Show Comments (27)Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.Barry Moorhead7 years 4 months ago1. Let's just look at things from the Bishop's point of view: by 2014 he will have 9 priests (max) for a local Church that is larger than the state of California.2. I did not see in the Advent letter anything more than a invitation to discussion.3. By treating a bishop as a local manager I think the Holy See is paving the way for the lawyers who are arguing that the Vatican must bear responsibility for the way their ''managers'' handled the sex-abuse in their local churches.4. I suspect that Orthodox Christians are looking at this and probably distancing themselves even more from Rome. Thomas Piatak7 years 4 months agoBishop Morris seems like a nice man. But he could have avoided dismissal if he had bothered to read and take to heart the following: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_22051994_ordinatio-sacerdotalis_en.htmlPope John Paul II, exercising the authority Christ gave to Peter and his successors, affirmed the timeless teaching of the Church that women cannot be ordained to the priesthood, and wrote that "this judgment is to definitively held by all the Catholic faithful." That includes, preeminently, bishops, whose job is to teach the faith, not subvert it.It should be noted, too, that ordaining women to the priesthood would make reunion with the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches impossible. Since these are the churches with whom we have the most in common, opposition to the ordination of women to the priesthood is in fact a measure of the seriousness of one's commitment to ecumenism. Those Catholics who defy the clear teaching of Peter and advocate the ordination of women are also indicating that have no desire to see the reunion of all the branches of Christianity that trace their origins to the Apostles.Todd Flowerday7 years 4 months agoMany people have read Ordinatio Sacerdotalis and come away unimpressed. Sad that the mark of orthodoxy always comes down to a book learning thing. Or politics. If only Bishop Bill had read more widely. If only he didn't muse openly about vocations drying up. If only he smooched up to the Temple Police. Does Peter have the keys to the kingdom or not? Does Peter pay attention when a blanket full of pigs and shellfish descend from heaven or not? Does Peter pay attention when confronted about circumcision and Jewish practice and Gentile converts? Did Peter bar women from the Eucharist because the Last Supper was seemingly only attended by men?The issues with the Orthodox go far deeper than disciplinary aspects of who gets ordained.For the ecumenical card to get played, one would have to approve of a parents neglecting their own estranged children in order to play with kids in the next neighborhood. It might be that Rome, as long as it insists on its brand of primacy, would hear from the Orthodox to get a great many thing in order before the other side gets serious about unity.Tom Maher7 years 4 months agoBishop Morris is not in harmony with the interests of the church. Instead he has actively agitated against traditonal church policy of not ordanining women which is fully in force up to the present. It is known to all that recent popes have have continued have clearly stated their oppossiton to the ideas taht Bishop Morris is promoting. The Pope is the leader of the church not a independent-minded bishop from a far-away rural dioscese far from the rest of the world. Bishop Morris has become a disruptive force within the church in his clear opposition to the pope.A Bishop office should not be used as a platform for insurgency aganist established church policy and the pope. . Bishops are appointed by the pope and are expected to serve the pope and to support the pope's decisons and established policies. The idea of a free-agent Bishop with his own independent teachings contrary to the pope's is not tenable and makes no sense in the traditions of teh Catholic church. Bishop Morris' independence of the pope provides Nand has no foundation for justice or recourse. The idea that the Bishop is owed some kind of process in the name of justice from the pope's authority is not tenable or acceptable. The Bishop serve at the pleaseure of the pope. Bishops are not free-agent or equal to the pope. Bishop are subordinate to the pope's authortiy. Bishop Morris unrealistically expect more than is reasonable in persisting in promoting of his ideas which he knows are contrary to established church policy and are contrary to the wishes of the present pope. He is not functioning in harmony with the pope and the pope's teaching and therefore must be removed to perserve the pope's authority and maintain