Bishop Morris wrote to The Record that they had misreported his diocese’s use of general; absolution and that he had never said that he was in favor of ordaining women or “recognizing” Protestant orders. He had simply said that there was a discussion going on about these matters.

As the original statement no longer seems to be available, I do not know whether The Record misreported or not.

If it did, it seems that Morris was the victim of a contest of wills: the Vatican wanted him to come to discuss matters, and he refused. In these contests of wills, usually both parties are wrong to some extent.

Of course, there may have been more to it; transparency in these matters is almost always for the best, a lesson the Vatican has not learned.

In Baltimore a priest was removed from the priesthood because he allowed an Episcopal minister, a woman, who was connected with the family of the deceased, to read the Gospel at the funeral mass and perhaps to offer her communion. (The Pope gave Tony Blair communion when Blair was still an Anglican) At least that was the public explanation.

Either the bishops and Rome are acting in a high-handed and arbitrary fashion (entirely possible) or they are using trivial incidents to provide cover for the real reason for disciplinary actions. Neither possibility is very edifying.

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