Loading
Retired Australian bishop admits past inappropriate behavior
By Marianne Medlin

.- A prominent Australian bishop who resigned two years ago issued an apology citing past hurtful and inappropriate behavior as reasons for stepping down from his post. 

“Since resigning as bishop...in 2009 and living in retirement now, I have had the time to reflect back on my life,” said Bishop Christopher Toohey, who previously led the diocese of Wilcannia Forbes in New South Wales.

“My behavior within the context of my relationships with some young adults in my pastoral care during the early years of my ministry was not consistent with that required of a good person,” he added.

Australia's ABC news reported Father Brian Lucas – spokesman for the Australian bishops' conference – saying he believes the statement to be the result of negotiations with an unnamed woman and that there are no criminal matters involved. The public apology is also consistent with a mediated agreement reached through the Church's 'Towards Healing' process.

Bishop Toohey, 59, was ordained in 1982 and served as leader of his diocese in the the Australian outback from 2001 to 2009. He was known by many as the “eco-bishop” for his environmental work and for founding Earthcare Australia.

The bishop said on April 28 that in light of his reflections, he will not be returning to active ministry in the Church.

“I sincerely regret the hurt I have caused to these people and their families,” he said.

Bishop Toohey's statement comes as another prominent Catholic bishop in the country announced he is retiring early in a deal he negotiated with the Vatican.

In a letter read at all parishes on May 1, Bishop William Morris of Toowoomba said he was being forced out following a Vatican investigation. The investigation was triggered by complaints about a 2006 pastoral letter that the bishop said was “deliberately misinterpreted.”

In his pastoral letter, Bishop Morris said he might ordain women and permit protestant clergy to celebrate the Eucharist because the diocese didn’t have enough priests.

Pope Benedict XVI has now decided Toowoomba “would be better served by the leadership of a new bishop,” the bishop said.

Bishop Morris, 67, has been the head of the diocese in southeastern Australia near Brisbane, since 1993. The normal retirement age for bishops is 75.


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
25

Liturgical Calendar

April 25, 2014

Friday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 21:1-14

Gospel
Date
04/25/14
04/24/14
04/23/14

Daily Readings


Saint of the Day

St. Mark, the Evangelist »

Saint
Date
04/24/14

Homily of the Day

Jn 21:1-14

Homily
Date
04/25/14
04/24/14
04/23/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: