Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"I've got a little list...": Our +Denis Leads the Way!

Regular readers of SCM will be aware that we have a "little list" of ecclesiastical offenders which includes "THAT peition", "THAT book by THAT bishop" and "THAT liturgical 'expert'".

Well, it appears that our +Denis (Archbishop of Melbourne and Metropolitan of the dioceses of Ballarat, Sale and Sandhurst) has a very similar list. In his address to the Council of Priests of the Archdiocese of Melbourne yesterday, Archbishop Hart said:
Recently we have heard a number of discordant voices pleading for a vision of the Church, which is not that of Jesus Christ and not that of our Holy Father and the Bishops. In our Diocese and its constituent parishes I believe you need to be one with me in promoting only those things, which are consonant with the teaching and discipline of the Church, not allowing to be promoted in anyway in parishes or in bulletins anything which is contrary to that. [my emphasis here and in all that follows]
At "THAT Meeting" in Camberwell, Paul Collins especially thanked the priests of the Melbourne and Ballarat dioceses for being so supportive of the Petition. Let's just say that +Denis has now given notice to any priests in Melbourne who wish to publically continue that support.

"That Petition" is, not surprisingly, the first in +Denis' "little list" of things that "surely won't be missed":
Recently the Collins/Purcell petition has been seeking to present to the Australian Bishops a request concerning the criteria for ordination to the priesthood. None of these matters are the competency of the bishops, but pertain to the Holy See. Some of them are directly contrary to the declaration of Pope John Paul II that the Catholic Church does not have the capacity to ordain women to the priesthood...

We will continue vigorous promotion of vocations and accept the assistance of priests from other countries in our time of need. We remain totally committed to celibate priesthood as the norm for the Latin Rite.
Having dispensed with "That Petition" he proceeds to the next item on the list of things that "will surely not be missed":
Secondly, a number of the assertions in Bishop Geoffrey Robinson’s recent book concerning Original Sin, Ordination, Divorce and Remarriage, the Papacy and Sexual Morality, will in due time, I am sure, be judged by the Church [we presume he means negatively]. Grave harm is caused if an impression is created among the faithful that the Church teaching in these serious matters is in a state of flux or under review. Our mission is to teach and live constantly what the Magisterium teaches. [Do you get that, Geoffrey?]
And then, perhaps a little surprisingly (but then again, perhaps not), our liturgical 'expert' friend up north comes in for criticism:
Thirdly, in a recent issue of the Catholic Leader, Elizabeth Harrington in response to Redemptionis Sacramentum and the 2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal...argues the outdated 70s proposition that all that is needed in liturgy is acting according to principles established not by the Church but by the liturgical intelligentsia of the time.

Faithfulness on the other hand requires that...we celebrate the liturgy according to the liturgical books and their General Instructions without variations, except in cases which the books provide. The general rule of “say the black and do the red” with clarity and fervour obtains within these parameters.
How refreshing to hear that old saying from our Local Ordinary! Maybe he could have added the other old saying: "Save the Liturgy--Save the World!"

This is the riot act, guys. And just to make sure that everyone is listening, the Archbishop's office has sent it out by email this morning to all the parishes and agencies of the Archdiocese.

The revolution has begun. And our +Denis is leading the way.


At Wednesday, December 12, 2007 1:00:00 pm , Anonymous mike said...

Wow. I think I sometimes underestimate the guy. Good on him.

At Wednesday, December 12, 2007 4:47:00 pm , Anonymous Samuel Clemens said...

I thought it was "Save the cheerleader, save the world"!

At Wednesday, December 12, 2007 9:01:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...


Check out the most excellent blog of Fr Zuhlsdorf (Fr Z for short) at

It's his version of the Heroes slogan. Rather neat really.

At Wednesday, December 12, 2007 10:31:00 pm , Blogger Joshua said...

If only an address and subsequent email from +Dennis would have such salutary effects!

But everyone knows that the disobedient will take no notice of all this, since it exactly conforms to their distorted view of bishops and Rome as always forbidding what is actually good, true and desirable.

Unfortunately, priests given to allowing such petitions, etc., are not going to suddenly do a volte face, especially since they have been acting in dissenting fashion probably for all their priestly lives, or since 1968, whichever came first.

The prevailing view among 'liberals' is that Rome is old, corrupt, authoritarian, tiresome and wrong, stifling the Spirit, and that sometime eventually - they think, once most of the clergy die, and there are no replacements - things will fall apart and finally a new Pope will at last change everything.

This is a form of the Joachimite heresy, right down to attribution of their motivations to the Holy Spirit, and faith in a coming Papa Angelicus who will ring in the millennium. The place earlier proponents gave to the Franciscan "Sprituals" they give instead to themselves (with customary humility), pastoral associates, and other pseudo-clergy.

It is unfortunate that such persons don't take the honourable course and leave the Church to join a more sympathetic group, such as the Anglicans or Uniting Church. (Of course I would prefer them to remain and truly become Catholic, but too often they white-ant the structure and lead people astray.)

At Saturday, December 15, 2007 12:57:00 am , Anonymous Christine said...

God bless your good Archbishop!

My diocese received a new bishop last year. He celebrated Mass at my parish's 150th anniversary liturgy.

I am delighted with what I see coming from the chancery these days.


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