Loading
Australian bishops to issue Toowoomba statement
By David Kerr
Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Canberra
Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Canberra

.- The bishops of Australia will issue a joint statement on the troubled diocese of Toowoomba, and it may be published as early as this weekend.

“I don’t think anybody has a magic wand that is going to immediately heal the wounds of division,” Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Canberra said to CNA. At the same time, he said the bishops “are preparing a statement which I think will be an important moment and we will offer to everyone the fruits of our discussions and reflections here.”

Archbishop Coleridge is currently in Rome along with the majority of his fellow Australian bishops for their regular “ad limina” meeting with the Pope at the Vatican, Oct. 10-22.

In May 2011, Pope Benedict dismissed Bishop Bill Morris of Toowoomba for his long track record of dissent from Catholic teaching and practice. The diocese is currently without a bishop.

Over the past week the Australian bishops have held discussions regarding the situation in Toowoomba with both Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, and Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Archbishop Coleridge said the talks “went very positively” and “surpassed” their expectations.

“Some of the older hands among the bishops said they were the most substantial, serious and candid discussions they can remember in all their years of coming to ad limina visits,” he said.

The subsequent statement, which he hopes can be produced by the end of this week, will now “try to offer the fruits of those discussions” both in words and in “pastoral action” to be implemented upon the bishops’ return to Australia.

He said he did not want give too many details about what the statement will contain but he did confirm that the Vatican discussions focused on “the nature of the communion of the Church, and in particular, the communion that exists between the Pope and a diocesan bishop.”

In recent weeks, several lay Catholics in the Toowoomba have expressed surprise that Bishop Morris still seems to have a high profile in the diocese. His activities have included giving a public lecture, in-service talks to teachers and officiating at parish anniversaries.

“I hope that won’t continue,” said Cardinal George Pell of Sydney to CNA. “And if he is a loyal man of the Church he’ll realize that this is totally inappropriate and that won’t continue. That is my hope.”

As for priests in the Toowoomba diocese who are keen to continue dissenting, Cardinal Pell said he hopes “that Bishop Morris will remind them of their duties to get on with life and serve the people” when their next bishop is appointed. No timescale has been given for that appointment.

Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide, President of the Australian Bishops’ Conference, said he didn’t want to “comment personally on Bishop Morris in terms of his future,” except to say that “he (Bishop Morris) is still a bishop of the Catholic Church.”

Archbishop Wilson said that they would now have to “dialogue about his future” and do so “in terms of love.”
 
The Australian bishops will meet collectively with Pope Benedict XVI on
 Oct. 20.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
24

Liturgical Calendar

April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Gospel
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:11-26
Gospel:: Lk 24:35-48

Saint of the Day

Easter Sunday »

Saint
Date
04/24/14
04/22/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Homily
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: