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By Diogenes (bio - articles ) | Nov 23, 2007

Progressive Australian Catholics gathered in Melbourne this week to deplore the shortage of priests:

"We are not dissidents. We want to support the bishops," Mr [Paul] Collins said. "We think about 28 of the 42 Australian bishops are pastoral bishops. They are concerned that many Catholics, especially in rural dioceses, are being deprived of the Mass, sacraments and local leadership."

From the same article we learn that Collins was formerly a priest himself. I suggest his anxieties regarding Catholics "deprived of the Mass" is best understood with that fact in mind.

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  • Posted by: - Nov. 25, 2007 5:57 PM ET USA

    At one time it was de riguer to trot out Paul Collins whenever the Austr. Broadcasting Commission wanted to bash the Catholic Church. Nothing has changed and, sadly, that includes Paul Collins. The Australian doiceses with the most seminarians are the ones with the most traditional bishops. Wagga Wagga, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne have more seminarians than the rest of the country put together. What does that say about "pastorality"?

  • Posted by: - Nov. 23, 2007 8:43 PM ET USA

    Have you noticed that "pastoral" always means "indulgent" and "limp-wristed." But isn't the hook on the staff used for more direct methods of persuasion?

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