correct church teaching and church unity.Bishops just do not have any role or use as adversaries to the pope. If a Bishop can not serve the pope then they should resign. It is not acceptable to have a Bishop's ideas and advocacy contrary to the policies of the pope. The pope has no other choice than to remove this Bishop in order to pereserve the pope's authority, teachings and preserve harmony and unity in the church. The pope's authority is supreme over all Bishops individually or collectively. Bishop Morris is not respectful of the pope's authority and therefore must be removed. Vince Killoran7 years 4 months agoThe Church>Popeed gleason7 years 4 months agoWe have here two contradictory arguments justifying removal of bishop Morris.Tom Piatak argues advocating ordination of women would destroy chances ofre-union with the Orthodox.Tom Maher, in five paragraphs argues for a papacy with such power that would make the Orthodox flee for another 1000 years. Both of these posters' arguments extinguish each other. Let's pray for more men like Bishop Morris stepping forward. Mark Harden7 years 4 months ago"I cannot think of a single instance in scripture, in church teaching, or in the tradition of the church that supports it."Lumen gentium:4. As Supreme Pastor of the Church, the Supreme Pontiff can always exercise his power at will, as his very office demands. Though it is always in existence, the College is not as a result permanently engaged in strictly collegial activity; the Church's Tradition makes this clear. In other words, the College is not always "fully active It is clear throughout that it is a question of the bishops acting in conjunction with their head, never of the bishops acting independently of the Pope. In the latter instance, without the action of the head, the bishops are not able to act as a College: this is clear from the concept of "College." This hierarchical communion of all the bishops with the Supreme Pontiff is certainly firmly established in Tradition.*****[end quotation]If the College of Bishops must accept this sort of deference to the Pope - according to Vatican II - then one can only surmise that an individual bishop is even less authorized to oppose the Supreme Pontiff. Vince Killoran7 years 4 months ago"[T]he Supreme Pontiff can always exercise his power at will, as his very office demands."What is that "power"? Tom Maher7 years 4 months agoDear Jim Keane S.J. (#4) Thanks for asking where I get my conclusions about the Bishop Morris removal.I approach the Bishop Morris removal from an oganizational and management prospective rather than a scriptural, church teaching or the tradition of the church. Any organization such as the Catholic church in order to survive and be effective must continuously resolve what is known as the "control issue" as the first order of business. The control issue is about who is in charge. Someone must be in charge otherwise you run into immeadiate endless conflicts of authority leading to chaos. So organizations must have the control issue resolved at all times so everyone knows who is in charge, who has the authority to decide an issue (and who does not.) Most funtional organizations are structured with clear lines of authority. Bishop Morris clearly does not recognze and respect the pope's authority as a practicle matter. But the pope is in charge no t the Bishops in the Catholic Church. The Bishop therefore must go or the church will be harmed by noit having a clear answer to the question who is in charge? The resolution of the control issue in the Catholic church is always the pope is in charge not the Bishop(s) or anyone else for that matter. 7 years 4 months agoI'd hate to work in any organization Tom Maher ran - sounds like a real beaurocrat, everything top down, no collabaration. lots of secrecy and fawning towards those up the line!The affair of this poor Bishop makes me think of the recent post by Msgr. Harry Byrne at his Archangel blog that the Vatican is nop ta shining light on the hill but a city rapped in fog(it's own incapsulation, as it does not listen.)Many intelligent folk beleive there is a profound governnace problem in our Church and will lok at this incident with less and less respect for Rome.If the Church is to resolve its diificulties, "control"(read power) is not the answer but service.Jim McCrea7 years 4 months agoThe sooner that the de facto division in this church becomes de jure, the better off we all will be.Mark Harden7 years 4 months ago"The sooner that the de facto division in this church becomes de jure, the better off we all will be."Don't let the door hit you in the way out. Martin Gallagher7 years 4 months agoJim McCrea (12) writes, "The sooner that the de facto division in this