Church articles 2011  

Dec 31: In memory of Vatican 2

Dec 30: New liturgy is 'Whatever'

Dec 30: A convoluted translation

Dec 28: Spanish & new translation

Dec 27: Updates

Dec 26: Final Christmas Message

Dec 26: Faith & doubt go together

Dec 26: Christmas not just for Christians

Dec 25: Catholic/Christian world figures

Dec 25: A Christmas Gift Worth Gold

Dec 23: Christmas in a broken world

Dec 23: Christmas holds us together

Dec 22: Pope's Dec 22 speech to Curia

Dec 22: Christmas & end of Iraq invasion

Dec 22: Where's the line to see Jesus?

Dec 19: Liturgy & the New Evangelisation

Dec 14: Brisbane sister honoured for anti-slavery work

Dec 14:   V2 Reminiscences

Dec 13: Community for a Better World

Dec 12: Christmas baby Jesus to be found in the poor & helpless

Dec 12:  Christmas classic - Bing's 1947 recording of 'The Small One"

Dec 11: Crisis in ministry not abating

Dec 10: Joseph Girzone on Joshua, 25 years later

Dec 9: Romero remembered

Dec 8, 2011:  Responding to change with courage

Dec 2: Belgian Catholics issue reform manifesto

Dec 2: Cardinal Ratzinger & single rite

Dec 1: Rome burning  &  new texts

Nov 28:  Hodgens: Domus & Morris

Nov 27:   Anscar Chupungeo: new translation

Nov 27, 2011:  A true Christmas story  (Google - "miracle of rubbish dump")

Nov 25:   Judge: church erred re Morris

Nov 24:  Two faces of the Catholic Church

Nov 24:  Women religious' embrace of Vatican II change commendable

Nov 23: Making do with a faulty translation

Nov 18: Digging out liturgical treasures from new translation of the Mass

Oct 24:  Bishop Bill Morris:    his reply to letter of Australian Bishops  

Aug 28: Thanksgiving Mass in Toowoomba for Bishop Bill Morris 

(from weekly diary of John Wotherspoon):

- what one 85 year old USA mother did for her daughter
- am I still a Catholic? 

(...standing up to bullying....)  See also: photos of Bishop Morris Mass
- letter of Bishop Pat Power in support of Bishop Bill Morris (see my comment)

- Benedict's retreat from Vatican II (..excellent..)
- closing the case of Bishop Bill Morris (and see comments!)  and...response from Bishop Morris
- Listen to Tom Roberts....from Australia

- Fr Anthony Ruff's comments re new translation
- lack of women will harm church

- priests are speaking out
- Australian bishops in Rome discuss Bishop Bill Morris (see comments)
- how one Scottish cardinal stood up to Rome re new translation ...lots of new background info in this article
- you can't go Rome again (see my comment, Oct 7)
- priests' call for disobedience (paragraph 2 "woman Communion" should be "women priests, Communion...")
- Indonesian bishop asks for "more space" re liturgy translation etc
- bishops visit to Rome: reflection of Fr Daniel Donovan
- what one parish is doing to create jobs and help the poor

- rising atheism in America   (.. applies to most other countries?...)
- bishop bans Communion from chalice (this is a frightening article....shades of what's to come....see my comment, Oct 1)

- Italian bishops vote to keep "for all" rather than change to "for many"
Vatican 2: lost and betrayed  (one of the best articles I've seen. Lots of info 
- especially re Pope Paul VI - that I'd never heard before)
- altar girls? (in response to two places in USA which have banned altar girls)
- what's more important than correct teaching?
Benedict has "Putinised" the church  ( Cardinal Meisner a German George Pell?) Benedict has "Putinised" the church  ( Cardinal Meisner a German George Pell?)
- compulsory celibacy strangling church
- remember  Bishop Robinson's dream 
- South Africa and the new translation
Bishop of Derry calls for end to celibacy in Catholic church   (will the bishop be fired like Bishop Bill Morris?)
- new translation muddies waters (and see my comment, posted Sep 8 HK time)
- beautiful report on Bishop Morris Mass at Toowoomba, August 28
Overflowing cathedral, many priests, several bishops - "What a good bishop he was"
Yet Benedict (encouraged by Cardinal Pell) fired him for being a bad bishop.  ?????????  (Someone has lost the plot?)
(and see Bishop Bill Morris website)
- Toowoomba farewell Mass for Bishop Bill Morris 
People no longer speaking out
  (excellent assessment of where the church is going...or not going)

Two petitions - I have signed both.  I hope many friends also will sign

Petition One:  In advance of the Australian Bishops' ad limina visits to Rome,  "Catholics for Renewal" have issued an Open Letter to Pope Benedict and the Catholic Bishops of Australia calling for action to address a number of concerns.  The Open Letter also asks for signatures to indicate support 
[Read Letter}
   My signature is no. 985

Petition Two:  - petition to pope re Bishop Bill Morris  

- exchange of letters between Vincent de Paul president and cathedral dean in Perth, Australia   (.."ouch"...)
- strong comment by Fr Dan Donovan re criticism of Vatican by Irish prime minister
....with many references to Bishop Bill Morris

The Bishop Bill Morris Story  (full page advertisement in Toowoomba Chronicle July 21, 2011)

In the Toowoomba Chronicle of 28th May,2011, Cardinal George Pell was quoted as saying 'This Diocese was divided quite badly’ and regarding critics of the Pope's decision' there's a predictable chorus from a minority'.

