It is obviously very good that a heretical bishop (William Morris, of the Diocese of Toowoomba) is removed from office, albeit one can certainly lament the slowness of the process, with the chap given more than four years time to retract and not even managing to do it.
Still, the occasional punishment will remain ineffective, if the same standard (or preferably a harder one, without waiting another four years) is not used when other bishops do exactly the same as our Morris dancer.
Read here (linked to from the German site Summorum Pontificum, and kudos to wk1999 for pointing out to it) the interview of the German bishop Gebhard Fuerst, of Stuttgart and Rottenburg, given to a local newspaper, the Ludwigsburger Kreiszeitung. This is a good instruction in the workings of a heretical bishop.
Already the headline (“There will be no women priests for the time being”) tells you a lot about where the interview is headed. The interview proper starts on a very anti-Catholic note, claiming that no one wants to become a Catholic priest anymore, Catholics leave Church en masse, etc. Thus, the ground for the readership (probably Protestant oriented, as the region around Stuttgart is prevalently Proddie) is prepared. This is all bollocks of course, as vocations have been on the increase for many years now (though this will very probably not be the case where heretical geniuses like bishop Fuerst are allowed to damage the Only Church) and for “Austritt” they mean the refusal of more and more people to pay the “Kirchensteuer”; which, as the name says, is a tax that is nothing to do with Catholic baptism and also nothing to do with Catholic charity, but allows German priests to be very probably the best paid Catholic priests of the planet. I also think the phenomenon is much stronger among Protestants. But I digress.
What is relevant here is that Bishop Fuerst plays Vincent Nichols, in that as Nichols considers it thinkable to have homosexual marriages, this chap considers it thinkable to have Catholic priestesses. Firstly, he justifies the Church position from a purely sociological point, by mentioning the “understanding of reality of the first Christians”. This way, he has already attacked the Christian doctrine about male priesthood. Following, he proceeds to say that priestesses are “thinkable in advanced countries like the USA and Germany”. Note here that after he has posed male priesthood as a purely sociologically based position, he moves on to consider “advanced” to want to remove it.
His heretical engine now brutally revved, the bishop goes on to say that he has “understanding” that the women would feel “excluded”. He adds, though, that they should be good and put up with the abuse, in order not to compromise the “unity of the Catholics” (of which, we have already been informed, many live in backward countries and are, well, not as “advanced” as the German “Ueberkatholiken”, the product of the superior German Catholic breeding….). Still, he gives the thus “excluded” wymmyn some hope, in that he says that “he cannot totally exclude that one day there will be women priests”; but hey, this will not be in his lifetime…….
The only possible, partial, barely believable excuses for such serial heresy and open defiance of the teaching of the Church can lie in the following:
1) This newspaper is a “Kreiszeitung”, that is, a “district newspaper”. These are the local newspapers where young journalists pay their dues before trying to land a serious job by a regional or national newspapers. It might have happened that here not everything has gone the right way, particularly because:
2) the utterances of the bishop are all given in the third person, though with inverted commas; this cause further room for confusion and/or misrepresentation.
Still, when a bishop talks even with a 19-years-old boy (and it is questionable whether the interview with the bishop would be given to such an inexperienced boy) he should ask to receive the text before and check that nothing has gone wrong, even if it is only an interview for the district newspaper. He has either clearly failed to do so, or has done it and was pleased with the result. He must, therefore, be held responsible for what the newspaper reports until he issues a strong dementi.
I do not know what the history of this man is. Being a German bishop certainly doesn’t inspire confidence, and having been appointed eleven years ago adds to the problem.
I do have a suspicion, though, that he wasn’t born with a brilliant mind, much less a solid faith.