Sunday, May 29, 2011

Chaput News Agency Runs Cardinal Pell's Thoughts On Bishop Morris--It's All Morris's Fault

Cardinal Pell's vibrant Catholic youth marching off to school.

I am shocked, shocked I say, that CNA (Chaput News Agency) would run an article with Cardinal Pell wholy supporting the Vatican in sacking Toowoomba's Bishop Morris.  Nothing like birds of feather flocking together--and covering each other when their feces hit the oscillator.

Cardinal Pell says Bishop Morris sacking 'a tragedy' but also 'a useful clarification'

Sydney, Australia, May 28, 2011 / 04:58 pm (CNA/EWTN News).-
It’s been nearly a month since Bishop Bill Morris of Toowoomba in Australia was dismissed from office by Pope Benedict XVI. Now the country’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, has given his first in-depth interview on the controversial sacking to CNA. (Of course it would be CNA, since Archbishop Chaput is being thoroughly hammered over his secret participation in the sandbagging of Bishop Morris.)

“Well, it was a tragedy. It should never have come to this,” Cardinal Pell told CNA while on a visit to Rome.

“Rome was very patient. You could say the dialogue had continued on for 13 years and unfortunately Bishop Morris felt unable to give satisfactory clarifications.”  (cough, cough)
Bishop Morris’s dismissal followed comments he made in a 2006 pastoral letter. In it he called for the ordination of women and married men, and suggested that protestant ministers could offer Mass to compensate for the lack of priests in his diocese. This in turn led the Vatican to order an investigation. (Morris called for no such thing.  He called for discussion.  But what's truth to CNA/EWTN and I think I remember more than one time when Chaput himself was a little loose with the truth.)

“Catholics stand with the Pope as the successor of Peter and his role is to strengthen his brothers and to defend the apostolic tradition, and it’s now Catholic teaching that women cannot be ordained priests. That’s not an optional belief; it’s now part of the Catholic package,” said Cardinal Pell. (Well now we get some truth, the Pope's role has nothing to do with insuring Catholics actually get the services and sacraments the Church exists to offer.)

Critics of the bishop who’ve spoken in recent weeks to CNA suggest that the problems in Toowoomba went far beyond the bishop’s public disagreement with Catholic doctrine on the priesthood.

They’ve claimed Bishop Morris - who preferred a shirt and tie to a priestly collar and bishops’ attire - did much to undermine Catholic identity and teachings during his 18 years in office.  (What is it with the uniform thing? A bishop is now his clothes?  Actually that might be true in Pell's world.)
Cardinal Pell was both balanced and charitable in his assessment of Bishop Morris’s legacy. (Cough, cough.)

“He’s a very good man. He had a lot of pastoral strengths. He’s got a lot of good points. He’s done of lot of good work. He’s got quite a strong following in the diocese.” (Except for the heresy and destruction of Catholic identity thing.)

“But the diocese was divided quite badly and the bishop hasn’t demonstrated that he’s a team player. I mean even at the end he didn’t wait for the official Vatican announcement.” (This is true only if one member of the Temple Police equals 10,000 other Catholics.)
“He sent around messages to every parish, to all his priests, the Australian bishops before the official announcement and since then he’s made a number of public announcements which haven’t been helpful.”

As for critics of the Pope’s decision to sack Bishop Morris?

“There’s been a predictable chorus from a minority but such is life.” (In his wildest dreams.) 
The job of rebuilding things in Toowoomba now falls to Bishop Brian Finnegan of Brisbane who has now been appointed apostolic administrator until a new bishop can be found. Cardinal Pell said it’s time “to look to the future.”
“You know, life moves on, but also I think it will be a useful clarification for people that Catholic doctrine is there to be followed and bishops take promises to defend the integrity of Catholic teaching.” (They certainly don't take any vows to defend Catholic children or provide Catholic sacraments.  That's the certain message I've gotten in the last month.)

Cardinal Pell believes that it’s this orthodox approach that is reaping apostolic benefits in many parts of Australia including Sydney. He points to an increased number of priestly and religious vocations, vibrant university chaplaincies and the legacy of World Youth Day in 2008. (I notice he doesn't mention anything about benefits like increased Mass attendance or happy and content laity.)

