldwide back to every Christian's true home, the Catholic Church. In fact his effectiveness may extend far wider, for the Holy Father's generous provision of Anglicanorum Coetibus ( pronounced "choytibus") has led to enquiries not only from mainstream Anglicans(outside the TAC) but also from some groups of Lutherans, hoping for a similar structure to accommodate their communities.

Nevertheless , it must be said that his life is a very sorry case, being the beneficiary of one of God's most Precious gifts, the Catholic Priesthood, he has voluntarily given it up to associate himself with the heretical English State Church, and compounded that error by seeking "ordination"as an Anglican Bishop. He has forsaken Celibacy and married then gone through either divorce/Anglican Annulment(there are conflicting reports) and then re-married . By any standard it is a messed up life. He is reported to have consistently said over the years that if his circumstances proved an obstacle to re-union of the TAC and Christ's Church, he would step aside.

Now it is clear that that is just what will be necessary.

We should certainly pray for John Hepworth, in gratitude for his leading the TAC home, and for his final happy reconciliation with the Church as a layman.It will require great humility on his part, and, whatever the reality may be behind his allegations, he will need the strength to set them aside and find a new life in the Ordinariate as a layman.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


When Bishop Peter Elliott, Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne , and Delegate of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference on Anglicanorum Coetibus matters, spoke at Sacred Heart Parish Hall Pymble last night it was unseasonably cool. But the attendance was good with about 50 people both Catholic and Anglican in attendance. Father Borg the Administrator of the nearby Cathedral of the Broken Bay also happened to attend as did another reporter , from the Sydney Morning Herald. Unlike the reporters of old who reported the news, the young lady seemed to be trying to make the news by asking what she hoped were questions that were "clever"or that woul evoke a controversial response. No luck.

The Bishop, fresh from the present meetings of the Bishops Conference at North Sydney, and not long back from Rome where he was involved in close discussion with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which has carriage of the issues, was unable to announce a commencement date for the Australian Ordinariate. He expects that it will be in early 2012 and noted that the American Ordinariate has recently been approved by the Holy See to commence on 1st January,2012. He noted that the American project had found its way made smoother by the existence of 7 or 8 Anglican Use Parishes which had already made the resolution of many issues in the recent past. However in the case of Australia, the problems  of wide geographical distribution and smaller numbers, created many problems that are being addressed. Another set of problems surrounds the finding of available churches.

Bishop Elliott made it clear that he could not address the cases of particular individuals - on obvious allusion to the Hepworth issues. This was hardly surprising.

He pointed out that most Anglican Clergy whose applications for admission and Ordination are being processed by the Holy See are having no problem in finding a Catholic Priest to be their sponsor. However he expressed the view that lay Catholics wanting to sponsor lay Anglicans seeking admission to the Ordinariate would need to be forthcoming.

All in all His Lordship believed the Ordinariate project was developing well with the ready assistance of the Catholic Bishops individually and in Conference.He showed how effective the provisions of the Papal Documents were proving in anticipating and dealing with the many complicated issues that arise. This all bodes well for the launch of the Australian and American Ordinariates as it has in the English Ordinariate which is about to see its second wave of admissions and is beginning to look forward to a third!

The meeting could only be seen as very successful - a view shared by Catholics present and Anglicans alike.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011



Father Nicholas "Nick"Punch O.P. -"ASHAMED OF THE INSTITUTION "
In 2006, from the Thomas More Center (SIC), Father Nicholas Punch wrote as follows to an infamous and now mercifully defunct anti Church "Catholic"Website in Australia:

 "Ashamed of the institution
Fr Nick Punch OP, Thomas More Center, Webster, WI, USA.
With reference to the article, Disconnected Catholics, I agree with everything that has been said, and particularly the comments of Paul Collins. 
As a priest who has remained, I feel dreadfully let down. I am supposed to be a representative of a Church that I never embraced.  As a priest ordained just after Vatican Council II ended, I was enthusiastic about all the documents, and about all the changes embraced as a result, especially liturgy and ecumenism. I loved all the poetry and music that became part of our celebration of the Eucharist.
I have watched, with great sadness, people giving up, especially women. If we could have followed up on our enthusiasm and built on it, I think we could have kept people with us.
My basic interest has always been evangelisation, especially as a Dominican.  But it is difficult to evangelise today because whilst I love the Church I am ashamed of the institution.
I take great consolation in the explanations of biblical scholars and the research that has provided us with an interpretation of the teachings of Jesus and the early establishment of the Church that should guide leadership today. The institution has chosen a different path, and seems to me to deliberately misinterpret tradition.
I am afraid that this will all die with me because the young ministers by and large are of a different ilk. I can only pray that the Holy Spirit will break through and bring about another conversion!"

