AUSTRALIAN BISHOPS : REFORM PLEASE
|ALL AT SEA _ BISHOPS HEENAN(Rockhampton) PUTNEY (Townsville) and their Metropolitan Archbishop BATHERSBY of Brisbane|
The absence of published decisive action should not prevent us recognizing that we are on the edge of the dawning of a new era in the Australian Episcopate.
If we go about the continent from the North East, we find that in Cairns Bishop Foley does not turn 75 until 2023. While Bishop Michael Putney of Townsville might be eager to become Archbishop of Brisbane – this seems unlikely given that his views about the Eucharist being a “symbol” are known in Rome. Bishop Brian Heenan of Rockhampton is due to retire in 2012.Archbishop John Bathersby in BRISBANE passed 75 in late July and is awaiting the announcement of his successor. Toowoomba is vacant since the infamous Bishop Morris was deposed (see below).
In NSW Lismore Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett turns 75 in December next year, but seems likely to stay in place for some time later. Bishop Luc Matthys of Armidale turned 75 in May last year but seems unlikely to be quickly replaced. In Maitland-Newcastle, the early retirement of Bishop Malone and his replacement by Bishop William Wright seems likely to prove wholly positive. Broken Bay in Sydney's North will have to wait until 2013 for Bishop David Walker to retire.In Sydney the recent appointment of Bishop Peter A. Comensoli as an Auxiliary is very promising. Bishop Fisher in Parramatta is proving a cause of encouragement to the faithful as expected. Canberra – Goulburn is not due for change until 2023, unless Archbishop Mark Coleridge is appointed to Brisbane for example.
Wollongong and Wagga will not see their Bishops turn 75 until 2016. Wicannia-Forbes remains vacant and the adjoining Bathurst Diocese is still in the very early stages of the episcopacy of Bishop McKenna.
The early death of the Bishop of Sandhurst in the last days of 2010 has left this significant See vacant. The Diocese of Sale is in the early stages of the episcopate of Bishop Prowse. In Ballarat, Bishop Connors turns 75 in March next year. Mercifully, Melbourne is stable until 2016.
Across Bass Strait, Hobart’s Archbishop Doyle is 75 in mid November this year.
In Adelaide, Archbishop Wilson might long to be free of that Cross, but the eruption of the Hepworth allegations might cause any early move ( say to Perth) to seem in the media linked in some way to his handling of the allegations . The issue seems to complicate consideration of moving him. Many have been disappointed by his time in Adelaide, but the lack of change seems more to reflect the depth of the problems there, than his inadequacy.
The appointment of Bishop O’Kelly to Port Pirie in mid 2009 appears to have been a favourable development.
In the West Perth is awaiting the appointment of the successor to Archbishop Barry Hickey who turned 75 in mid April this year.
Bunbury Diocese has as its Bishop Gerard Holohan since June 2001.He had been the longtime Director of Perth’s Catholic Education Office. The Diocese of Geraldton has Bishop Justin Bianchini who does not reach 75 until 2016. In Broome Diocese, Bishop Saunders does not turn 75 until 2025. He is originally a Queenslander.
Finally, in Darwin Diocese Bishop Eugene Hurley is in the early years of his possession of the See.
So, we note that within about 15 months, 7 individual Sees will receive new Ordinaries and, of these, three are Archiepiscopal Sees and two of them are Metropolitan Sees.
|Cardinal George Pell|
The great and steady rock upon which all Australian hopes have so long rested and continue to rest for some years of course, is Cardinal George Pell in Sydney. God grant him a long and strongly continuing possession of the See of Sydney.
Bishop Finnegan’s role as Apostolic Administrator of Toowoomba, in the wake of the long-awaited deposition of the rebellious William Morris, was always going to be difficult. But being embarrassed into concelebrating a Mass of “Thanksgiving” for the episcopacy of Morris. Concelebrants were Morris himself, and Bishops Heenan of Rockhampton and Foley of Cairns.
The nadir of the occasion appears to have been the Heenan Homily in which the homilist likened Morris’ Deposition (they self-deludingly speak of his “retirement”) in which Morris was likened to Our Divine Lord at the Crucifixion, and he was spoken of as paralleling the Resurrection!! Considering his unfaithful record this is virtually blasphemous. Bishop Foley returned to the theme in a short article in Brisbane’s Catholic Leader.”The reasons and the motivations for what has occurred may be known only to God, Who alone may judge.”His Lordship opined. What deceitful rubbish! Everyone who read Bishop Morris’ Advent 2006 Pastoral Letter knows why and the dodgy, smarmy re-inventions of himself by Bishop Morris from shirt and tie and suit Bill, thumbing his nose at the Catholic Church into the clerically attired poor, weeping media performer are the stuff of disgust rather than sympathy.
His lack of fidelity and integrity has been patent throughout. The Holy Father had given him every opportunity over years to return to communion with him, but he arrogantly declined. Now his post-Conciliar fellow trippers are trying to re-invent the person and his misdeeds, to fashion a “martyr”. The sooner all of them and their New Church acolytes, male and female, have departed the scene, the better Christ’s Faithful will be served.