“Young people don’t see the Catholic Church as being inevitably in decline at least in most parts of Australia.” (That's most likely true because the vast majority of them don't actually give a damn.)
“We’re doing what Christ wants, and I think that if you do that you’ve always got to be optimistic”
“There’s life and energy and promise.” (cough, cough)


It has been a long long time since I have ever read anything this self serving.  Chaput and Pell are truly in world of their own.  It's a world where they can drag out their own publications in which they more or less interview themselves, claim it's truth because they said so, and then fly off to their Vatican nest where they can indulge in Vatican plumage.  I think there's a part of this Church that has truly gone off the rails.  The inmates really are running the asylum.  No wonder Benny is talking to astronauts.  At least the astronauts are are in fact out of this world.  Maybe that 's a start.

The line that really got me was the one in which Pell castigates Bishop Morris for not being a team player and sticking with the Vatican game plan.  EXCUSE ME, Morris had already been kicked off the team.  Why should he continue playing on the Vatican team, by the Vatican game plan?  Only in a world of their own.

I really am beginning to believe the Holy Spirit is indeed inspiring the Pell's and Chaput's of the Catholic world to concretely show us how little they are attached to our actual world. We are being presented with a choice of cosmic proportions.  We can choose to support this nonsensical world of Pell and Chaput or we can choose to follow the teachings of Jesus. 

In all honesty I can't see a photo of St Peter's anymore without thinking of it as the Catholic Hogwarts and the Pell's and the Burke's as faculty members of school of religious magic.  Like Richard Sipe has observed about the seminary system, it's the stuff of fourteen year olds.  I'd rather be a muggle than have to swallow the 'teaching' coming from our clerical wizards.


  1. In all honesty I can't see a photo of St Peter's anymore without thinking of it as the Catholic Hogwarts and the Pell's and the Burke's as faculty members of school of religious magic.


  2. Thanks for the proof Tim. LOL.

  3. You're welcome. It's a much nicer statement than the Star Wars/Harry Potter statement.

    "That's no ferula, it's a horcrux."

    (my geekdom, it is vast)

  4. “There’s been a predictable chorus from a minority but such is life.” Such arrogance!!! We might as well be hearing this:
    There's been a lot of sexual abuse in the Church, but such is life.
    Yes, some people are starving in my diocese, but such is life.
    Some people lack health care, but such is life.
    Women who are called to the priesthood cannot answer the call, but such is life.
    We turn some people into second class citizens, but such is life.
    How awful is life as Bishop Pell defines it.

  5. Sartorial standards are set at the Supreme Tribunal in Rome. Apparently the word hadn't gotten half way around the world to Bishop Morris yet.

  6. Jack I was thinking when I commented on the line in the article about Morris wearing a suit and tie, that there was something about this sudden interest in clothing at high clerical levels that was probably more important than I was giving it. It's symptomatic of something, but I can't quite put my finger on what it might be.

    I just know the picture of Burke in his galero is somehow sad to me--and well, OK a little funny.

  7. My theory is that a boy age 14 going into the minor seminary as Burke did misses out on the wide variety of environments and experiences that a boy normally is exposed to and shaped by over 5-6 years as he matures from boyhood to manhood. Out in the world, many influential possibilities, good and bad, come up and lay the foundation for the man that follows. (Not least are surprising new views of and interactions with the other half of the human race.) Aftereffects of skipping a stage are apparently expected and describable by experts. I agree - funny and sad.

  8. I think you are on to something Jack. I see it in a different form when young men transition from the childrens mental health institutional settings into the adult system. They are socially clueless and lost when interacting with adults. And sadly, a lot of this cluelessness has nothing to do with their diagnosis. It has everything to do with the expectations for their behavior set in the childrens system. Take away the rules, regulations, and various forms of reinforcement and you've taken away all the artificial boundaries which kept their behavior in check and defined the boundaries of their social interactions.

    It can be very frustrating, but in reality it's just sad because it's institutionalized immaturity and in some cases it's permanent.