From "go to whoa"this letter reeks with the odour of the Hermeneutic of Rupture so clearly identified by our Holy Father and firmly condemned by him . "I am supposed to be a representative of a Church I never embraced." It is clear that for his reverence there are two Churches - pre Vatican II and the New Post Vatican II - Rupture defined! 

Father is one of those who "was enthusiastic about all the documents" he says, but seems unaware of their content in large part . SACROSANCTUM CONSILIUM on the Sacred Liturgy required the retention of Latin for the most part,said nothing about celebration versus populum and required the retention and strengthening of the use of Gregorian Chant; Verbum Domini on Sacred Scripture insisted on the inerrancy of Sacred Scripture and the historical reality of the Gospel accounts.

The reality of Father's situation is that he is another fading false "spirit of the Council"(not the letter of the Council) promoter.

His distance, in spirit and truth, from the Church which Christ is with "all days even till the end of the World", is revealed in all its shame in the sentence:

"But it is difficult to-day because whilst I love the Church I am ashamed of the institution."

His Reverence shows the defeat of the false "spirit of the Council"when he admits : "I am afraid that  this  will all   die with me because the young ministers by and large are of a different ilk." What arrogance - if he really believed that what he had been doing was God's work.

So folks this is one of the 1960's Show which has been set up to preach a Parish Mission  and renew and revitalise Pymble Parish in tree hugging Broken Bay Diocese!  


Tuesday, November 22, 2011


THE "SPIRIT"OF THE COUNCIL  Back to the 1960s
The Diocese of Broken Bay in Sydney's Northern Suburbs has long been a source of scandal under its smiling ecumenist Bishop David Walker - a sort of Southern Brisbane. 

When we moved from Brisbane to Sydney four months ago, as luck would have it, we found our new home at Pymble in the Broken Bay Diocese. We knew a bit about Pymble Parish from annual holiday visits and other occasional visits , staying nearby with relatives.Under the care of Polish Salvatorians, the Parish had remained fairly orthodox , and this had been aided years ago when a majority of the parishoners of the formerly Dominican  Parish adjoining - Wahroonga -  with its large Priory Church, and orthodox congregation left en masse for Pymble . This happened when a new Dominican PP wreckovated the Church and Congregation.

Several weeks back ,a flyer appeared in the Pymble Parish Bulletin announcing a Parish Mission in June 2012. Like all things of distant import , I set it aside, but not before a few phrases detected in a quick scan of the document set off some warning signals.

More recently, as some dust settled, I returned to examine the document and perform a few Web searches. It looks like what the American songsters used to call "a four alarm fire"!


Let me tell you the story of a group of two Catholic Clerics and a Nun who have chosen to work at re-vitalizing Catholic Parishes. They claim to do this through improving the quality of preaching and through prayer. The two priests, one American and one Australian, are Dominicans and the Nun is a Franciscan.

The group call themselves The Thomas More Center (sic) because Saint Thomas More was a layman. And, they say, lay folk had moved them to set up the Center. Apart from running Parish Missions and programs of spiritual renewal, they offer "an internship program in collaborative preaching for beginning preachers as well as seasoned ministers of the Word."

The group works in the U.S.A. And for a few months a year in Australia, where Father Punch originated and worked as a Dominican for many years  we shall see.

So far a little unusual : normal Community life having been put aside, and the connection with the respective Orders undefined, and uncertain.

"The Team"

Father Michael Champlin O.P. a mustachioed 72 yrs old, was ordained a Dominican Priest on 3rd June, 1966 and after receiving graduate degrees in Philosophy and Social Psychology taught in the Dominican Seminary for three years. He then became a founding member of the Dominican Evangelical Team.

This would have been in 1969, by which time the cracks in the cloisters were increasingly evident in Religious Orders, and in Seminaries around the world, and were becoming evident under the influence the subversive activities of social psychologists among others.

Father is "a keen student of wine and enjoys cooking. And he enjoys travel very much.

Father Nicholas Punch O.P. (no mustache) is also 72. He was ordained a Dominican Priest in December, 1966, and is also a product of the time. He has worked in Parishes, school and universities and was for seven years Provincial of the Dominicans in Australia and New Zealand (1981-88). In 1989 he was an intern at the Center for three months and joined full time in 1991.His hobbies are photography and classical music. He is especially interested in Scripture and moral theology and hope(s) these find their way into the talks."

