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Vatican was patient before removing Australian bishop, Cardinal Pell says

Catholic World News - May 30, 2011

Australia’s leading Catholic prelate has said that it was “a tragedy” that the Vatican was forced to remove Bishop William Morris from office, but says that the move was necessary because the Toowoomba diocese was “divided quite badly” under the bishop’s leadership.

Cardinal George Pell of Sydney told the Catholic News Agency, “Rome was very patient.” But after more than a decade of efforts, he said, Bishop Morris was “unable to give satisfactory clarifications” in answer to Vatican concerns.

The change was necessary, Cardinal Pell said, because “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” of his resignation.

Cardinal Pell’s remarks could convey the impression that the Vatican removed Bishop Morris not because of objective problems with the bishop’s teaching or administration of the diocese, but because of his inadequacy as a "team player."

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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: tony2311 - May. 31, 2011 11:52 PM ET USA

    Don't give the Cardinal a hard time about his choice of words. The objective reasons for the Bishops removal have been made clear, yet some don't seem to understand them, so the Cardinal is using an analogy. Analogies are always inadequate and can't be pressed too far. In this case, since we are dealing with Australians who are sports-mad, the words do convey a useful impression of someone who disobeys and undermines legitimate authority, lacks discipline, and wants to write his own rules.

  • Posted by: - May. 30, 2011 10:57 PM ET USA

    I suppose that a player who deliberately kicks 'self' goals and then laughs about it wouldn't qualify as a 'team player'. Now would'e.

  • Posted by: JP810 - May. 30, 2011 5:23 PM ET USA

    It was long overdue in the removal of Bishop Morris. But equally confusing, as to the long wait, is the idea of a "team player" that comes into the equation? If a bishop is truly loyal to the Holy Father and its teachings, there shouldn't be a problem as a "team player." Although "team player" is important, if one follows the teachings of the Church, such terms shouldn't even apply. Confusing, yes.

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