Sacked Australian Bishop Not Angry, But 'Sad'

In case you've not been following the dramatic saga of William Morris, the Australian bishop (of the Diocese of Toowoomba) removed by the Vatican after an apostolic visitation led by Archbishop Charles Chaput, and brought on by Morris's comments on women's ordination in 2006, here's one of the original stories in The Australian. This story includes a link to his letter to his diocese.  Here is an earlier story on CathNews, from 2009, outlining the Vatican's investigation.  And his latest comments, released today:

“I’m not angry,’’ he told radio. “I’m just sad, that’s all."

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“I’m sad for the local church, but not for myself. I’m not angry but I’ve been trying to get a process of justice… if it affects me it affects the wider community."

He said he doesn’t think the Vatican likes being questioned and that his leadership was questioned because he was seen as being too open and too inclusive.

“When I had a meeting with the Pope in 2009 he quoted back to me basically what cardinals had quoted back to me - and that was a misinterpretation of my pastoral letter.”

He says he has concerns about the way he was treated by the Vatican.

Read the rest here.

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Juan Lino
7 years 7 months ago
Thanks for the information Karl, I am learning something new.  I'm going to look into this a bit more.
Liam Richardson
7 years 7 months ago
Juan

Just because Mother Angelica attacked him didn't suddenly convert him into a progressive.

And Religious Ed conferences should never be taken as a marker of liturgical taste; progressive liturgists often battle mightily with their parochial DREs over liturgical desiderata.

The assumption that Cdl Mahony is a progressive is more a product of circumstances, insinuation and myth than reality.
david power
7 years 7 months ago
My sympathies are not with the archbishop, who may or may not be a man Of God.
  What he reports about the papal words are indicative of a waspish ,sinful vatican that is in need of a virile sweep.
In Rome it it is said that the Vatican is the head of Archigay(leading gay movement) and anybody who lives here would never disagree with this.One cannot move without meeting a limpwristed cleric.
My thoughts are not against those with such inclinations but those who see a holiness in play-pretend.

Nietzsche is the true liberation of Christianity, those who attack him are or would be the defenders of Ceasar or whatever is the ruling power.

Nonetheless,t?o make women bishops would be to put me?n in short skirts??.  
???E??a?c?h? ?o???f?????? ?u?s? ?s?e?e?k?s? ??C????hr?i?s???????t?? ?a?n?d? ?i?t? ???i?????s?? ???????  ??C??h?r?i?s?t? ?a?l?o?n?e? ?w?h?o? ?d?o?e?s????   ?n?o????t? ?f?a?i?l? ?u?s?????????!
david power
7 years 7 months ago
Six bloody  comments to say such a simple thing.  
God has willed otherwise....................
Jim McCrea
7 years 7 months ago
Just another example of Vatican strategy that can be summarized as:  "They eat their own, don't they?"

At least he is now free to stop being so cautious in what he says and speak more boldly about this ideas and thoughts.

I hope he doesn't think that eventually some one of the Vaticanes will say:  Gee, we made a mistake:  mea maxima culpa!

Fat chance of that.
ed gleason
7 years 7 months ago
Bishop Morris has a good open face. As Lincoln said 'everyone over 40 is responsible for his face'
Vatican take note..
7 years 7 months ago
Not only has Pope Benedict done a great job in naming new bishops but he also insists that existing bishops teach the truth.  That is what a bishop is supposed to do.