We would like to inform the readers of this newspaper that in our experience, this is not the case. The majority of Catholics in the Toowoomba Diocese do support Bishop Bill Morris and are concerned with the circumstances surrounding his forced retirement.

There have been thousands of messages of support worldwide for Bishop Morris and at a local level, we are angry, sad and disappointed that Bishop Morris – a selfless, caring, just and compassionate human being has been treated this way.

Over 18 years he has provided us with strong and effective leadership as Bishop of the Diocese. sets out the facts and some correspondence that may be useful for those wanting to understand more fully the worrying nature of this troubling issue.

A copy of the investigation into our Diocese, prepared and sent to Rome by Archbishop Charles Chaput has never been sighted by Bishop Morris. This is a denial of natural justice no matter what legal system is involved.

We ask those concerned to join with us in communicating with the Australian Bishops to express the need to have an enquiry into this matter [details at website].

There will be a Celebration of Thanks and Appreciation for Bishop Morris on the 28th August at the Berghofer Recreation Centre at USQ. Further details will be announced closer to that time.

[This Communication was proposed by a Group of Clergy and Laity under the Title of The Toowoomba Diocesan Leadership Group. This Group consists of all 6 Diocesan Consultors and other Priests, Heads of Diocesan Agencies and members of Bishop Bill’s Finance Board and Diocesan Pastoral Council]

The Chronicle, Thursday, July 21 2011, page 29.

- the new missal, it doesn't sing
- Marx was right - lessons for Australian church (applies to other countries too)
- winter issue of "The Swag"  (many articles refer to Bishop Bill Morris)
- new missal translation 01
- new missal translation 02

Cardinal sees 'no theological obstacle' to women priests 
(see comments, comparing him with Bishop Bill Morris)

- Bill Morris in exile   (beautiful "lest we forget" article)
- Bishop Bill Morris replies to article in West Australian "Record"

Bishop Morris case and infallibility re women's ordination
- USA theologians' meeting 
(a beautiful, positive article)
- Kung urges peaceful revolution against Roman absolutism
- Matthew Fox report  (includes these words:  "Be faithful to Matthew 25’s vision of compassion and remain true to the collegiality of Vatican II rather than to an institution that Jesus never heard of")
- The church is at her best at a funeral  - beautiful article from USA

Anglicans now explosive device of Vatican  (excellent article - by former editor of Tablet)
- resisting restorationism  (excellent article)
- the sacked bishop  (ABC Compass interview with Bishop Bill Morris  - "must read")
Observations about church of  someone recently returned from USA
- bishops rarely speak "off the cuff", even in informal gathering of priests. Must read every talk. Also must dress formally at even informal gathering of priests....full black suit, even at height of Summer  (= instructions from Vatican?)
- people who want to "turn back the clock" are getting control of parish music ministry (and then having nearly all Latin songs) and control of Communion ministry (then not having Communion from the chalice)- Morale falters in Australian Church  ("must read" - really important article)
- whatever happened to Bill Morris?
- Pope John 23 - harmless old man?  (and see my comment)
- Fr John Dear s.j. treated like Bishop Bill Morris
- Matthew Fox on JP2 & B16  (too strong? but much truth?)
- Vatican out to tighten control over Caritas:   report 1       report 2
- heard on grapevine: a petition is being prepared in Australia re sacking of Bishop Bill Morris
 (see items in this diary the past two weeks, and today's report, below) to be sent to the Vatican 
to express people's unhappiness at an act of great injustice. More details next week if available
- Europe letter of support for Bishop Morris

23/5/11    A Bishop that had to go ?    (from Vincentian website

On May 18, the online version of The Record, a publication of the Catholic Archdiocese of Perth in Western Australia, posted to its website the item  Editorial : a Bishop that had to go.  Unlike a recent letter from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference,   the Editorial saw fit to present what could be regarded as a very biased  and inaccurate view of  Bishop Bill Morris and the process that recently brought about his removal as Bishop of Toowomba Qld.  This piece of writing, appearing as it did in the Catholic Media of an Archdiocese,   initially stirred me to write some scorching comments  concerning the bias and inaccuracies contained in it..  However, with further consideration, it seemed to me that if I responded in a tone similar to that of the Editorial, then I would be no better than the author of this Editorial who appears to find meaning in delivering trenchant criticism of Bill Morris.

The Scripture Readings from the Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year A) offer some more positive thinking, and this is surely what our Church needs at the moment.  The first reading (Acts 6:1-7) speaks of the difficulties confronting the early Church in regard to neglect of the Hellenist (Greek speaking) widows.  The problem was resolved  through initiative, adaptation to the real world, and concern for pastoral care.  The Gospel (John 14:1-12) , among other ideas, speaks of Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. And so it is clear that a focus on Jesus Christ is essential in our Church.

