Bishop of Bathurst, Bishop Patrick Dougherty, gives Fr Dresser a Dressing Down

And you can take it as read that it is now on the official “banned” list, together with all the heretical opinions therein.

As I commented earlier on this blog, since Fr Peter Dresser is a priest of the Diocese of Bathurst, his bishop, Patrick Dougherty, is the one who is responsible for any disciplinary measures. It seems to me that he has done this admirably in the following statement:

Media Release – 10th November 2008

An unpublished book written by Father Peter Dresser, Parish Priest of Coonamble in the Diocese of Bathurst, has been receiving a certain distribution and publicity.

With regard to the Divinity of Jesus, the Virginity of Mary and the Resurrection of Jesus, Father Dresser has re-affirmed to me, and intends to endorse by a public statement, his adherence to these and to all the teaching of the Catholic Church. In the book, however, such foundational truths of our Christian Catholic Faith were not affirmed: readers could rightly conclude that some were denied and that the views expressed about them were heretical.

The watering down or emptying out of Christian teaching is not the path towards rendering Catholic doctrine more deeply known by people of faith or acceptable to sceptical people.

Whatever Father Dresser’s stated good intentions and motives, stances taken in this book with regard to Jesus Christ and Mary are not acceptable: they are alien to Christian authenticity and to the fulfillment of the teaching mission of priests.

+ Patrick Dougherty

Bishop of Bathurst

The important things to note are:

1) “With regard to the Divinity of Jesus, the Virginity of Mary and the Resurrection of Jesus”, Fr Peter has “re-affirmed” to his Bishop, “and intends to endorse by a public statement his adherence to these [doctrines] and to all the teaching of the Catholic Church”.

Is this “public statement” the one issued yesterday? In which case, it is fair to say that one could hope more specific recantation of the specific errors in his published writing and radio interview.

2) “Whatever Father Dresser’s stated good intentions and motives”, the “stances taken in [his] book with regard to Jesus Christ and Mary are not acceptable: they are alien to Christian authenticity and to the fulfillment of the teaching mission of priests.”

Spot on, your Lordship. By publishing this book, Fr Dresser has specifically abused his priestly “teaching mission”.

3) “Readers could rightly conclude that [in this book] some [foundational truths of our Christian Catholic Faith] were denied and that the views expressed about them were heretical.”

That seems a fair judgement. Although I don’t know what the “could” means. “Would” would be more to the point.

4) And finally: “The watering down or emptying out of Christian teaching is not the path towards rendering Catholic doctrine more deeply known by people of faith or acceptable to sceptical people.”

Which is just what Pope Benedict said in his General Audience last Wednesday. Hint to theologians: Your task is to explicate and clarify the doctrines and dogmas of the Faith, not to “go beyond doctrine and dogma” (vis a vis the Starship Enterprise) to some point of your own fantasy.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Bishop of Bathurst, Bishop Patrick Dougherty, gives Fr Dresser a Dressing Down

  1. Louise says:

    pilgrims by definition being on a journey

    Yes, PE, but I think it’s the way the word is used that annoys Joshua. And me.

    Incidentally, PE, I know you think some of us just write you all off, but it’s the way in which you in particular address yourself to us that makes some of us cranky. If you don’t wish to be sidelined out of the conversation or ignored or whatever it is you think we do, I’d suggest you adopt a more civil tone yourself.

    David’s posts are typically unobjectionable in their tone at least.

    Mind you, most of us appear to have a certain affection for you – even me.

  2. Joshua says:

    Yes, PE, we prefer your American note to that false Coyne any day!

  3. Past Elder says:

    Triple whippy and a double bippy! I suppose you mean a one-time defender of Catholic orthodoxy going off the rails later over a heretic’s teaching.

    Now, that would imply a parallel between Montanus and Luther. While it is true that each has been called “the first Protestant”, any comparison between Montanist teaching, especially Montanist teaching re Montanist teaching, and Lutheran teaching made to the good Herr Doktor Luther would have produced all kinds of otherwise inexplicable markings on his recently excavated toilet.

    However, there is some similarity between Tertullian and Terence, after whom I was named (and it not being that common in the pre-conciliar Church to name someone after a pagan rather than a saint, but Dad got it done even though Mom wanted Stephen. Both were Berbers. And, like me, Terence got the name later, him getting the name from the Roman senator who had bought him as a slave, and me being born Douglas and renamed Terence after adoption.

    Actually, though, there is some uncertainty whether Terence was a Berber by birth or taken there later with his mother as slaves, but the name Afri makes him Libyan rather than Carthaginian per se, which would have been punicus, as in the punic wars.

    God bless me, you guys are up and posting! My tone? Great flying cheeseballs with crackers, first psychoanalysis, then spritual direction re virtues, now expository prose — is there anything one who does not bow to the god of Rome cannot find here?

