Civil and canon law broken in sacking Toowoomba bishop

A retired Supreme Court judge has found the Roman Catholic Church breached both canon and civil law in asking Toowomba Bishop Bill Morris to retire earlier this year.

Retired Judge Bill Carter QC was invited to conduct an investigation into the controversial sacking.

Angered by the sacking, Morris’ supporters, more than 1,000 people signed a petition over his ‘forced retirement’.

Many of these people were behind the move to hire the services of Judge Carter.

Judge Carter found

  • the church committed a number of legal errors
  • the decision to remove Bishop Morris had been made before he was notified of an investigation, and that
  • Morris was advised of his sacking through an unsigned letter.

Morris was targeted over deliberated misrepresented comments he made in 2006, comments that were deliberately misrepresented.

Following up the complaint, the Vatican began an investigation which included an apostolic visitation and ongoing discussions with the Vatican-based congregations for Bishops, Divine Worship and Doctrine of the Faith and even the Pope.


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