Long live Pope Benedict XVI!
Brendan McGrath
7 years 7 months ago
They remove him for that, but not other bishops for covering up sex abuse?  (Or were there other reasons to remove him that would have included something like that?)

ed gleason
7 years 7 months ago
 Haven't we watched the Vatican bureaucrats  and BXVI bend over backwards to accommodate the SSPX bishops who spit back at them.?? Why the stooping?? because the SSPX  has a fanatical lay following motivated by fear of change. .They are organized around the issue of the Latin Mass. They are listened to. The progressive bishops seem to have only the support of a laity of 'those about to walk away'. We need a push back laity  organized around  at least 25% of the priests who will be willing to say NO to the changes in the language of the Mass. Don't get mad/leave/fret..... organize. Just keep saying the Mass the way it has been said for the last 40 years..learn to expect/endure the anonymous letters by the Trads to Rome or the bishop. ARISE>> WE HAVE ONLY OUR SELF RESPECT TO LOSE.    
Todd Flowerday
7 years 7 months ago
Another PR blunder by the B16 papacy. Resignations tendered but not accepted. Resignations not offered, but lied about. All as more abuse cover-up is revealed.

A bishop of a city of 128,000 on an isolated continent: just 15 years ago, this story would have been completely unnoticed. But abuse survivors, progressives, and Benedict-apologists alike will fan this for awhile.

Enter the cheerleaders-what a way to do theology.
Vince Killoran
7 years 7 months ago
"A bishop of a city of 128,000 on an isolated continent"

Todd, I have a couple of Aussie replies to that but IAT has a "no swearing" policy.
david power
7 years 7 months ago
@David Smith,

Thanks for the advice :).

@Fr Martin,

Thanks for taking the effort. I preferred the theological interpretation that somehow God was monitoring my anger.But you and David Smith are probably right that it is a technical fault.
No, nothing of importance to reprint.

Pax  
Mark Harden
7 years 7 months ago
". Just keep saying the Mass the way it has been said for the last 40 years"

The irony seems to escape this commenter, that in 1970 there were many, many Catholics saying ". Just keep saying the Mass the way it has been said for the last FOUR HUNDRED years.
Juan Lino
7 years 7 months ago
It is sad to see, but not surprising, that there are people inside the Church advocating disobedience.  Perhaps the Church in the West should make the "extraordinary form" the norm and make the "novus Ordo" the rare one - this would circumvent all the whining about language. 

For those interested, here's another point of view on this situation: http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/otc.cfm?id=805

ed gleason
7 years 7 months ago
Flavio. I missed nothing... the Trad minority are getting their way.. they still receive on the tongue, still kneel when on line [causing tripping in the asile] they get the ill attended Latin mass etc.. I just noted that 'pushback works' for them and  walkaway for us  does not.
Anne Chapman
7 years 7 months ago
Another sign of how distorted the Vatican's priorities are.  Rome has yet to remove, or even slap the hands, of a  single bishop who knowingly hid the crimes of those who sexually abused children. Not one.  It has done nothing so far against the Belgian pedophile bishop other than tell him to get out of Belgium.

However, it has wasted no time in removing a bishop simply because he said he believes that it wouldn't hurt to talk about some things - including ways to deal with the shortage of priests.  It seems that Rome has no understanding of the gospels, of Jesus's life and teachings.  None.  Power, prestige, possessions, privilege - and patriarchy.  Is that what the priorities of the church have been reduced to?

Ed, you are right.  Walking away doesn't get their attention. They are perfectly happy to have that happen. Rome doesn't want anyone in this church who questions one thing they do or say - they don't want anyone to actually think - they seem to prefer ''obedient'' automatons.  While leaving may do nothing to move  church thinking out of the 15th century, it may be the only way some of us will be able to live with ourselves, sleep at night, and move on in the spiritual life, no longer worn out by dealing with the the enormous and growing sense of betrayal many feel at the actions of the leadership of the church.  Enough. The church chooses to demean and patronize women, while rewarding those like Cardinal Law whose decisions led to literally hundreds of children and young teens being molested by priest who could have been stopped and turned over to the civil authorities. 