  4. Joshua says:

    PE,

    You know we are all only too glad to instruct you in every aspect of behaviour and belief.

    :-)

    P.S. If your Pres.-elect ushers in anti-Christian persecution you’re welcome to come to Oz!

  5. Past Elder says:

    Sunny beaches, I forgot to mention that Luther quoted Terence and thought his plays good for lit class for schoolkids. Does it get any better than that?

    While I doubt soon-to-be President Obama will become the American Diocletian, nonetheless I would love to come to Oz. As it is, likely my closest contact with be my years rooming with “Crocodile Dundee” in graduate school. He moved to Melbourne with his Norwegian Minnesotan Lutheran wife. He has sinced passed on early to whatever his reward may be and she returned to the US I hear, so I’ll look for a place close to Schuetzie’s, Lito’s, Bob Catholic’s, not yours though because I think you’re from NSW. Louise may require a crash cart if I am seen moving in next door.

  6. Joshua says:

    From NSW!?!

    You might as well name me a @#%&*!

    I'm Tasmanian; and just about to move back home, after a stint in WA. (Oh, and I did live in Victoria on and off for nearly a decade, hence my acquaintance with Herr Schütz et al.)

    You should know that as an adopted Melburnian, due to my time there, I cannot bear the idea of being accused of being a Sydneysider – aptly referred to as "the sinful city of Sydney, sunk in vice" as opposed to the Glorious See of Melbourne.

  7. Past Elder says:

    Who’s the bleeder from NSW then? And my deepest apologies for the mistake! BTW, “Croc” was Tasmanian too. Hobart. Then here. Then Melbourne.

  8. Louise says:

    God bless me, you guys are up and posting! My tone? Great flying cheeseballs with crackers, first psychoanalysis, then spritual direction re virtues, now expository prose — is there anything one who does not bow to the god of Rome cannot find here?

    You can get it all here, PE, which is probably why you keep coming back!

    I think I was provoked by all the spiritual and moral guidance coming from you, PE, but hey, if you want to do a log and splinters thing, go right ahead.

    What the blazes is a crash cart?

  9. Louise says:

    Joshua, when are you coming back to the blighted see of Hobart (“on the verge of institutional collapse”)?

  10. Past Elder says:

    Geez Louise (like that one?) I keep coming back to see if you guys finally do profess Catholicism instead of this Brave New Church and its phenomenology with an accent with which you seek to think.

    Log and splinters? There’s no moral and spiritual guidance from SCE? My favourite was the combox where I ask if David thought I would look good in a dalmatic und der Blogmeister sagt No but I think you’d look good in a confessional.

    A crash cart is the cart full of stuff the nurses (can’t remember if you guys call them sisters) come in with in an emergency.

  11. Peter says:

    This string of comments would be an excellent study for modern debating classes.

    When trying to justify something without any decent argument, first throw up a sarcastic straw man version of the Church’s teaching to mock, making sure to place the key sacred concepts in sneering “inverted commas”, contemptuously refer to any disagreement as the spawn of a serious psychological disorder (using more up to date psycho-babble adds more punch though) and, most importantly, when your argument is about as convincing as a wet lettuce SHOUT LIKE HELL

    That about covers it for that method. For the extension classes, visit anti-Pope Brian I’s site.

    David: Your writing is supurb, but it pales in comparison with your patience! God bless you all.

  12. snuffyboots says:

    There’s no moral and spiritual guidance from SCE?

    1. Was that before or after you first came here, with constant harranguing of David and anyone else *you* disagree with?

    2. So, you take this out on me?

  13. Louise says:

    Oops! That snuffyboots was really me!

  14. Past Elder says:

    I keep forgetting how utterly humourless post-conciliar “Catholicism” is. Then again, when you’re not Catholicism but saying you are, there’s a lot at stake and a big lie to cover up, and that tension spills over to your followers.

    (Relax: “you” refers to the post-conciliar RCC, not you guys, who are “followers”.)

    OMG, the old “that’s not what the Church REALLY teaches” again! ALways useful in the face of what the Church really teaches. The old “nothing really changed in the changes” should be along shortly now. Black is an aggiornamento of white, white a doctrinal development of black. Welcome to Rome. Where what it taught yesterday is “your personal opinion” and what it teaches to-day is “what it has always taught”.

    If you’re looking for an “anti-pope”, look to John Paul II. His universalism strained through phenomenology disguised as Christianity more seriously departs from the Catholic Church than anything I’ve heard coming from Brian.

  15. Joshua says:

    PE,

    Really, naughty, naughty!

    As if you and that false Coyne would agree on morals – I assume that you as a confessional (?) Lutheran still hold to decent morality, and clearly Rome still teaches the same, while the aCatholic types don’t, and instead are on the high road to hell along with so-called mainline Protestantism.

  16. Schütz says:

    David: Your writing is supurb, but it pales in comparison with your patience! God bless you all.

