Pathetic as the bosses of Westminster Abbey's initial reaction against the cartwheeling verger was, they were never going to sack him. That's not because the Church of England hierarchy are completely averse to sacking those employees who annoy them, as my current unemployment proves beyond doubt. However, they do worry about publicity so they only tend to do the dirty on people if there is little chance of the "good name" of the church being "brought into disrepute" by their nastiness.
The Vatican Church has no such qualms. They know that "the faithful" are so attached to the tribal identity of their denomination that, even though most of them are fully aware of the unchristian behaviour and sheer Pharisaical hypocrisy of their Vatican based puppet masters, they will never do what would be necessary to stop the tyranny. This results in obscene spectacles like yesterday's beatification of a paedophile enabler happening at exactly the same time that a man of far more saintly attributes being quietly stabbed in the back and cast into the outer darkness of priestly retirement.
William Morris, Toowoomba's Catholic bishop, has been forced by the Pope to retire early because of a letter in 2006 to his parish in which he discussed whether falling numbers of Catholic priests could be offset by the ordination of women and ministers from other churches. The bishop, who has served in the Toowoomba diocese for 18 years, told the ABC that Rome controlled bishops by fear "and if you ask questions or speak only on subjects that Rome declares closed you are censored very quickly, told your leadership is defective, and threatened with dismissal."
Yesterday, the Anglican Bishop of the Western Region in Queensland, Rob Nolan, said, "I'd say the majority of parishioners and priests are upset about what's happened. They have a great regard for Bishop Morris and a great respect for him, and they will feel that there has been a great injustice."
A retired Catholic priest in Toowoomba, who did not wish to be named, said parishioners would meet this week to discuss what to do.
"Everyone was shocked," he said. "It will be a challenging time for all of us."
Yes it will. Unfortunately, past experience shows us that it will be a challenge that they will fail to take up. The Roman Catholic clergy may be celibate but the laity of the church are, for all intents and purposes, completely castrated.