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The position that Gary Crothers points out (June AD2000) is that which has been going on in Queensland for some time now. The matters he raises are of great concern for it seems the Church Jesus Christ instituted is no longer what it used to be in certain places.
In the official journal of the traditional Anglican Church of November 2001, it was reported that an Anglican priest would take charge of the Catholic parish of Quilpie in western Queensland in the absence of the parish priest, who was on extended leave. The churches approved of the plan.
A Statement of Agreement (copy attached) was entered into on 6 June 2001 by the then Anglican Archbishop of Queensland, Dr Peter Hollingsworth, and Bishop William Morris of Toowoomba. The Anglican Bishop Raymond Smith of Brisbane had set up the statement without much Catholic input.
The agreement permits that in the case of a Catholic priest being absent from his parish an Anglican priest (be it a male or a female) can conduct a joint service. In the case of the illness of a parishioner an Anglican priest can administer Eucharistic Penance and the Anointing of the Sick to the Catholic - within guidelines - whatever they may be!
The same applies where the circumstances are in the reverse. Parishioners, as the agreement goes on to say, have the right to choose their own arrangements. In all kindness for the Catholic faithful, there was no need for such a plan in the first place.
The concerns of Mr Crothers are indeed well founded and it seems that such an arrangement could only happen in Queensland, or perhaps in the Diocese of Toowoomba.
So much so for Jesus' command, 'Thou art Peter ...'.
MOYA AND LEO MORRISSEY
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 22 No 7 (August 2009), p. 14
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