Sister Joan Bukrey O.S.F.was professed in 1964, and has spent most of her life in teaching. She has been in the Center since 1988.she finds it" refreshing being in the outdoors, walking and observing wildlife, especially birds", both in the U.S.A. and Australia.


Each of the Team operates a Blog where Father Champlin tells us we may gain an insight into "our" (?) teachings.

Father Mike is not a regular Blogger, but that might be just as well. His latest post on 27th February on "Religion and Politics" is a rather naive and simplistic plea to fix the world's material needs by the U.S.A.
continuing to wallow in debt.

On 10th April, 2010 Father Mike quoted at length and with obvious approval Sir John Templeton, here is a sample straight from Father's Blog:
"The question is not is there a God, but is there anything else except God? God is everyone and each of us a little bit." And again I want to hear anybody who can tell me something in addition to ways I already know, about God or my spiritual principles."

There are several other posts, some unexceptionable, some yet again somewhat naive. Never a mention of systematic Catholic teaching,or Papal documents can be found.

Father Nicholas on the 8 th July, 2011 posts on his Blog an attack on the Corrected Translation of the Roman Missal which was written in a letter to THE TABLET. Father approved of the letter unreservedly.

In another post Father Punch reviews with unstinting approval a book (let) by an Irish Dominican emphasizing the humanity of Our Lord. It appears to be a re-run of the old '60s effort to effectively obscure the Divinity of Christ and present "just a guy like us " and not the authentic Christ of Sacred Scripture - yes, fully human (save for sin) but also fully Divine, the Master of every situation, knowing all, forgiving sins, raising the dead, curing the sick and so on.

On 7th February, 2011 Father Nicholas posted another attack on the Corrected Translation of the Roman Missal which he had taken from the dissident Jesuit Magazine AMERICA, with obvious approval. The attack was written by a former senior ICEL member involved in music.

On 19th November, 2010 Father Nicholas posted an attack on the Corrected translation of the Roman Missal which appeared on THE TABLET by a Jesuit from Boston College a hotbed of dissent.
On 16th November, 2010 Father Nicholas posted an attack on members of the American Tea Party as being immoral in terms of Christian -especially Catholic morality" in their behavior and plans. Father's essential (Democratic Party) argument is BIG GOVERNMENT good - Small Government BAD.

The mangling of one's personal political opinions with one's obligation to preach the Gospel is not uncommon  - who can forget the former One Hundred Thousand Dollars a year Public Servant Monsignor David Cappo of South Australian fame pronouncing on National Radio that it was "immoral to tax food"  - to universal derision? Father Nicholas' views are of similar quality.

On the same day, Father Nicholas really lets his true colors show, in a further post in which he publishes with clear approval an item by the infamous Brian Coyne supporting  Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, who appeared and spoke at a Conference in Sydney attacking the Church over alleged clerical abuse issues and, whose later book was condemned by the entire Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

On 23rd September, 2010 Father Nicholas gives a rousing cheer for liturgy committees and, in essence, "the spirit of the Council" "good old days". It must be tough seeing the sense of the sacred coming back and the "children of the revolution" fading from the scene (they never did produce spiritual children of their own - or vocations either!)

Sister Joan Bukrey OSF is also an occasional blogger. On 19th August, 2011 in an account of her "study pilgrimage tour" despite "two new prosthetic hips" she refers to Francis and Clare" remaining relevant to-day as we try to face Church and cultural challenges to the Gospel way of life" (Church?) Sister promises more on her Face book page.

On it June, 2011 Sister Joan posted details of a survey of young people the Team had carried out and quoted with apparent acceptance the results of the 77 responses: they would like to see changed the Church's teaching/discipline on married priesthood, ordination of women, inclusivity of gay and lesbian people, less emphasis on orthodoxy, more emphasis on justice issues and the over all (sic) lack of relevance of the church to to-day's culture especially their age group. CURIOUSLY THE BLOG SAYS "read more" but when clicked shows no more - I guess Sister had said what she wanted to say! Could it be that any young folk faithful to the Church's teachings had much earlier given up on the Team's teachings and didn't, bother responding? (Remember Father Mike's our teachings" above!)

On 2nd March, 2010 Sister Joan tells us Nick has just given a new talk on the topic of Judas." This is evidently a reference to Father Nicholas Punch O.P. (The “Nick" that is.) "The main point he makes is that Judas was forgiven by God and so are all of our relatives and friends who commit suicide." This is a remarkable revelation - apparently heretofore a private one. NO need for contrition at all apparently. One can only hope that "Nick" will let us in on some more of his private revelations.

