PART I


Just as Termites sometimes work away for years eating the substance out of a structure, and then in increasing boldness let their work be plainly seen, in the run -up to Lent 2004, the forces long at work in the Archdiocese of Brisbane were increasingly standing proud.

"Face to Face with Jesus"was prepared in late December, 2003 for use as a Lenten Programme in Lent 2004. It was part of an Annual operation which achieved substantial sales not only in the Archdiocese, but also around the country in "spirit of the Council" Parishes, after wide promotion.

The Book was mainly written by Father Anthony Mellor, a relatively young Priest of The Archdiocese of Brisbane and a product of Banyo Seminary in its scandal-ridden, worst years . The book was published by the notorious Brisbane Catholic Education Office . Before going to print it received the "Nihil Obstat"of Father Ormond Rush a Priest of the Townsville Diocese who for many years had been on the professorial staff of Banyo Seminary before moving to the ecumenical Brisbane College of Theology. "Nihil Obstat" literally means that no matter doctrinal or moral stands in the way of the book being published.

But the final approval for its publishing is the "Imprimatur"( literally "Let it be printed") of Archbishop John A. Bathersby Archbishop of Brisbane.He is the Metropolitan Archbishop of  the Province of Brisbane ( that is the entire State of Queensland) and thus is charged to "Teach , to Sanctify and to Govern".

In times past , "Nihil Obstat"and "Imprimatur" were absolute assurances to the faithful that a work was authentically Catholic. More recently, they have come to hedged about somewhat by the statement that the publication "is free of doctrinal or moral error. No implication is contained therein that those who have granted ecclesiastical approval agree with the contents, or statements expressed."For Brisbane Archdiocese  in this case, the washing of the hands is taken a step further : "They do not necessarily signify that the work is approved as a basic text for catechetical instruction .""Nihil Obstat"?, " Imprimatur"? Did we miss something?? Oh yes ...Pontius Pilate : "What is Truth?"


"Face to Face with Jesus"is a typical "spirit of the Council"production of any liberal Australian Diocese, big on structure - "welcoming space", "prayer focus". "during the meeting", "food for the soul" sections aimed at Group use, but light on Catholicism and devoid of references to self-denial and repentance. One could criticise the Book in many ways but it most essentially flawed in the Gospel Commentary Sections for each week in Lent. These are written by Father Anthony Mellor whose Ordinary Archbishop Bathersby is.

The underlying assumption in these Commentaries is directly contradictory to Catholic Faith and this, to such an extent, as to be grossly offensive , even heretical. Let us begin to review some extracts :

LUKE 4 : 1-13
The Temptation of Christ in the Desert


"In Luke's unfolding story, Jesus, after being baptised by John in the Jordan, was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. Luke's description of the wilderness time is full of rich symbolism ans imagery. FOR JESUS IT WAS IN ESSENCE , A VOCATIONAL CRISIS, OR AT THE VERY LEAST, A FORM OF VOCATIONAL DISCERNMENT .(Emphasis added.)

We Comment:

The Gospels always present us with Jesus as God Incarnate - always fully aware of Himself and His role.
But in this Commentary we are presented with some poor muddle-headed wombat with no awareness of his Divinity and no preparation of his human nature for His Father's Mission.

This is sheer rubbish Jesus had no "vocation" - God does not "call" Himself.He knew EVERYTHING from the very beginning of His human intelligence,

"After this, his sense of vocation, while still tested,remained unshakable. The direction and vision which Jesus embodied in his public life had been forged in his private struggles."

We Comment:

The suggestion here , is that Jesus hadn't known why He was here and had to work it out in the desert. God Who didn't know what He was about ?? Or is the suggestion that He was not ( yet) God???(The Brisbane Heresy). This is the same Jesus Sacred Scripture tells us, Who at 12/13 yrs of age had clearly stated to His Mother : "...that I must be about My Father's business".


"Jesus BELIEVED that his mission was to restore Israel to its proper calling and establish through his own person the Reign of God."
(Emphasis added.)

We Comment:

"Jesus BELIEVED"? Jesus KNEW, and those of us who believe He is God and always has been know that He KNEW!


