With regard to Peter Westmore's article in AD2000 last month about Bishop Bill Morris, "Gone but not forgotten", he certainly is not. Instead, alive and kicking are the dubious practices within the diocese left behind as a result of his legacy.
I have recently moved into the diocese from Melbourne and had heard of the issues which plagued the diocese in the past.
In recent Masses I have attended, some priests have spruiked during homilies and following Mass of the need for greater lay involvement, particularly in baptisms, marriages and funerals due to their belief that within the near future there will be no priests within the Toowoomba Diocese.
Disturbingly there have also been calls by a number of priests and pastoral councils for inter-faith "Eucharistic" celebrations and the ordination of female priests.
Subsequently, questionnaires were handed out within the following weeks asking for the laity's opinion on the "soon to be" lack of priests within the diocese.
The results showed within one of the parishes that the parishioners wanted all of the above (i.e., what the priests had told them) and thanked the priests for bringing the need for these changes to their attention.
Furthermore, within the west of the diocese, The Third Rite of Reconciliation (General Absolution) has been actively practised at Easter Masses this year.
Mass was also not made available to the faithful on Holy Days of Obligation in the west despite there being priests available.
I have questioned some of these practices, and how they fit in with Church teaching with a few of the priests and have been kindly told to go to another parish.
Since arriving it is blindingly obvious that there is a clear division between parishes that supported and still hold onto Bishop Morris's ideas, and those who want to practise the faith in accordance with Church teaching.
Bishop McGuckin appears to be a good solid man, with an almighty task of restoring the correct teachings of the faith within the diocese.
The priests and laity need to support him in his role by being united as one in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church.
I ask all readers to keep Bishop McGuckin and the Diocese of Toowoomba in their prayers.