On 14th October, 2009 Sister Joan posts attacking the Apostolic Visitation of Female Religious Orders and quoting the N.C.Reporter not the Register of course. And in the same post she attacks the Corrected Translation of the Roman Missal. Why are we not surprised?

Friday, November 18, 2011


Here is the text of a recent report from "THE CATHOLIC LEADER"(BRISBANE ARCHDIOCESE)
with emphasis added:

In St.John's Anglican Cathedral - Bishop Finnigan Apostolic Administrator of Toowoomba, Anglican Aspinall, and Archbishop Bathersby lighting the one candle.." how many Ecumenists does it take..." Anglican Aspinall seems hard put to restrain a smile - small wonder considering the other two are validly ordained.

CATHOLICS and Anglicans gathered at St John's Cathedral, Brisbane, on November 10 for the annual service of Prayer for Reconciliation for the Brisbane and Toowoomba dioceses of the two Churches.Archbishop Phillip Aspinall of Brisbane represented the Anglican Church, and was joined by Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane and apostolic administrator of Toowoomba Bishop Brian Finnigan, from the Catholic Church.
Archbishop Bathersby preached the homily.He said they gathered as "Anglicans and Roman Catholics to praise and worship God and to recognise the fact that we are Christians who acknowledge the magnificence of Jesus Christ".
"Together we share so much, the similarity and beauty of our liturgy, our proclamation of the Gospel, the fullness and power of our sacraments, our combined concern for the poor and needy of the world, and finally but not least the magnificent style and colour of our liturgical clothing and the sheer beauty of our music," Archbishop Bathersby said.
He said coming together as Christians meant "a great deal for all of us"."Ever so slowly we are beginning to realise together how deeply we love Jesus and how much we will be able to contribute together to a better world," he said."Please God, in these most interesting, not depressing, times, that God will continue to show us a way forward."
 We had hoped to be able to refrain from any further comment on the now former Archbishop of Brisbane, but this report of Archbishop Bathersby's sayings makes one wonder if it wasn't the occasion of the Holy See's decision to bring about the acceptance of his resignation. Let us look at his words :

He says that Catholics and Anglicans "share"the proclamation of the Gospel". But do we in fact? The Catholic Church preaches the Gospel fully , authentically and as she was commissioned by her founder Our Divine Lord Jesus Christ. The Church of England , or should we limit ourselves to the Anglican Church of Australia in its Brisbane manifestation? It preaches falsely that it has valid Orders which it does not. So that in that respect it does not "teach the same Gospel". Equally it preaches that the Primacy of the Pope as authentically established by Christ, does not exist, so that again it does not teach "the same Gospel".At the same time it teaches that the Queen of England is its Head - directly contrary to the Gospel teaching concerning Christ's Church - again"not " the same Gospel"!!

 Then His Grace said that Catholics and Anglicans share "the fullness and power of our sacraments". Save in the case of Baptism and Marriage which can be validly ( though not always licitly) administered by any lay person intending what the Church intends, this is nothing less than heretical rubbish. As we know definitively from Pope Leo XIII's Encyclical "Apostolicae Curae" Anglican "Orders" are absolutely Null and Void - they are NOTHING.  Therefore it follows that all efforts by the recipients of those nullities to replicate the  remaining Sacraments entrusted to the Catholic Church by Christ are themselves Null and Void . 

We DO NOT "SHARE "the same sacraments, rather any Catholic of integrity can only look on with at best, pity at Anglican efforts to replicate the form of the Sacraments whilst lacking entirely the substance of them.

And what a cheeky hide he had in those circumstances, to use the words "the fullness and power"!

Compared to his outrageous remarks above, what follows is minor but reflective of the triviality at work :

"...and finally but not least the magnificent style and colour of our liturgical clothing....."

Enough said! On the part of the Archbishop too much (wrong) said!

Now retired Archbishop Bathersby
We wish His Grace a silent retirement in his beloved Granite Belt Apple prone hometown of Stanthorpe! We hope he "likes them apples"better than we liked his sayings.


Fra Angelico's Painting "CHRIST THE JUDGE" from the Chapel of San Brizio
"But He said to him : Man, who hath appointed Me judge or divider over you?"(Luke 12:14)

Father Nicola Avancini S.J. in his great "Meditations"( properly "The Life and Teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ")  takes up consideration of this incident in his meditation for Thursday of the 22nd Week After Pentecost. We know Christ is to Judge the whole world at His Second Coming as Fra Angelico's painting shows. How do we relate that fact to Our Lord's statement above? Let us follow Avancini:

"St.Jerome says : "Christ did not deign to act as a judge in a law- suit or as a controller of property". Why was this? Would it not have been a good thing to defend a man's rights or to reconcile brothers? Yes, but it was not the work Our Lord had come to do. As St.Ambrose says: "He declined to be involved in earthly things Who had descended to earth for heavenly things. Let us learn from this not to entangle ourselves in matters of business (we need to recall Avancini was writing for Religious T.D.) that are foreign to our vocation". He who has dedicated himself to God must make himself serviceable to God if he is to do his duty. "No man being a soldier to God, entangleth himself with secular businesses"( II Tim.III:4) Nor may we flatter ourselves with excuses of prudence or charity, for it is neither prudent nor charitable to do what lies outside our vocation."

