Highlights from the week online

The priest sacked for preaching Catholicism

Much is written about the intolerance of students banning whatever or whomever they don’t like. But Mary Wakefield, writing at the Spectator, said the real problem was the adults. “Under the guise of safeguarding students, behind a smokescreen of ethics committees, the adults in charge of universities – principals, vice-chancellors – are … getting rid of people who don’t fit their very particular ideological bill,” she wrote.

A case in point was Fr Mark Morris, sacked as chaplain at Glasgow Caledonian University after leading a rosary of reparation for the “gross offence” of a gay pride march. The service had been requested by parishioners and, “more to the point, it was off-campus.” The dismissal set a terrible example to students, wrote Wakefield. Fr Morris, a popular priest known as a “gentle giant”, said nothing that wasn’t in line with Catholic teaching. “If you can’t tolerate Catholic orthodoxy, then why have a Catholic chaplain?”

Bad bishops and the two types of authority

At Crisis, Eric Sammons asked how Catholics can respond to the failings of bishops – as so painfully shown in the abuse crisis. Sammons suggested we distinguish between a bishop’s “two types” of authority. One type comes from God: a bishop “rules his diocese with almost complete autonomy … He is charged to lead his people to deeper holiness and moral living.” This kind of authority cannot be taken away.

But the bishop also has an authority which comes from his flock. “If a bishop is a holy, humble man, he will be respected by his people … If, on the other hand, he is a corrupt, immoral monster, who uses his authority for his own power and pleasure, he will lose the respect and the following of his people.”

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