church becomes de jure, the better off we all will be."I think we have enough Protestant denominations. Let's stick with Christ's Church.david power7 years 4 months agoDon't You all see?This is divine humour! Christ is still trusting in Peter,knowing full well that he is filled with humanity.I myself would have gone for Bergoglio but Jesus was wrong with Judas and so is wrong with Ratzinger.Or is it Peter?I dont know anymore. In a terrible nightmare I dreamt that we were all together.There was Franco,Maciel.El Che,Wojtyla,Romero,Ratzinger,Hurtado,Siri,Castro,Day,One side shouting "Us " and Christ shouting "all" on and on it went until Christ was the only voice heard .Even Wojtyla was tired of voice and so finally Jesus could be heard . "All" were his last words . It still awaits the approval of the CDF. Vince Killoran7 years 4 months agoWe're the Church, not a fan club for the Bishop of Rome. We arrive back at this question time & again here, i.e., what "power" does the Pope hold exactly? It seems enough for some of us to clip and paste "[T]he Supreme Pontiff can always exercise his power at will, as his very office demands" without understanding what this means fully. It's not an absolute monarchy.Vince Killoran7 years 4 months agoThanks for the link David. I thought the most interesting part of the story was the "update" at the bottom where it reports that Pope Benedict asserted to Bishop Morris "that Pope John Paul II had said irrevocably and infalliably that women cannot be ordained."This is a jarring development-is this the fourth ever infalliable definition from the Pope as the author claims? Does it fulfill the requirements?Tom Maher7 years 4 months agoDavid (# 16) So in other words "Life is but a dream. Wa Wa Wa" ? This is all mind over matter. If we all think happy thoughts we will al get along and lways positive outcomes like our Protestant friends suggest in the "power of positive thinking"? Or is this "Everybody is a star"? Are you promoting some kind of new-age philosophy as a replacement for the church and its teachings? david power7 years 4 months ago@Tom,I assume that you were referring to me but my comment was at No.14.Also David Smith just gave a link and I am the only one who gave a hardly legible rant with another view of Religion.A new Religion?No,been tried too often and it never works.New Age? I believe in the Catholic Church or at least I believe that it is the one ,true ,Holy Church that Jesus founded.It is the descendant of the original community that caused so many problems.Church teaching?What is Church teaching when you boil it down? Could a simple person understand it or would it need a degree in theology ? These are disciplinary questions and they have to be respected but if they occupy more than 1% of the head space we give to God then it means that we are no longer faithful to Christ. I agree with the teachings of the Church but know that they are often abused by those who seek to fulfill their lust for power. It is a tool and a weapon, that allows one catholic to believe that the controlling of another is done for the best. I ,like you, think that Jack Welch would have been a great Pope.I am tired of liberals beating on with their nonsense and ridiculous worldview and would gladly have them rounded up and forcefully removed from the Church. But that is just how I feel ,I dont think for a second that my inclination is in any way Christian ,or of Christ.Do you believe that yours is? Craig McKee7 years 4 months agoFor all the armchair canon lawyers out there, might I refer you to the FINAL words of the 1983 Codex Iuris Canonici:CURA ANIMARUM LEX SUPREMA EST!The care of souls is the SUPREME LAW!So ultimately, Bishop Morris is blameless.And the Pope who promulgated the Code knows it.And the Pope who removed him knows it.Along with countless others around the world...Craig McKee7 years 4 months agoOh, Maria. Which page of which chapter of which book of Fr. John Hardon's did you lift this one from?Jim McCrea7 years 4 months agoFlavio #12: I wouldn't think of leaving my church to the likes of you!Martin #13: And where exactly is this "Christ's church" that you mention? If you are thinking that it is the Roman Catholic Church, I have a bridge that I will sell you quite cheaply.7 years 4 months agoMr McKee: I am not easily deterrred, lol. St.Cyprian went on:“If a man does not hold to this oneness of Peter, does he imagine that he still holds the truth? If he deserts the Chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, has he still confidence that he is in the Church?”