Father Avancini makes his case powerfully for Religious, and it holds good for secular clergy as well , to be about the work of their vocation strictly understood. This self discipline and dedication is of course perfectly modelled in Our Lord Himself.

It is easy to get sidetracked in our thinking about Jesus into conforming our image of Him into something we find congenial - so, we get the Protestant "Gentle Jesus Meek and Mild"and it is not a far leap from there to the Hollywood idea that everyone is going to Heaven. Now, it is true Jesus said "Learn of Me, for I am meek and humble of heart"(Matt. 11:29) in these words He instructed us in what our attitude should be and how we should comport ourselves in dealing with others. However, as Father  Avancini shows His Divine Majesty was always effective and His concern strictly for the essentials of His Mission. 

It is interesting to reflect that Our Lord never comments about Man's material achievements - to the Divine Saviour they are as nothing - even the Temple itself, as a building. When the disciples
seek to point out to Jesus the various aspects of the great  structure( Matt 24:1), He is not concerned with what has been achieved, but immediately reveals to them that all of what they see and are impressed, by will be totally destroyed. 

Jesus Christ the Saviour of Men is , in modern political parlance always "on Message"The Divine Will and Mission are ever apparent. "Meek and humble of heart" - yes. See Him before Caiaphas, insulted , struck, before Pilate largely silent until it is right to speak and Pilate is for a time open to learn. But Jesus Christ , Who said of Himself : ".......Before Abraham was, I AM"(John 8:58) and 
"I AM the Way, and the Truth , and the Life"( John 14:6) always kept strictly to His Divine Mission, and the petty affairs of  Men , and even what they thought  were grand achievements were not significant to Him.

The task of progressively drawing His disciples on to the realisation of His Divinity was fundamental to Our Lord's Mission. For this purpose He worked miracles. But He would not be drawn into allowing His Divine Power to become a routine part of day-to-day life, which is what the materially pre-occupied petitioner was about.

We need to always keep our concentration on the realities of Jesus' Person and Activity if we are to truly know Him.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


The Basilica National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington D.C.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington  and Head of the US Bishops Committee Ordinariate Committee, has announced to the Bishops Conference that the Holy Father has approved the canonical erection of the U.S. Ordinariate on 1st January, 2012 the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God.

He also announced that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has been examining the cases of 67 Anglican Clergy seeking to be ordained for the Ordinariate. 35 Have already been given the OK to proceed to the next step which includes psychological testing and police checks. Those finally approved will complete studies at the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese' Seminary. His Eminence also announced that in anticipation of the Ordinariate, former Anglican communities in Fort Worth and Washington dioceses have been received into the Catholic Church.

The U.S. Ordinariate is well on its way.Good News Week indeed!


The old glasses alone, give it away!

To all my readers at:

THANK YOU FOR READING, AND, if you choose to read another of my Blogs than your regular one, I would be very happy.

If you chose to “FOLLOW” any one of them via Networked Blogs or Google I would be delighted!
God Bless you all!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


The Holy Father has accepted the resignation of Archbishop John A.Bathersby of Brisbane , which was tendered when Archbishop Bathersby reached 75 last July. As we speculated some days ago Archbishop Bathersby would not have wanted to return to his position after his customary holiday following Christmas Eve. Now he is already free. His Episcopate has had many regrettable features and has allowed the rot which began to set in in the time of Archbishop Francis Rush , to become institutionalised. 

In an unusual move for such a significant Diocese, the Holy Father has not immediately appointed a Successor, instead appointing as Apostolic Administrator Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett of Lismore ( who will himself pass the 75 years of age mark on 1st December, 2012. Bishop Jarrett is a thoroughly orthodox and holy man , a true gentleman and scholar , and a former Chairman of the Australian Confraternity of Catholic Clergy and still active in supporting its work.

It would be difficult in his role as Apostolic Administrator to reform too much, yet he should be able to see that no further major abuses take place and that official documents are free from error.

