Showing posts from November, 2011


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 state…


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 Hepwo…


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 Austra…



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…


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 …


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

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 …


"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 (


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!


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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 A…


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. …



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 L…


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 hi…


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 …


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 h…


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 …