Bishop in the red tieI am intrigued by the case Bishop William M. Morris of Toowoomba (Australia), especially now Archbishop Bathersby has backed him. He is "open" to the ordination of women, wants the Church to recognise Protestant orders, and that seems to be it.
He is hardly an intellectual heavyweight, and although he is certainly unorthodox I am not sure his position is much different from some Austrian or German Bishops and perhaps even at least half the French bishops. I am sure few of our English bishops would have followed the same line except possibly as theological speculation, maybe a few diocesan employees in the past might have regarded themselves as "thinking Catholics" and bored everyone with this stuff.
People like Bishop Morris are, I hope, a phenomena of the past. In many countries it was only men like these who were put forward after the Council. Some people tend the blame the Blessed John Paul. I suspect it was more the policy of Secretariate of State under Cardinal Casaroli, of ostpolitik fame, never to appoint anyone who might think in terms of a hermeneutic of continuity and to promote those who might favour the propositions of the Bologna School, which has lingered.
It is interesting that there should be tolerance of theological ambiguity in Europe but not in Toowoomba, possibly someome in Australia might be able to explain. In Archbishop Bathersby's own dioces there was the curious case of Fr Peter Kennedy of the St Mary's Community who's parish drifted so far away from Catholic thought and practice that he was eventually excommunicated.
As someone who knows little about the Australian Church, it so often appears to be divided sharply between orthodox and heterodox parishes and diocese in a way that is absent in Europe.