The appointment of an interim Apostolic Administrator is a measure of the complexity of the problem facing the Holy See in Australia, where about one third of the Episcopate is due for replacement within the next 18 months. It is a major opportunity to replace the detritus of the post-Conciliar shambles with good and orthodox Bishops and shift the balance of the Australian Bishops Conference from an orthodox minority to a solid orthodox majority.

Their will be great relief among faithful Catholics that the easily moved Bishop Michael Putney - who wrote in an infamous Pastoral Letter that the Eucharist is a "symbol" - has been left in Townsville.


Bishop Jarrett, himself a convert from Anglicanism very many years ago, will also for the first time bring to Brisbane an authentic understanding of true Ecumenism free of the abuses of the past. His many friends in Brisbane will greatly rejoice at this compliment to him, whilst recognising the very heavy trial it will be.

Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett once years ago asked someone what he thought the next Archbishop of Brisbane should do? The response was "" lay about him with an axe!". Bishop Jarrett is not a ruthless man, and no Christian should be,. But he is very far from being a fool and anyone who seeks to treat him as such ought to take care. He loves the Sacred Liturgy in all its Forms and the winds of change will reach St. Stephen's Cathedral at last! 

May God bless, prosper and defend Bishop Jarrett in the exercise of his office and strengthen his arm !

Urbs Beata and now Urbs Felix! Gaudete et Laetare Brisbane!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Last night as I read from Father Nicola Avancini's marvellous "Meditations"("The Life and Teaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ") I came across this passage :

"How crafty are our passions! They drag our virtues into their allegiance , thus pride ruins our acts of humility, and anger our zeal. It is so necessary to watch this, and not to allow our actions to be tainted with passion."

It immediately occurred to me that the last sentence provides the key to Pope Benedict XVI' serenity and humble yet authoritative calm in the face of so many trials, even from within the Church.

The usually authoritative Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli is reported to say that the Holy Father is suffering from Arthrosis which is apparently a quite painful degenerative disease of the joints, hence the recent entry into Saint Peter's Basilica on the wheeled platform.

Let us pray that this further cross will be accompanied by every possible measure of Grace to assist him. Not all Popes have been Saints, but I believe we have one with us now!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011



My Great Great Great Grandfather - Lutheran - created this heroic statue of Martin Luther- this is the mythical man so much admired by Adolf Hitler and many others - the founder of Protestantism and arch defacer of Sacred Scripture. He was also a vicious anti-Semite, alcoholic and womaniser and more importantly a Blasphemer. 

There was a time when some Catholics believed that Protestants knew more about the Bible than Catholics generally speaking did.

But the reality was always rather different.

The Protestantism of that time was based on parts of the Bible- the parts that were convenient for the few hundred years of deteriorating  ideas that constituted Protestant concepts -  which had increasingly led them back into the Old Testament. This fact was reflected in the Victorian era Protestant affection for Old Testament names, which was  evident in the American Civil War, from ABRAHAM Lincoln to Gen. JUBAL Early, not to mention the peppering of Jedediahs, Hezekiahs, Moses etc. The Old Testament was for them, happily free of mention of "Thou art Peter and upon this Rock...", "Unless a man eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood......"and "Whatsoever thou shalt bind upon Earth...."and all those Catholic  commissioning words  Our Divine Lord had spoken.

                            "Her eyes always fixed firmly on the Lord."

 But the Catholic Church, sure of her foundation,with her eyes always fixed firmly on the Lord, and sustained by His seven Sacraments, has always been happy to embrace the whole of Sacred Scripture. She has from her beginnings two millennia ago, integrated Sacred Scripture into her Liturgy and her Liturgy of the Hours. She also knows the Truth about the Communion of Saints and has rejoiced in celebrating the memory of her members who have gone to their reward for heroic sanctity, by marking specially the Commemoration of their entry into Eternal Life and by naming little infants for them and seeking their patronage and intercession.

for the Catholic Church He says' I  AM WITH YOU ALL DAYS...'
It is ironic really, that in the eternally fragmenting realm of Protestantism, some of the sects have even come to call themselves "Full Gospel" churches. They are,  of course, nothing like it.Like the "Peoples'Republic of China"etc. their very name contradicts their reality.

Strangely, most Protestants never think where the Bible came from. That is to say , who said what constitutes the Bible! They are shocked to learn that it was a Council of the same Catholic Church they have been taught to loathe, and look at askance, for generations.