“Now this oneness we must hold firmly and insist on—especially we who are bishops and exercise authority in the Church—so as to demonstrate that the episcopal power is one and undivided too. Let none mislead the brethren with a lie, let none corrupt the true content of the faith by a faithless perversion of the truth.” Jim McCrea7 years 4 months agoFor Martin, Maria and other like-minded believers:I suspect that the Orthodox churches will disagree quite strongly with the belief that the current Roman Catholic Church is "Christ's church" in the sense that it and it only is the church estalished by Christ. Until 1054 when the formal split took place between the Eastern Churches and the Latin Rite Church, there was no Roman Catholic Church per se. In fact, Constantine moved the primary location of the church form Rome to then-Byzantium, soon to be consecrated Constantinople in 330. Having restored the unity of the Empire and sponsored the consolidation of the Christian Church, he was well aware that Rome was an indefensible capital. When the political seat was moved, so also was moved a major focus of the church. Constantine’s foundation gave prestige to the Bishop of Constantinople, who eventually came to be known as the Ecumenical Patriarch, vying for honor with the pope, which ultimately contributed to the Great Schism that divided Latin (Western) Christianity from Eastern Orthodoxy from 1054 on.I recommend Philip Jenkins’ opus “The Lost History of Christianity” in which he details the history of what are now known as the Oriental churches which split with the rest of the hurch over differences in Christological terminology. This split took place after the Councils of Nicaea (321), Ephesus (431) and ultimately Chalcedon(451). There were also Nestorian (beginning in the 5th century) and Jacobite churches in flourishing existence throughout much of the Middle East, Africa and Asia long before the Latin churches were, at best, tenuously established in Europe.The Roman Catholic Church is better described as the largest survivor of the original churches as opposed to being the original. To quote Jenkin's work (page 25): "The uprooting (of the Asian Churches between 1200 & 1500 by Islam) created the Christianity that we commonly think of today as the true historical norm, but which, in reality was the product of the elimination of alternative realities. Christianity did indeed become 'European', but about a millennium later than most people think."Is this survival of what is now called Roman Catholicism proof that it is “Christ’s church?” I think it more an accident of history as opposed to any Divine Imprimatur. 7 years 4 months agoI refer you to St. Cyprian:"“The Enemy, seeing his idols abandoned and his temples and haunts deserted by the ever growing numbers of the faithful, devised a fresh deceit, using the Christian name itself to mislead the unwary. He invented heresies and schisms so as to undermine the faith, to corrupt the truth, to asunder our unity. Those whom he has failed to keep in the blindness of their old ways he beguiles, and leads them up a new road of illusion. He snatches people away from within the Church herself, and while they think that coming close to the light they have not done with the night of the world, he plunges them suddenly into darkness of another kind. They still call themselves Christians after abandoning the Gospel of Christ and the observance of His law; though walking in darkness they think they still enjoy the light.”Anne Chapman7 years 4 months agoJim,Your history lesson is correct. One of my very closest friends is Orthodox. I know from our close friendship and spending much time with her at various Orthodox liturgies and events that the Orthodox consider themselves to be the "one true church" - it is the Western church (Latin) that is in schism - the Orthodox are the direct inheritors of the early church.Juan Lino7 years 4 months agoJim - I've read Jenkin's before but not that particular book so I can't say anything about the book at the moment. I have, however, read books (polemical and not) written by both Catholic and Orthodox Christians and based on what I've read, I am not sure that it is accurate to say that it's an "accident of history" for a variety of reasons, the major one being that it presupposes that Christ is NOT the Lord of History too!I agree with you Anne that the Orthodox also consider themselves the One True Church, although we Latin Rite Catholics would say that they are apostolic, as are the Thomas Christians. Which branch of "Orthodoxy" does your friend belong to Anne?The dispute seems to be about the Primacy of Peter and I have found two books to be of great help to me: The Primacy of Peter by John Meyendorff and The Russian Church and the Papacy by Vladimir Soloview. There are others I could mention but they are a good start.Anne Chapman7 years 4 months agoJuan, she's Greek.