Tag Archive: melbourne

Pope has final power

Following what I posted recently regarding the Toowoomba situation,  I draw readers’ attention to the following from the website of the Archdiocese of Melbourne:

Saturday 4 February 2012

Archbishop Denis Hart wrote yesterday to the Editor’s of both The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald in response to an article published in both newspapers last Thursday. The article presented opinions that suggested that former Toowoomba Bishop Bill Morris was denied procedural fairness and natural justice and that the Pope had breached canon law and exceeded his authority in removing Morris. The Archbishop’s letter to The Age is presented below.

Dear Sir,

The opinion piece “Bishop’s sacking reveals the Inquisition’s heavy hand remains ready to strike” (Age 2/2) re the removal of Bishop William Morris of Toowoomba is unfair and inaccurate. I understand WJ Carter QC is an eminent civil lawyer. Father Ian Waters’ Canon Law reflection is based solely on the Carter report.

In fact, the Holy See conducted a pastoral process of dialogue with Bishop Morris over eleven years involving senior officials of three offices of the Roman Curia, a number of meetings in Rome and a personal meeting with Pope Benedict. An Archbishop of another diocese from overseas appointed by the Holy See to investigate the matter has stated that he did discuss the contents of his report with Bishop Morris while he was in Toowoomba. Last October, in Rome, the Australian Bishops were informed of the care taken and the efforts made by the Holy See to achieve a mutually acceptable resolution.

In the Catholic Church, because the Pope is the Vicar of Christ and Pastor of the Universal Church, he has final power throughout the Church and can always freely exercise that power. This includes the appointment, transfer and removal of bishops.

Father Waters is misrepresented by the statement that the Pope has breached Canon Law and exceeded his authority.

In the final analysis the Pope always has freedom to act for the good of the Church in the appointment and removal of bishops.

Yours sincerely

[signed] + Denis J. Hart

There is more commentary over at Australia Incognita.



Since I’ve been “spending so much time with Blessed John Paul II” of late – writing my paper – I was very interested to read a story in a recent issue of Kairos from Melbourne.

It recalls the visit the Holy Father made to the parish of St Leo the Great, Altona North, during his 1986 visit to Australia.

Fr O’Rourke [who was parish priest at the time] said the visit had a unifying effect on St Leo the Great parish.

“It showed the people in the parish that they really had the same faith life that the Pope stood for and upheld and that the people in their ordinary living possess Christ in the same way.

“It was a typical Australian parish. We didn’t have a grand church; it was fairly simple, with a flat roof, a flat-sided church, quite small. But it was alive with people, love, and excitement because of the Pope.

“The Pope said that ‘we all need Christ’s look of love, every individual, every family, every parish, the whole world needs the love of Christ our redeemer and we receive this love through the Church. Christ communicates his love through the word of God and the sacraments which are offered to you each day in St Leo’s parish’,” Fr O’Rourke said.

“That was the explanation, I suppose, of what was being highlighted: that Christ was valuable to everybody regardless of what their status in life was and we were just lucky to be a parish that had that truth driven home to us in a spectacular kind of way. That Christ is with people all through our lives and through history – to me that was the gift that we received that day: to be affirmed about Christ in our lives.”

It’s a great article about a great pope!

Read it here: http://www.cam.org.au/catholic-heritage/postmarking-the-visit-of-blessed-john-paul-ii.html

I found the story here in Kairos, pp. 36-37.