How Jesus must be weeping.
ed gleason
7 years 7 months ago
Here is a natural for progressive pushback.. being old it would take me about a year to learn to use the new ill translated words at Mass being suggested this fall. . I have NO intention of even trying to learn to use  them at my age. I will continue to use the words of response I have used in the last forty years with my usual loud voice. any 'looks' will be met with 'get over it' ..'call a cop'.. The aisle kneelers will be the ones giving the 'looks'
Jack Barry
7 years 7 months ago
His speaking out with carefully hedged, constructive thoughts is given as the reason behind Bishop Morris's departure.  The Bishop earned public acclaim, including from his appointed successor in Toowoomba, for his good sense and sensitivity in handling sexual abuse matters in 2007-2008.  It should be hard to imagine that such performance had anything to do with his removal.  
http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/priests-voice-support-for-axed-qld-bishop-20110503-1e5kv.html   
Todd Flowerday
7 years 7 months ago
"Todd, I have a couple of Aussie replies to that but IAT has a "no swearing" policy."

Vince, no offense intended. I did get the size of the city right. Nothing at all wrong, bad, or shameful about being a small city on an island continent.

As for the possible reactions to this, I agree that walking away isn't helpful. More fun for some of us, and more annoying for "them"-the gadfly approach. What that might involve ...
Juan Lino
7 years 7 months ago
Everyone always harps on Cardinal Law but the former Archbishop of Los Angeles always seems to get a pass – is that because Cardinal Mahoney is a progressive darling?  Reading the way Mahoney blocked the investigations makes Law look like an amateur.

It always warms my heart to remember that the future is with the young faithful Catholics who are not interested in the “concerns/pet peeves” of the aging progressives.   The 60’s project failed – get over it.
7 years 7 months ago
I too think the sacking of bishop Morris was awful - in anothert era, more than a hint of the inquisition.
Without defending Cardinal Mahony, the post by Mr. Lopez is both one sided and lacks any sense of the awful leadership, even continuing, of Cardinal Law.
But ideology rules the blog wave expressions.

Juan Lino
7 years 7 months ago
I love your pithy touché Norman! 

Questions: Does every comment have to be insightful and incisive?  Can't they just be sententious? 

Perhaps one can argue that comments have different "genres" and that writers are free to use whatever "genre" they wish - seems to be the case here often.

And I do agree that the comments are always a pleasure to read.
ed gleason
7 years 7 months ago
Norman; Lahey will not be disciplined.He goes to a monastery.  There was not a flood of anonymous emails/letters  about Lahey to Vatican  bureaucrats as happened in Morris case in Toowoomba.
The Trads have never had such 'fun' with these anonymous letters since exposing Jewish conversos in medieval Spain.  
JOHN SULLIVAN
7 years 7 months ago
What occurred with Morris is just another example of how clueless the "good ole boys" in the Vatican are, and, indeed, irrelevant to Christ's witness to the world. Most of them would do well to practice real ministry to individuals in hospitals, among the poor and disenfranchised-spend some time as missionaries! Get a taste of the real world! Leave the Church? Why give them the satisfaction of abandoning Christ's Church. This too shall pass. Visit the laity and religious who daily give witness by serving others in need; that's where you'll find the Church.
Anne Chapman
7 years 7 months ago
Juan,

I have no use for Mahoney either.  But, Rome gave Law a prestigious basilica in Rome, a very comfortable apartment in Rome, a driver and car, three nuns to cook and clean for him (women who ''know'' their place ''proper'' place, obviously), and a good income. It also gave him a job on several Vatican commissions, including the one that vets possible bishops.  As far as I know, they have not ''rewarded'' Mahoney with any of these things.

If I were in charge, Mahoney, Law, Egan, Rigali, Murphy, McCormack and many, many others would all be sent to work in either the inner cities of the world, or in a third world country.  Some would have be forcibly laicized - the Belgian pedophile bishop, for example. The rest if this sorry lot would no longer enjoy mansions, servants, and limousines, nor would they be able to spend literally millions of the dollars of the ordinary people in the pews ''renovating'' a building to house their luxury apartment, complete with expensive oriental rugs, original art on the walls, and a two -zone wine cooler.  They would live as those they serve live - which probably means no indoor plumbing, much less air conditioning, or two-zone wine coolers. 
 