Catholics, it is true do not normally learn limited passages of Sacred Scripture deliberately by heart, much less have off pat Chapter And Verse of a few passages for quoting in the Protestant manner. Rather, from continual repetition in the Sacred Liturgy and in prayers and preaching, they instantly recognize, and more importantly, appreciate the true significance of, a broad spectrum of scriptural passages and situations.As has been said decades ago , and repeated by our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, Truth is symphonic - there is no dissonance in authentic Catholic teaching, preaching and worship and Sacred Scripture.

Centre of Christianity, St Peter's Basilica is raised above The Apostle's Tomb
on the Vatican Hill across the ancient road from Nero's Circus where "the Rock"was crucified upside down as he said he was unworthy to die as the Lord had done.

We should thank God for the activity of the Holy Spirit in Christ’s Church guaranteeing her free from error until the end of time. For this very reason, our ecumenical activity has to be necessarily, discreet, carefully measured and circumspect.

This is even more true in these times, in which many Protestant organizations have even abandoned the Old Testament as well as the New testament as they have pursued apparent "relevance" at the expense of even claiming an interest in, or conviction that there is, Truth. More and more of them have ended up in the doctrine free zone the Unitarians entered perhaps 100 years ago. Even in the one organisation it is possible to find the wildest extremes in positions, from something approaching Christian belief to a sort of licentious social democracy which feels scant need for, let alone belief in, a God, as long as you are Green, Homosexual and Feminist.

We should always remember in our prayers the need for the conversion of Protestants and engage in authentic ecumenical activity toward that end.

Monday, November 07, 2011



The following extract is taken from a marvellous post at VULTUS CHRISTI BLOG:A Priest's One Necessary Sermon:http://vultus.stblogs.orgPlease take the time to go there and read the whole post by Dom Mark Daniel Kirby.

A Priest's One Necessary Sermon
The Lamb who is adored in the glory of heaven is present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar here on earth. If a priest were to preach but one sermon from the day of his Ordination until his death, that one sermon could be this: Ecce Agnus Dei, ecce qui tollit peccata mundi; Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him who taketh away the sins of the world (John 1:29).
Disappear Into Adoration
The priest is but a herald. He announces the presence of the Immolated Lamb, and then annihilates himself in humble adoration. Adoration leads inexorably to self-effacement. The Lamb is exalted; the herald of the Lamb disappears. The Bridegroom shines forth in all His beauty; the friend of the Bridegroom withdraws, content to listen to the sound of his voice.
Praedicatio Prima

A priest's adoration -- be it expressed in the liturgical rites (and especially at Holy Mass) or in silence before the Blessed Sacrament -- a priest's adoration is his praedicatio prima, his primary preaching. Without the praedicatio prima of adoration, no other preaching has credibility or meaning.
Preparing for Heaven
The priest who adores does on earth what the angels and saints do in heaven. He is employed on earth in the worship of the Lamb that will be his everlasting employment, his rest, and his glory in heaven.
The Compass That Orients One's Priesthood
The priest who is not first an adorer has lost the compass that orients all the rest of his life. The priesthood is ordered to adoration, and the summit of adoration is sacrifice: the immolation of a victim to God. The loss of the spirit of adoration is the ruin of the priesthood.

The truth is here expressed with marvellous clarity.

Friday, November 04, 2011


I may be wrong, but a significant change in the pattern of visiting to this Blog in recent days, leads me to wonder if the Brisbane succession is about to be resolved, and some people are keen to see if the story is"out"yet?

If so, it would allow time for the new Archbishop to be installed before Christmas. No doubt Archbishop Bathersby would be keen to proceed on his customary post- Christmas Eve holiday without having to return "into harness". 

Are the Cathedral Staff brushing up on the Extraordinary Form liturgy and their Latin? I shall be keen to take account of the" signs of the times" during my upcoming visit to "Urbs Beata". 

Imagine! A Biretta in Saint Stephen's Cathedral after all these wilderness years!The Cathedra moved to the side and a proper Tabernacle in full view in the Sanctuary - the Blessed Sacrament the focus of attention! Then a proper Crucifix above the Altar and the Curly -headed Flying Surfie given to the Queensland Art Gallery,and then the Organ re- arranged and fitted in one of the transepts!! A new beginning!"Omnia quaecumque voluit fecit!"Imagine an Archdiocesan bureaucracy halved in size!The Augean stables cleansed! The Season to be jolly approaches.

                           Going, going.....? The curly headed flying surfie and the focus of attention, super dominating organ -  great sound , wrong location.

I wonder what will become of the curious FACEBOOK PAGE in Appreciation of Archbishop Bathersby? The young Administrator just happens to have the same surname as the Director of Catholic Education. Life is full of these amazing co-incidences!

