Sacked Australian bishop hits Chaput visitation

Australian Bishop William Morris of Toowoomba says that he has been forced to retire by Pope Benedict over alleged doctrinal disobedience following an apostolic visitation of the diocese by Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput.

However in a letter to his diocese, Bishop Morris wrote that he was leaving unwillingly and claimed he had been denied natural justice, The Australian reports.

In the letter read out to all congregations in the diocese at weekend masses, pre-empting a Vatican announcement tonight, Bishop Morris, 67, said he had taken early retirement because “it has been determined by Pope Benedict that the diocese would be better served by the leadership of a new bishop”.

The Advent pastoral letter sparked an investigation, led by Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, Colorado, who visited Toowoomba and spoke to priests and laity at length, and also spoke with other Australian bishops.

In the letter read out yesterday, Bishop Morris said that visit led to an “ongoing dialogue between myself and the Congregations for Bishops, Divine Worship and Doctrine of the Faith and eventually Pope Benedict”.

Bishop Morris complained he had never seen Archbishop Chaput’s report, and said he had been denied natural justice.


Bishop of Toowoomba, William Morris, claims unfair dismissal by Pope (The Australian)