Australia's Catholic bishops have agreed to send parishioners' questions to the Vatican over the early retirement of Toowoomba Bishop Bill Morris. But the 42 bishops are divided about a separate petition asking them to put particular questions to the Pope when they make their five-yearly visit to the Vatican in October, reports the Age.
The bishops' conference general secretary Father Brian Lucas told the paper that more letters than could be answered had been sent to the conference, to individual bishops and to the papal ambassador in Australia - and the bishops wanted the petitioners to know their concerns had been heard.
A statement about Bishop Morris lodged on the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference website last week says the bishops have received the petition by Toowoomba Catholics, but they have no jurisdiction.
To help deal with the petitioners' questions, the bishops will ask the Vatican doctrine watchdog, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, about the infallibility of the church's teaching barring the ordination of women. Concerns about the process by which Bishop Morris was removed will be referred to the Congregation for Bishops.
The Catholics for Renewal group has sent a letter to all 1369 Australian parishes, but some bishops, including Canberra Archbishop Mark Coleridge, have told parish priests not to distribute the letter or its request for signatures.
Bishops divided over questioning Vatican (The Age)
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