These men claim to be the direct spiritual ''descendants'' of the apostles.  Perhaps it's time they give up the luxury lifestyle of ''princes'' that they now enjoy, and live more like the poor fishermen and carpenters.  The message of Jesus and the gospel has been lost.
 
Jim McCrea
7 years 7 months ago
"Perhaps it's time they give up the luxury lifestyle of 'princes' that they now enjoy, and live more like the poor fishermen and carpenters."

Anne:  whatever you are smoking or drinking to give your these delightful fantasies, please share your secret!
Lorcan Cunningham
7 years 7 months ago
Bishop Morris may well have been a popular and thoughtful pastor, but any faithful Catholic who has read his notorious 2006 Advent pastoral letter to his diocese, which was the key document which led to his sacking, would be utterly horrified at the heresies and confused, heterodox thinking contained in that document. Contrary to the established doctrines of the Church, Bishop Morris in that pastoral letter stated that abolition of clerical celibacy; married priesthood; female priests; and appointment of Protestant ministers within the Catholic Church (how bizarre) could all be legitimately discussed as potential options in order to help the Eucharist be celebrated. The Bishop also regularly dressed in ordinary clothes, and did not have the courage to dress in appropriate priestly clothes, as he should have done in order to show his witness to the Lord. The only wonder is that it took so long to remove such a dangerously heterodox thinker, who was clearly leading the faithful in his diocese away from true doctrine, thus truly causing scandal. A prolonged period of silence on the Bishop's part would now be in order, however, it seems that he is now determined to attack the Church, and to attack His Holiness the Pope, showing perhaps that his loyalty to his bizarre and heterodox liberalism is greater than his loyalty to the Church which has nourished and supported him for all these years. We can all only pray that Bishop Morris, and other misguided liberals within the Church, see the error of their ways and repent, or move over to an ecclesial community like the Episcopalian Church whose doctrines they would find more congenial.
Liam Richardson
7 years 7 months ago
Mahony is not a "progressive darling". He came in as an conservative establishment man and left as moderate one - he didn't change, but the center moved in his direction. Most progressives never considered him one of our own. His handling of abuse cases deepened that alienation.
Liam Richardson
7 years 7 months ago
Oh, and children who don't know the tools of canon law should not be too eager to wield them so recklessly.

I doubt there is a solid canonist who would heartily support an argument that the Advent Pastoral letter constituted canonical heresy. And not wearing clerics is not heresy, either.

Jeez.

Accusing someone of heresy who hasn't clearly committed it is more scandalous than the behavior that prompted the accusation.

Let Rome decide if a canonical trial for heresy is warranted. If it thinks so, it can readily do so. If not, that's probably very telling.
david power
7 years 7 months ago
Lorcan,

With all due respect the only catholic who could be scandalized by things like that these days would be those who had spent the last 5 years on an island with no contact with the outside world. 
He said "discuss" ,nothing more.He is a bishop and so has the right to speak his mind. 
Both Pope Ratzinger and Pope Wojtyla regularly did not wear clerical clothes.In most of his years as a theology professor Pope Benedict wore a suit.
Later of course Pope John Paul would refuse to shake the hands of Priests who were not in uniform(He must have spent all of his forgiveness on Agca! :) sorry.) 
There was an Apocryphal Gospel that claimed St Paul was often in civvies but there is no proof.  
Married Piests?  Until this year I thought it was a bad idea.Now I am not so sure.When I lived in Mexico I went on the Missions to Chiapas with a wonderful young seminarian.Very humble and prayerful and a young man whose gracious manner showed me how far I was from the Lord.He had done a couple of years seminary at that stage.We lost touch but then a few days ago he contacted me on Facebook.
"Norberto is now in a relationship" were the words that shook me to the core. He had left the path of priesthood and now was in a budding romance.Still in love with God but also in love with a young mexican woman. I still recall how truly devout and dare I say Holy he was.The Loss is the Church's. The people of Chiapas received a visit from a Priest once a year because of shortages.

