SYDNEY—An Australian Roman Catholic bishop has quit his post over a row with the Vatican about women priests and other liberal reforms, saying that Pope Benedict XVI thought it best he be replaced. [Honestly this is a lighter "sentence", if I may put it that way. He deserves excommunication!]
William Morris, who has been the Catholic Bishop of the vast Queensland diocese of Toowoomba since 1993, told parishioners on Sunday that he was taking early retirement.
In a letter read at weekend mass services, 67-year-old Morris wrote: "it has been determined by Pope Benedict that the diocese would be better served by the leadership of a new bishop."
The dispute stems from Morris' comments five years ago that the church could consider ordaining married men and women because of a looming shortage of priests. [I think that was just the icing on the cake. I think there are other things that caused him to get the boot.]
Morris, who was ordained in 1969, said his views had been misinterpreted and he had been denied natural justice. [The What?]
The Vatican was expected to make a statement later Monday.
"We are advised that this announcement will express his acceptance of early retirement but we understand that because of the setting, it is much stronger than that," Toowoomba's vicar-general Father Peter Dorfield said.
"In effect it is a removal from office," he told ABC Radio. [Pink slip.]
Morris' retirement, which comes some eight years before the normal retirement age for bishops of 75, left some Catholics in tears [of joy! Ha!] and local priests have reportedly called a meeting Thursday to discuss their next step.
The resignation follows that of fellow Australian Catholic priest Peter Kennedy two years ago because of his views on the ordination of women and gay unions.
Can we expect Fr. Joaquin Bernas, the theologians of MST and SVT and Euntes to follow suit?
Hey, its happier in the Anglican Church, the Episcopalian Church and the Rainbow Brite Church led by the Her Holiness Popess Elton John!
And as a friend priest told a hypocritical peace advocate (daw!) priest who insists that Christ's presence persists only during the "gathering of the people", to "leave if you cannot accept the teachings of the Church and go build your own one!"
You are nothing but royal pains in the @$$!
If you will not accept the mercy of God, then prepare to meet his Justice!
Na, na, na, na, hey, hey...Goodbye!