In much of the negative discussion concerning Bishop Morris (including the Editorial referred to above),  the idea of the Church adapting to the real needs of the times, and a focus on Jesus Christ as the centre of the Church, have been put aside.  Instead, authority, discipline, and  orthodoxy have been  dominant.

So, we might well ask, while we reflect on the Scripture Readings of the Fifth Sunday of Easter : How important do we consider a focus on Jesus Christ and the needs of the times -  as compared with a focus on authority, discipline and orthodoxy ?

Tim Williams CM 

Note that the comments above are not made on behalf of the Vincentian Priests and Brothers, but are the opinion of the webmaster of this site writing as an individual.    . 

25/5/11    Is Christopher Pearson right about Bishop Morris ?

SYDNEY:  Recently, Journalist Christopher Pearson launched an attack on Bishop Bill Morris in The Weekend Australian (May 23-24 2011). He raised some serious matters that deserve closer attention.  On May 23rd, Michael Whelan SM of the Aquinas Academy offered a further reflection on the Bill Morris Case.  He questions the accuracy of some of the remarks made by Christopher Pearson, and  comments on the Vatican's view of the the vision of the Church presented in the Second Vatican Council.  [Read More]     

- comment on statement from Australian Bishops' Conference
- Australian bishops support Pope's decision to sack Bishop Morris
- Bishops' statement
- Australia's religious orders express distress at bishop's ouster
- trust at stake in Toowoomba  (I wonder if author intends "at stake" to have double in "burnt at stake"?)
(& see my comment - "comments" - May 16)
- bishops sad not mad over Morris sacking
- removal of Bishop Morris a long time coming (has info - re 1988 "Statement of Conclusions")
- bishop Morris and the Eucharist
- an open letter of support to Bishop Morris from Judith Lynch

Mum is one reason why I'm following the sacking of Bishop Bill Morris with great interest. Bill was Mum's parish priest on the Gold Coast for many years. He was really kind to her and all the older well as to everyone else. I used to help him with Masses when I was on holidays. Had known him before that in Brisbane when he was vocation director and secretary to Archbishop Rush. Last time I saw him was at 2004 Villanova re-union (he was some years ahead of me). Not forgetting Mum was from Toowoomba.
To my mind, a great injustice has been done to Bishop Bill. He had the courage to speak out about things that should be discussed.
My hope is that he will be re-instated....if enough people have the courage to speak up and support him
So many articles have been published about his sacking. I hope you have time to read at least some of them:

- "You've got to stand in your truth"  (and see links at bottom of this article)
- Frank Brennan 
- Catholica
- No room for someone like Bishop Morris?  (and see comments, including one by myself)
- church's worst enemy is the Vatican
- heavily censored/sanitized  report in Brisbane Catholic Leader 
-even more heavily sanitized report in Sydney Catholic Weekly  ("thou shalt not mention the real issues"...just like reporting of news stories in China)
- creping infallibility
- the removal of Bishop Morris (see my comments, May 9)
- temple police get their man  (this article has more details than any other re the Bishop Morris case)
- forced retirement is message (= warning)  to bishops
- he did what? he destroyed the files?

"The above situations will continue in our Church as long as the people who make up that Church are willing to accept it.  As  a Bishop, Bill Morris has spoken out - and paid the price.   It is now up to Lay People, Clergy and other Bishops to indicate their support for him, and their dissatisfaction at the inappropriate and unjust  way he and the Diocese of Toowoomba have been treated". 
 - Fr Tim Williams, Vincentian  (full text  - May 4)

- the hidden exodus: Catholics becoming Protestant  (most of them before they are 24 years old)
-Cardinal Burke an object of ridicule  (self-inflicted....and he is one of the most important people running the church in Rome. Would that he cared about climate change and world poverty etc as much as he does about his clothing)

- Fr Michael Ryan says he will accept new missal  
 (but notice sentence at end - "and if it doesn’t, we will do our best to make the best of it” ?)
- latest from Australia re new missal
- March 8, 2011: liturgy no place for dead language
- rolling back Vatican 2
- liturgical translation at crossroads  (an excellent article...)
- memo to divided church: meet the Focolare

- Australian Catholic church  facing disaster?
- bishop's urgent letter to pope - no reply
-Japan's bishops trying to stop Neo-Cats

“When was the last time you entered a Catholic church and actually were welcomed?” he asked. “Our churches and our liturgies are boring. That, I think, more than theology, is what is driving our people away from our church.
“What you need is good music, good preaching, programs for kids and a welcoming community,” he said. “If you have that, you will have a full church.” He called the Catholic church today “a lazy monopoly” around which evangelical churches “are running circles.”
- from excellent article "Bishops are scared"

- Golden Anniversary reflections
(this article was censored/removed from CathNews website)

Church Issues 2010