Innovations like compulsory celibacy make traditionalists like me a little nervous.A chaste priest would be the Glory of the Lord.Fr Martin in one of his books gives a very nice explanation of the difference between the two.

      
Bill Mazzella
7 years 7 months ago
More and more the Eucharist is conducted by foreign priests in the US.  Not that Ghana, India and Nigeria (among others) do not need priests. But there is money and the the Land of Plenty here. So US bishops pay the bishops of the sending dioceses. This is how an empire church works. The people of Ghana, India and Nigeria go without while the money churches get help. Of course this all helps lead to community since the foreign priest mix in even less than their American counterparts. 

The Vatican knows it is on a downward plunge. They are like the narcissist leaders who refused to see the French Revolution coming.  

 
Juan Lino
7 years 7 months ago
Well Anne, you are probably going to be surprised to learn that I actually agree with many of the ideas in your latest post but others, IMO, are a bit off.  In fact, my spiritual director once accused me of being anti-clerical because I go on and on about the narcissism of many – not all – priests.  And if you want to experience that, question them about something they’ve done or did not do.  I think, however, that you’ve already had that experience.  So my motto is, “respect the Office but be skeptical about the man until proven wrong.”  I admit that that might not be the best policy but it works for me.
 
Karl – I am shocked about what you wrote in #30 because I can’t believe that he was ever considered a “conservative” and I certainly don’t consider him a “moderate”.  Regarding what you said in #31, I agree (except for the snide remarks, although I certainly make them myself!).
 
David – As you well know the question of married priests in the Latin Church is a discipline and so it can change.  Should it?  I am not sure it’s a good idea from a practical point of view.  
 
Norman – I don’t like that plea deal at all!!! 
 
Lastly, I think all of us (especially me) should remember that there is a fine line between playfulness and uncharitable attacks. 
Liam Richardson
7 years 7 months ago
Juan,

I remember that that Mahony was considered to be in the same mold as Law and O'Connor - conservative on doctrinal matters, but willing to speak for labor on economic issues. He was not considered anything like the progressive bishops appointed in the prior 20 years.

From the NY Times in 1985 when Mahony was appointed:

"Bishop Mahony, as a parish priest in Los Angeles, where he was born, and in Stockton, a farming center in California's rich Central Valley, has had a reputation for sticking close to the Vatican's position on such disputed issues within the church as abortion and birth control while helping to lead efforts for social and economic change."

Todd Flowerday
7 years 7 months ago
"Everyone always harps on Cardinal Law but the former Archbishop of Los Angeles always seems to get a pass – is that because Cardinal Mahoney is a progressive darling?"

Two things:

1. spell check: always doubt a "Mahoney" commentator.

2. Mahony is a JP2 boy through and through. We progressives don't want him. He's all yours.
Mark Harden
7 years 7 months ago
"I will continue to use the words of response I have used in the last forty years"

Not that he wants to divide the Church of the faithful or anything! If a RadTrad loudly proclaimed the responses in Latin at Ed's usual Mass, no doubt that person would be rudely shunned.

"The people of Ghana, India and Nigeria go without while the money churches get help."

Would be interesting to see a source, Bill, for the claim that those nations have an even more dire shortage of priests than does the U.S. I was not able to find anything substantiating it through Google search...
Vince Killoran
7 years 7 months ago
Flavio's Googling skills are even worse than mine!  In a couple of minutes, I found several articles with official figures on this, including one from-AMERICA's "In All Things"!

I refer you to: http://www.americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?blog_id=2&entry_id=2919
Juan Lino
7 years 7 months ago
Hey Karl - a couple of things.

First, I didn't know Mother Angelica attacked him and so I had to ask about that among some of my older friends.

Second, you taught me something new because my research shows that you are right when you write "The assumption that Cdl Mahony is a progressive is more a product of circumstances, insinuation and myth than reality" - so thanks!

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