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Former Townsville Bishop's admissions on liturgy practices
The following is the text of a circular letter from the Apostolic Administrator and former Bishop of Townsville, Most Rev Raymond Benjamin, to "All Parish Clergy, Pastoral Leaders and Associates", dated 14 February 2001.
As a consequence of my relinquished authority on 27 March, certain permissions and faculties granted by me at different times will cease, and revive if and when Bishop Michael Putney so decides.
The main such faculty that comes to mind is for local Priests to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Bishop's absence. This would have to be re-negotiated with Bishop Putney as a matter of urgency if such celebrations are already planned.
There are other liturgical practices which I have come to tolerate for pastoral reasons, but which he should not be faced with unexpectedly. For example: substituting Mass readings with non-scriptural texts; the use of unapproved Eucharistic Prayers on certain occasions, etc. ... Some of our long-accepted customs regarding lay ministers of the Eucharist, and very "relaxed" presence at Mass during Priests' retreats and such occasions will need to be continued with sensitivity ... You may also need to have discussions with [Bishop Putney] regarding the order of the Sacraments of Initiation ...
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 14 No 3 (April 2001), p. 6
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