Ss. Peter & Paul, Bulimba

We are all familiar with the stories of pets left behind :"home alone". They work out their frustrations by wrecking the house.

On  another plane, most will remember that Archbishop Rembert Weakland wrecked the interior of Milwaukee's very fine Cathedral, "modernizing" it, including moving the Altar out of the Sanctuary, destroying the Baldacchino and dangling over the new Altar a collection of junk metal said to represent the crown of thorns! Months later the personal scandal that brought him down became public.

In many places around the world, the tide has turned strongly, and such barbarism has faltered and is actually being reversed.

But, there is always an exception to the rule, and it is to be found, in the Archdiocese of Brisbane (now under the care of an  Apostolic Administrator- the exemplary Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett of Lismore , adjoining Brisbane across the New South Wales border.)

To the East of the City of Brisbane, the Parish of Saints Peter and Paul tends to the spiritual welfare of Catholics living in the Bulimba area, which has become very popular and even trendy.

The Parish Church is a solidly built brick building in the classical basilica shape, not totally dissimilar to the nearby St.James Coorparoo.
The Church has one design misfortune, it has three circular windows in the facade, and three eyes has never been a happy look. But its misfortunes do not stop there. The Parish Priest of Saints Peter and Paul is the onetime high flying ( literally) liturgist Father "Two Tables Tom" Elich.
Father Tom Elich  - Spirit of the Council Liturgist
Two Tables , Anyone?

Father Elich was for some years head of the National Liturgical Commission and, as such, the Australian representative on the pre- reform ICEL which was responsible for the destructive mis- translation of the Novus Ordo and ongoing attempts to deform the Sacred Liturgy, until the Holy See dissolved ICEL and reconstructed it with faithful translators and reliable prelates. During those years he was in the thick of efforts to re-write the Rite for the Ordination of Bishops which was so outrageously done that it was rejected outright by the Holy See. This was the occasion of the reform of ICEL.

Father Elich and his old ICEL comrades had also attempted to have the Church accept a new Rite dubbed the Missa Simplex, which would have produced a 5-10 minute ritual stripped down to a Reading and an abbreviated Eucharistic Prayer. The Holy See torpedoed the project before it was formally completed. Thank Heaven! The intention was apparent to reduce the Sacred Liturgy to a ridiculous condition.

 Father Elich had been accustomed to fly overseas to ICEL Meetings at least four times a year. At the same time, he was head of the Archdiocese of Brisbane's Liturgical Commission which has the reputation of being the most "progressive" of its type in Australia. Further, because of Father Elich's personal disposition and volatile temperament, he had been able to keep its finances independent of the Archdiocesan system,leaving him considerable financial independence for the Commission. It has a virtual monopoly of weekday missal printing for Parishes throughout Australia, as well as many other publishing activities. These include" LITURGY NEWS" which always carried the Imprimatur of the Archbishop of Brisbane John A. "Power is evil" Bathersby now retired. Archbishop Bathersby operated largely as if he were a Constitutional Monarch- acting only on advice. Accordingly the Imprimatur was given seemingly without regard to the content of "LITURGY NEWS" even when it attacked the Holy See and presented really bizarre defenses of all manner of liturgical abuses.

IMPRIMATUR - Former Archbishop of Brisbane
John A. Bathersby
Some years ago, Father Elich was replaced as head of the National Liturgical Commission and thus from ICEL involvements. His wings thus clipped, his activity was confined to the Archdiocese and any "consulting" work he could attract in Queensland. In one such venture, in Toowoomba Diocese (of the infamous Bishop Morris), he met his match in the local people who knew all about his reputation for outrageous "wreckovations", and did not want to see their St.Patrick's Cathedral abused as St.Stephen's Cathedral Brisbane had been. Father Elich had to withdraw.

Life has become frustrating for him. The new corrected translation of the Novus Ordo is the very antithesis of everything he had worked for. In addition, the implementation of Summorum Pontificum caused him something close to a heart attack! His homily on the subject on the Sunday following the release of the Motu Proprio was so violently hostile to the Latin Mass that at least one member of the congregation felt physically ill. The "Latin Mass!"- outrage !!! And Anglicanorum Coetibus bringing even more orthodox ordinations and faithful would be for him a further set back. All in all, the good Father has suffered frustrating reverses - now, where could one find an outlet for pent-up steam?


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