Meantime, it is perhaps not too premature to wish His Grace a long and happy retirement in his beloved native Stanthorpe which is in Toowoomba Diocese...of which the less said, the better for the time being (!)

Thursday, November 03, 2011


Don't automatically say "YES"and rush on.

Think about the canonised Saints who spent their lives in trying to know Him better.Think about the disciples and Apostles who followed Him for three years and still did not understand Him until the Descent of the Holy Spirit at the first Pentecost. If they did not fully understand Him,surely, with all the distractions of our world, there is at least a possibility that we will also fail without we take exceptional measures.

And this is not just a modern need. It has obviously always been so. It is for this reason that we hear the Church described as "semper reformanda", that is "always needing to be reformed"our Faith is always imperfect and in need of renewal and deepening.Read what was written 334years ago by Father Nicola Avancini S.J. in his "The Life and Teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ"which was aimed at Religious but is just as effective for lay folk : 

"The mark of a good disciple is to have perfect possession of the Master's teaching, and for us to have this knowledge we must know that we have it. Do we know that we know what Christ taught? How is it then , that we love so half-heartedly? How is it that we follow the errors of a world directly opposed to the teaching of our Master? We do not yet know that we know. In order to prove ourselves true disciples we must put our Faith into practice."

If you still think your personal position in relation Jesus is even satisfactory, then you can be sure it is NOT.

There are moments of immense Grace to be had in reading the Gospels, and hearing them read in the course of the Sacred Liturgy.Let us consider the words "Learn of Me for I am meek and humble of heart." We are face to face with God made man, and He IS INSTRUCTING US IN HOW TO LIVE OUR Lives . ARE WE TO SAY "NO"? Of course we would not dream of it.........but, what do we do about  it? The same view could be taken of our response in so many things.

For all these reasons and more, Pope Benedict XVI announced in the Motu Proprio "PORTA FIDEI"("THE DOOR OF FAITH") , the YEAR OF FAITH to begin next October , 2012.

To help you reflect on the letter and the YEAR OF FAITH, we have set up the Blog " PORTAFIDEI.BLOGSPOT" :    

Please do take the time to  visit PORTA FIDEI and get active about knowing  Him more thoroughly and doing His Will sooner and more effectively.  That is what our Faith is all about.  Be prepared to heed the call of Christ's Vicar on earth! Be ready for the beginning of the Year of Faith , ready to REALISE your FAITH , to paraphrase Abe Lincoln when he spoke about time - " Don't waste the Year of Faith, its the stuff Eternal Life is made of!"                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Web Image entitled Pharisees - but no Phylacteries
Who would expect a routine Letterbox drop from our local Member of Federal Parliament , in one of its items, to call to mind the Pharisees?

I was first attracted to the item tucked away on page 4 by the heading ( the purpose of headings after all) which seemed to be an acronym I did not know, here is the item in full - it needs to be borne in mind that the wealthy suburb of St. Ives has a large population of South African emigre' Jews :-


The recent proposal for an "eruv" in St.Ives has attracted considerable attention. Consisting of aerial wires strung between poles, its construction requires ( local Council) planning approval. As with planning matters generally, there must be an assessment of community benefit and detriment. The eruv offers a tangible benefit to orthodox Jews, as it allows them to do things which are otherwise banned on the Sabbath, such as pushing babies in strollers. With Ku-ring-gai Council having chosen not to grant approval, the matter will now go to the Land  & Environment Court."

I am amazed that this type of thinking still persists, and even more that it should seek to manifest itself in Australia. It should not be remotely considered that the Council's decision is anti-Semitic. In fact the proliferation of ugly wires has long been a hot issue and is currently being exacerbated by the politically infamous $60 /90 Billion  National Broadband Network roll-out. 

                                     Phylactery worn by Orthodox Jew

But the dead spirit behind this proposed set of wires - a human invention to circumvent Sacred Scripture as it is being interpreted, calls to mind last Sunday's Gospel :

"They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear and lay them on men's shoulders..."(Matt. 23: 4). The Chapter goes on beyond the selected Gospel reading with the verses each beginning "Woe to you " - Pharisees, Scribes "blind guides" and from the Divine lips comes the scorching condemnation "Hypocrites!"

How very sad, that 2,000 years on, people are still trapped in this sterile mentality which God Himself has told us He despises. The Law of Love is offered to them still... "Come to Me , all you who labour and are burdened and I will give you rest!"(Matt. 11:28)And again ".......How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!"(Matt.23:37)

"I AM THE WAY , THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE..."( John 14:6) We should pray for the conversion of the Jews which Our Divine Lord sought so vigorously.