He turns 75 on 13th November,2013. That gives the New Church subversives 20 months to finish the job of undermining the Catholic Faith in the Diocese carved out of the Northern Parishes of Sydney Archdiocese in 1986.

Their campaign is being waged under the ever benign eye of the avuncular Bishop David Walker . Ever benign for all things except orthodox Catholicism that is. And let us not mention Summorum Pontificum or one might be banished to Wyong at the Northern edge of the Diocese - the only place in which the Extraordinary Form is tolerated.

But now, reports reaching us from Wahroonga Parish, in the heart of Sydney's prestigious and leafy quality residential region, relay the following extract from the Bishop's communication recently to the Parish:

“In light of all this, Bishop David wishes to propose to the community, constituted as it is by both parish and its School, a particular model of pastoral leadership for the future.  He introduced the notion of this model to the diocese through last year in a variety of contexts and wrote about it on several occasions through last year in the Broken Bay News.  In this model responsibility for the life of the parish is entrusted to a Co-ordinator of Parish Life, appointed by the Bishop.  This person is to work collaboratively with the Parish Pastoral Council, the Parish Finance Community, the Principal of the parish school, Prouille, and the staff of the parish, such as the parish Secretary, in the role of administration, animation and stewardship.  The person also works entirely collegially with the priest assigned to the parish, Fr Martin who will continue to exercise a full priestly and pastoral presence and ministry just as he has been doing.  In his model, the Priest of the parish and the Co-ordinator of Parish Life work together to serve the community in all its many dimensions."
From what we have been given to understand, what was "proposed" was then imposed and radical changes have already been forced upon the Parish.
Whilst all the New Church buzz words are there "community"' "model""leadership" "Co-ordinator""collaboratively", "animation", "stewardship"' "collegially" "priestly...presence"and"work together ", the reality seems to have all the charm of the hobnail booted Obama Administration.
Of course we are all familiar with this type of deceit - well mastered by politicians in totalitarian counties. Every word intends the opposite of its literal meaning.
But, for the moment, let us just consider the MISSING WORDS : CATHOLIC CHURCH, CANON LAW, PARISH PRIEST. What is being hidden here?
Canon 524 obliges the Bishop to appoint a Parish Priest

Canon 519 specifies :
"The Parish Priest is the proper pastor of the parish entrusted to him. He exercises the pastoral care of the community entrusted to him under the authority of the diocesan Bishop, whose ministry of Christ he is called to share, so that for this community he may carry out the offices of teaching, sanctifying and ruling with the co-operation of other Priests or Deacons and with the assistance of lay members of Christ's faithful, in accordance with the law."

Canon 522 specifies :
"It is necessary that a parish priest have the benefit of stability, and therefore he is to be appointed for an indeterminate period of time. The Diocesan Bishop may appoint him for a specified period of time only if the Bishops'Conference has by decree allowed this."

Canon 528 specifies:
"The Parish Priest has the obligation of ensuring that the word of God is proclaimed in its entirety to those living in the Parish . He is therefore to see to it that the lay members of Christ's faithful are instructed in the truths of the Faith, especially by means of the homily on Sundays and holydays of obligation and by catechetical formation . He is to foster works which promote the spirit of the Gospel, including its relevance to social justice. He is to have special care for the catholic education of children and young people. With the collaboration of Christ's faithful, he is to make every effort to bring the gospel message to those also who have given up religious practice or who do not profess the true Faith."

Canon 536 specifies: 
" #1 If, after consulting the Council of Priests, the diocesan Bishop considers it opportune, a pastoral council is to be established in each Parish. In this council, which is presided over by the Parish Priest, Christ's faithful, together with those who by virtue of their office are engaged in the pastoral care of the Parish, give their help in fostering pastoral action.

  #2  The pastoral council has only a consultative vote, and it is regulated by the norms laid down by the Diocesan Bishop."

These Canons are the the structural members of the Law governing Parishes and Parish Priest and Pastoral Councils. They are not the only ones, as the numbers show. The whole ensemble of the relevant Canons works together to ensure that what the Catholic Church does , is done, and that what the Catholic Church teaches ,is taught.  And all of these Canons work together as a symphonic whole to guarantee authenticity. In a similar way the role of the Bishop is defined and circumscribed.

The Bishop is not a free agent, he too is bound to do what the Catholic Church does and teach what the Catholic Church teaches,and the Canon Law governs all of this.

How is it then that the text of the Bishop quoted above, is so far at variance from what the Church requires?

Either, the devout and orthodox Priest at Wahroonga - is  the Canonical Parish Priest or, if not, why has the Bishop not appointed a Parish Priest as he is obliged to do? If he is an Administrator, why was a Parish Priest not appointed? And in any case, an Administrator is bound to do all that a Parish Priest is obliged to do, and to account  to the Parish Priest when appointed, for his actions. 

Holy Name Church Wahroonga
Or is this a Bishop Michael Putney ( Townsville - "the Eucharist is a symbol"!!!) situation in which the effort is made to reduce the Priest's role to a Priest Presence ( what spirit of the Council folk view as a Sacrament Dispensing Machine) while radical lay administrators takeover the destruction of the Catholic Parish.No Priest should be asked to submit to this emasculation of his Sacred Office and Canonical responsibilities.

It is not the Catholic Church intruding into Wahroonga Parish but an alien spirit altogether it seems.

For other irregular Broken Bay adventures see:http://vexilla-regis.blogspot.com.au/2011/11/thomas-more-centersic-fit-for-mission.html and http://vexilla-regis.blogspot.com.au/search?updated-max=2011-12-02T07:13:00%2B10:00&max-results=20

Twenty months more of this would be inexcusable.


Why was the largest archdiocese in the nation, at the time, the Archdiocese of Sydney split into three parts (Sydney, Parramatta, Broken Bay)back in 1986.
Kate said…
I wrote about the problems of the BB approach here, back when the bishop's lay takeover plan was first launched :http://australiaincognita.blogspot.com.au/2011/02/treasuring-your-priests-ideology-lay.html

Sad to see it still going ahead full steam
vexilla regis said…
Yours is an interesting post Kate. Bishop Walker's policy is an outrageous abuse of the Catholic Church - which is NOT his private toy to fiddle with. He needs to be stopped and Canon Law and the Holy See is the way to go in my view. Thanks for your comment.

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