"Rejecting other contemporary role models, JESUS ACCEPTED GOD'S CALLING of proclaiming and living the Kingdom "(Emphasis added.)

We Comment :

Jesus received no "calling"from "another", "God". In Sacred Scripture the relationship is between Jesus and His Father . Jesus is, and always was, One with the Father and the Holy Spirit. The Son of God and Son of Man did NOT consider/reject "contemporary role models"- what rubbish is this?Jesus knew his role - the Christ - the Anointed One - the Messiah. Why is the writer trying to obscure , subvert the truth?

LUKE 9 : 28-36
The Transfiguration


"The Gospel writers were not simply historians or biographers. They were essentially theological artisans who crafted and wove religious symbols with human drama. Originating as oral history and gradually fashioned by the faith of each community."

We Comment:

This hoary bit of Protestant nonsense would have got by in the post-Conciliar "anything goes"era and such detritus was probably clinging to Brisbane Cath Ed like post Flood mould. But it simply hasn't cut the mustard for serious Sacred Scripture Scholars for decades.

The opinion is totally opposed to the constant teaching of the Catholic Church, but the "Father of Lies"keeps it alive in the hearts and minds of those whose Faith he is tearing to shreds.The Second Vatican Council affirms the continuity of Catholic teaching on the historicity of the Gospels and their authorship by St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke and St.John. It expressly refutes the concept that the Gospels are the artful inventions of "communities"- however pious!


"This led to the famous episode of the feeding of the five thousand."

We Comment :

It is weird that this comment is made as a throwaway line - as if that miracle were merely a stunt, rather than a great foreshadowing of the gift of the Eucharist. Why is this teaching moment wasted? What is the agenda?


"For the first time, Jesus told his disciples that the future was LIKELY to involve suffering and death..."( Emphasis added.)

We Comment:

This is quite wrong. There is no "likely"about it! Jesus tells the disciples : "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by  the elders"and chief priests and Scribes , and be put to death , and on the third day rise again."  Why besmirch the Lord's prophecy with "likely?" Jesus ALWAYS knew that He was born for this suffering and Death and clearly and consistently prepared his disciples for it. What is the agenda of the Commentary author?


"Luke described this intense experience of prayer on the mountain in highly figurative style."

Incredibly the actual Transfiguration is scarcely mentioned, rather we are given the above statement which endeavours to subvert the reality of the Transfiguration in a manner that is entirely false and deceitful for the account in St. Luke contains no figurative speech, but is a factual account of a great miracle worked by Jesus to strengthen the three Apostles for scandal of his suffering and Death. This is intentional mischief.

LUKE 13: 1-9
The need for Repentance and the Barren Fig Tree


"Even allowing for the writer's own stylised purposes, Jesus clearly saw himself in the tradition of Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Jonah, Isaiah, Amos, Zechariah, Elijah and the other prophets.It was they who provided the pattern and direction for his own prophetic mission."

We Comment:

God sent the Prophets. God became Man to effect our redemption and fulfil the Prophets.God - Jesus - knew Himself and DID NOT "see himself"as in the tradition of His Prophets. God IS. He acts as He will ( "Omnia quaecumque voluit fecit") He does NOT see Himself in the tradition of His creatures the Prophets. Jesus'Mission from the Father is quite other.It is not to prophesy what is to come, but to realise the fulfilment of all the prophesies and achieve the Salvation of Mankind. He alone determines His course just as He had directed the Prophets in the past, they followed His Will, He does not follow their pattern. The Author is clearly determined to present Jesus falsely as just a man and this becomes clearer as he proceeds.


"Jesus' deep awareness of a prophetic vocation.."

Jesus had no "vocation"or calling. God does not "call"Himself. Jesus was sent by the Father as He tells us Himself ( "As the Father has sent Me, so also I send you..") His mission from the Father was NOT "prophetic"but "actual". He was sent, and came , to effect our Salvation. Prophets are God's creatures. Jesus IS God, always was and He always will be.


"Jesus BELIEVED that the Reign of God was being established..."

Jesus did not simply " believe" He "KNEW"- God does not "believe" He KNOWS.



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