|ST.PATRICK'S CATHEDRAL TOOWOOMBA QLD|
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"MEETING with QUEENSLAND BISHOPS on the PROCESS of REMOVAL of BISHOP MORRIS
On Thursday 12 April 2012, representatives of the Toowoomba Diocesan Leadership Group met with five Queensland
Bishops in Brisbane to discuss the process of removal of Bishop Morris. The Toowoomba Diocesan Leadership Group
was formed after Bishop Morris was removed from office. It includes all Priests and Pastoral Leaders, and all Lay
Leaders of Diocesan Bodies, Agencies and Ministries. After the meeting, a joint statement was drafted and discussed by
all present. This joint statement was finalized on 11 May 2012 and tabled with the Australian Bishops who were meeting
in Conference at that time. This joint statement is now available to the people of our diocese.
In October 2011, a media statement released by the Australian Bishops after their Ad limina visit to Rome stated that
they had been given a "more adequate understanding" of the circumstances surrounding the Vatican's action of requiring
Bishop William Morris to resign, so leading to his reluctant decision to retire on 2 May, 2011. This statement seemed to
imply that they had received information not previously made public. Members of the Toowoomba Diocesan Leadership
Group (TDLG) sought a meeting with Archbishop Philip Wilson in order to clarify this point and other matters.
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) suggested a meeting be arranged with several Queensland bishops
and this was finally able to take place in Brisbane on Thursday, 12th April, 2012. Bishop Morris also attended.
At the beginning of the meeting, the bishops pointed out that they did not represent the ACBC. However, they expressed
their hope that the meeting might affirm the priests and people of the Diocese of Toowoomba and address in some way
the deep hurt experienced over the retirement of Bishop Morris.
The representatives of the TDLG reiterated their belief that Bishop Morris had been denied natural justice and due
process, as supported by the findings of Judge Carter and Canon Lawyer, Father lan Waters.
During the discussion the following points were made:
1) The Australian bishops had not received any new information during their Ad Limina visit. The Media Release,
with its reference to "a more adequate understanding", referred to bishops who, before the Ad Limina visit, had
known little about the situation. It was important for the TDLG to hear very clearly from the bishops that there
were no secret alleqatlons/accusanons that had been levelled at Bishop Morris.
|TIME TO SAY GOODBYE - BP HEENAN GOING, BISHOP"EUCHARIST SYMBOL" PUTNEY|
AND ARCHBISHOP BATHERSBY - GONE
and false assertions about Bishop Morris and the diocese, sent by the Congregation of Bishops, seem to have
been the official reasons the resignation of Bishop Morris was demanded. (This document, dated 28t~ June
2007, had been handed to Bishop Morris by the then Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop de Paoli, in September
2007). The group expressed surprise that any unsigned document - especially one so manifestly erroneous -
could be considered authoritative. The bishops explained that because it was on the letterhead of a Vatican
Congregation, it could be classed as a statement and therefore would not need to be signed. It was supposed
by the TDLG that most of this document had been compiled from the false accusations originally made by a
small number of people in the diocese who opposed Bishop Morris' governance.
4) On the question of process, the bishops explained that Roman processes operate in a different manner from an
anglo-celtic processes. It was stated by the bishops that Rome treats matters of conflict between a bishop and
the Curia with what it sees as "fraternal dialogue", not as a "canonical process", and would expect that a bishop
would comply with requests immediately. Bishop Morris' request that the meeting between him and the cardinals
|BISHOP MORRIS - DEPOSED - DESTRUCTION OF DIOCESE|
cardinals as a refusal to enter into dialogue on the part of Bishop Morris and would have exacerbated the
existing tension between him and the cardinals. The bishops expressed the view that a difference in cultural
mindsets had been one of the root causes of the sad outcome of the whole process. However, the TDLG
maintained that, whether a canonical or a fraternal process had been used, above all it was a matter of justice
and morality, and Bishop Morris' treatment had been neither just nor moral.
5) Regarding Bishop Morris' Advent Pastoral Letter of 2006, the bishops agreed that, when read carefully, it need
not be construed as intending to oppose Church teaching.. In Bishop Morris' letter, which dealt with the current
staffing plan for the Diocese, he obliquely referred to ongoing worldwide discussion about ordaining women, but
he followed immediately by stating unequivocally that "we remain committed to actively promoting vocations to
the current celibate male priesthood and open to inviting priests from overseas." In fact, the TDLG reminded the
bishops that after the publication of the letter, Bishop Morris very quickly stated on the diocesan website and
elsewhere that he definitely did not intend to oppose Church teaching. The TDLG was insistent that a fair
reading of the letter in the broader context could not lead to a conclusion that Bishop Morris was opposing
6) The bishops gave an explanation of infallibility that encompassed the teaching on the non-ordination of women
as that of the universal/ordinary magisterium. At the same time, it was emphasised that while Bishop Morris in
his 2006 Advent Pastoral Letter did not intend to advocate the ordination of women, Rome had been dissatisfied
with his attempts at clarification.
7) It was agreed that there should be a better process in Australia for resolving conflict between an individual
bishop and Rome. The bishops agreed to recommend, through the Bishops Commission for Church Ministry,
that the ACBC establish a group to work on devising a process to be used for matters pertaining to Canon 19.
It was agreed that there had been value in meeting and sharing openly. Members of the TDLG thanked the bishops for
their efforts in attending the meeting, with special gratitude to Bishop Brian Heenan who acted as chairperson. The
presence of Bishop Morris was acknowledged with appreciation, and the pastoral ministry he had exercised so well
during his eighteen years as Bishop of Toowoomba was affirmed. Bishop Morris thanked everyone for their support.
In conclusion, the bishops expressed the hope that the description of the difference between Australian culture and the
culture of Rome/the Vatican - and the consequent differences between the way Rome views a situation and acts, and
what we in Australia would describe as a fair and open process - will help to promote understanding of the process. For
the members of the TDLG, it does not take away the deep pain that they and many in the diocese are feeling for Bishop
Morris, nor does it lessen their belief that Bishop Morris has suffered a grave injustice.
However the members of the group remain wholly committed to providing pastoral ministry with the same vitality as they
have in the past, and they are looking forward to welcoming and working with a new bishop when he is appointed.
On Monday night 14 May 2012, Monsignor Robert McGuckin was announced as the Bishop-elect of Toowoomba. We
welcomed him informally to the Diocese and to St Pat's on Wednesday 16 May. His Ordination as Bishop will be
celebrated on Tuesday 11 July 2012 in St Patrick's Cathedral at 11.30am. All welcome! "
Sorry to burden you with all that self-important puffery, but it does enable you to see the delusional state of mind of this grab bag of spirit of the Council dissidents, their basic dishonesty in the way they misrepresent the Morris record. But what else could one reasonably expect? For years under the favourable gaze of deposed Bishop Morris they ran the Diocese into the ground, with contempt for the Catholic Church, the Magisterium, the Catechism, the Priesthood and the very nature of the Church, and now the jig is up. Flog the dead horse as they may Bishop Morris is deposed and utterly discredited, Though they whistle in the dark -"However the members of the group remain wholly committed to providing pastoral ministry with the same vitality as they have in the past..."they know that there days are numbered. One by one they will
have to find somewhere a bolt hole into which they can crawl.
|BISHOP "CALL ME BRIAN"HEENAN - GOING|