Brisbane's Catholic Archbishop, John Bathersby, says the Pope must have had a good reason to sack the bishop of the Toowoomba diocese, William Morris, but that he was not aware of the details behind the removal, which had saddened him.
"Bishop Bill is a person I know very well - a person who has done an enormous amount of work in the church," he told ABC radio.
"I feel sad about it all but I'm sure there must be a lot of reason in the decision the Pope has made."
Archbishop Bathersby said he believed Bishop Morris was good at his job.
He admitted Rome did not consult him about the case and the decision to remove the bishop, but nor did he expect to be privy to such processes.
"We are made bishops by the Pope and on odd occasions the Pope himself will suggest the bishop he has appointed should no longer be in control of a diocese. That's the way it happens in the Catholic Church ...
"I don't know all the ins and outs of the situation of what a bishop may have done. I think that's something between the bishop and the Pope."
The archbishop said he supported the actions Rome had taken.
About 200 people held vigils in Toowoomba on Tuesday evening to protest against the sacking.
From THE COURIER MAIL:
The "temple police", a group of about 15 parishioners and priests, have been blamed for bringing about the downfall of the bishop through a series of letters of complaint sent to Australia's apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto.
"There's only about 15 of them and what they do is continually protest to Rome," a priest, who did not want to be named, said.
"Naturally the Vatican doesn't get letters from all the people who are happy."