Set out below is the text of a letter from the AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS CONFERENCE to the Apostolic Administrator of Toowoomba Diocese and its Clergy , Religious and Laity


Bishop Brian Finnigan
Apostolic Administrator
Diocese of Toowoomba

Dear Bishop Brian

On behalf of the Australian Bishops, I write to you – and through you especially to the
priests, religious and faithful of the Diocese of Toowoomba – to express our sadness
at the retirement of Bishop Bill Morris. The decision came at the end of a complex
process which began thirteen years ago and which ended in deadlock. It was then that
the Holy Father found it necessary to exercise his Petrine care for the whole Church.
This has been difficult and distressing for all concerned, and it is not surprising that
the decision has caused varied and intense reactions.

Much of our time at the recent meeting of the Australian Bishops was given to
discussion of what has happened – a discussion which at one point included hearing
the concerns of forty leaders of Religious Congregations, many of whom have
members working in the Diocese of Toowoomba. We sought to understand the events
and agree on the best way to respond.

We reflected on our responsibility as Bishops and on what it means for us to serve the
communion of the Church and to exercise our ministry collegially as pastors of
Christ’s flock, as teachers of the apostolic faith and as moderators of the sacred

We also reflected upon the unique role of the Pope as head of the College of Bishops.
It is his task to guard and promote the communion of the Church and the integrity of
the Church’s faith. We reaffirm our faith in this mission which the Successor of Peter
has received from Christ himself, and we gratefully acknowledge Pope Benedict’s
faithfulness to the Petrine ministry, even when it involves very difficult decisions. We
commit ourselves anew to teaching faithfully what Christ taught as the Church has
handed it down.

Discussion of the process and the decision which it produced will continue during our
Limina visit to Rome later this year. There we will have the opportunity to share
with the Holy Father and members of the Roman Curia the fruits of our discussion and
to share our questions and concerns with an eye to the future. We will also have the
opportunity to pray at the Tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul, to whose intercession
we will entrust our own ministry, the Diocese of Toowoomba and the Church in

We appreciate that Bishop Morris’ human qualities were never in question; nor is
there any doubt about the contribution he has made to the life of the Church in
Toowoomba and beyond. The Pope’s decision was not a denial of the personal and
pastoral gifts that Bishop Morris has brought to the episcopal ministry. Rather, it was
judged that there were problems of doctrine and discipline, and we regret that these
could not be resolved. We are hopeful that Bishop Morris will continue to serve the
Church in other ways in the years ahead.

Our prayers are very much with you as Apostolic Administrator, with Bishop Morris
and with the priests, religious and faithful of the Diocese of Toowoomba at this
difficult time. We especially encourage the priests to reassure their people and to
strengthen them in faith. The Diocese of Toowoomba has a great history of faith, and
that faith has never failed in the face of many hardships. It will surely not fail now as
the Diocese looks to the future.

We express our support for you personally as you assume the challenging task of
Apostolic Administrator, and we are confident that you will help to bring peace and
unity to the Diocese. May the prayers of Mary of the Southern Cross and of St Mary
MacKillop guide us all safely on the journey that lies before us.

Yours fraternally in Christ,

Archbishop Philip Wilson

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

From the Shrine of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop
North Sydney,

Three things are significant about this letter:

Firstly, it is unreservedly accepting of the Holy Father’s decision and rights and duties in the matter.

Secondly, it foreshadows discussion of the process involved, with the Curial officials, in the course of the much delayed Ad Limina visit to take place in October, 2011.And,

Thirdly, the fact that extensive discussions with the heads of Australian Religious Congregations took place on this issue.

Make no mistake, a majority of the Australian Catholic Bishops are unreconstructed “spirit of the Council “ liberals, who- whilst believing Bishop Morris is an intellectual featherweight , would be sympathetic to many of his attitudes, if not all of  his apparently bizarre beliefs.

Nevertheless, several of them are personally vulnerable on grounds of systematic liturgical abuse and doctrinal error (also in Pastoral Letters), and the “shot across their bows” fired from the Barque of St.  Peter which sank Bishop Morris has “shivered their timbers”. The message has been received and understood. The mention of Ad Limina discussions with the Curial Officials is aimed at pacifying dissident Religious and the Toowoomba dissident clergy. The fact is that the Curial Officials would no doubt initiate the discussions as they recall the 1998 Statement of Conclusions, and reflect that the errant Bishops appear only to respond to exemplary discipline, being so arrogant as to ignore fraternal or even Paternal correction.

The meetings with the Heads of Religious Congregations are a routine part of every plenary meeting of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. However the fact that on this occasion much of that discussion was devoted to “le affaire Morris” serves to shine the spotlight on the parlous state of the Religious Congregations themselves. We have previously posted (11th May, 2011) on the role of Sister Patsy Grundy in the Toowoomba farce. There are numerous “Sister Patsys” undermining Catholic orthodoxy and worship around the Country and numerous male religious of dubious orthodoxy and practice, some quite outrageous. All are not merely tolerated but facilitated by their Congregational Leaders (perish the thought that they should have “Superiors”- not these “children of the Revolution”)

Most of these Religious Congregations are in effect “in liquidation” composed of the same ageing “false “spirit of the Council “ feminists and their weak male counterparts. For them Vows of Poverty have been hollowed out by Government Rent Assistance ( meant for the poor), and the sale of “surplus” properties such as schools and hospitals and convents – all paid for by the Catholic faithful over generations- to fund their retirement lifestyles, usually in independent accommodation.Don't even mention the concept of life in Community. And their Vows of Obedience have been hollowed out by “Team Leadership” structures alien to the charism of their Orders and to the Church. Their apparently forceful intervention on behalf of the uber liberal Bishop Morris only serves to call into question their own parlous condition. Watch out folks – it doesn’t pay to draw attention to your deterioration!

Their brazen intervention brings to mind the Sisters of Saint Joseph at Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop’s Canonisation. These “I gotta be me “gals in their Country Road clothes , their necklaces, ear-rings, bracelets and Mitchell Blue Footy Scarves trailed themselves in front of the Holy Father – they were certainly not unobserved -and the contrast with the faithful European Nuns also seen was tragic .Their contempt for their Foundress’ true spirit was vulgarly transparent.

It is unfortunate that the liberal dissidents have been allowed so much rope in the past. They now have enough to hang themselves. If they had been dealt with very much earlier, they might have been able to be saved. Tough love has its place.


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