    Ta, but I think it’s time to go to bed guys…

    (And, BTW, the joke’s on you guys if you think I have been reading all this blatther!)

  17. Past Elder says:

    Joshua, you’re missing my whole point in this thread. No, I don’t agree with Mr Coyne’s ecclesiology stated herein or with much of anything else I’ve read on my visits to CA.

    Mr Coyne, and those like him, articulate a clear and consistent ecclesiology, insofar as I can tell born of a profound love for Christ and his Church, and its Scriptures, history and teaching, especially as evidenced in Vatican II, which they identify as closer to the intent of Christ and his Church than much of what has historically followed, and yes, in the context of which, it not being the same ecclesiology you, or I for that matter, find out of the same love, and may also see as one with the original intent, may then draw different moral conclusions than you, or I, for that matter, too.

    Alles klar? (Yikes, that was German, I’ll take a swig of coffee and try to remain in the stylistic wheelchair preferred here, it means “everything clear?” btw.)

    The difference is, they just up and say so! They do not engage in all sorts of convolutions about this change being a change but not really a change because it’s the same. Which directly derives from the different ecclesiologies.

    As an example, which is only one of many possible examples but I use it here because it is accessible to all, the Liturgy. They make no bones about their distaste for the Tridentine Liturgy itself or the form of Church it both represents and out of which it grew, and see all that as an historical aberration within the Church from its real self to which we are now called to return.

    I don’t buy any of it, but it’s honest, it is exactly what it says it is, it does not engage in proposing something new relative to our times as actually the same thing. As in, banish altogether any celebration of the prior rite unless one first jumps through restrictive hoops imposed by them, then forty years later pull it out of their arses as the “extraordinary” form of the rite whose “ordinary” form you will acknowledge as their new rite.

    I’ll take Mr Coyne, the CA crowd and their counterparts elsewhere any day over all this doublespeak verbal sleight of hand.

  18. eulogos says:

    I would not presume to say anyone is on the road to hell…or it would take a lot more than what anyone has said here to induce me to say such a thing.

    I believe the argument IS about ecclesiology. But the one Mr. Schultz holds and I hold, is that there is such a thing as truth, that some truths, those about the incarnation, saving death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, are essential to the salvation of our souls, that God wanted to make sure that we could know those truths, and for that purpose he gave a mission of teaching that truth to the apostles and their successors, with Peter at their head. Now the Pope is NOT the source of truth; the source of truth is divine revelation which comes to us in Scripture and apostolic tradition. The Pope and the Bishops are the interpreter of Scripture and tradition when there are disputed points. In doing that they do ask themselves what the Christian people have always believed; one of the chief sources for this would be what is written in the ancient and venerable liturgies of East and West. If the people of God have been singing for a thousand and a half years or so to the “Theotokos who a virgin gave birth to Christ the Word” this is a testimony that this is the belief of the church.
    Mr. Coyne appears to believe that we ought to conduct an opinion poll! He seems to think that the fact that in these times which are returning to paganism, it is hard for parents to pass on their faith to their children, so that many of our adult children do not believe, that this means that the truths of the faith are somehow not true any more. He seems to have a confusion between truth and “what works” or between truth and what a majority of people can accept in 2008. He seems to be confusing the Zeitgeist with the Holy Spirit. This seems to be a genuine and sincere confusion, but it isn’t Catholicism. I think Mr. Coyne would be happier in an ecclesial body whose leaders think the way he does; I know the American Episcopal Church thinks that way; is there anything similar in Austrailia? What he shouldn’t be doing is to be trying to make the Catholic Church be something which it is not and never will be.

    Past elder, I believe you have mistaken a particular incarnation of Catholicismm, or one might say, a particular sociological moment in Catholicism, for Catholicism itself. Even the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas, wonderful as it is, does not compass or limit Catholicism. Remember, Aquinas was condemned for a while for trying to integrate Aristotle’s thought with Catholicism; it wasn’t thought possible. I believe those who are trying to use the thought great modern philosopher as a framework for a theology could be engaging in a great work. Of course there could be great dangers attached and it is something I don’t think one could dare it without a living magisterium to pass judgment on the conclusions. I myself did not deal well with Hegel, and find JPII’s writing dense, especially the more academic writings. I donated my copy of The Acting Person to the Toronto Oratory, knowing that some people there might be able to get something out of it but I am unlikely to. But I don’t see why he should be condemned for the attempt. I think that it will be a long time before whatever is good from it is thoroughly integrated into the Church’s life. I know that whatever is not helpful from it will ultimately be rejected, because I believe in Christ’s promise to the Church.

    Mr. Coyne, Mr Schutz is not “syncophantish.” He believes in Catholicism. You do not. I don’t know how to tell you strongly enough that what you and those like you are doing is utterly futile; the Church will never be what you think it is and what you want it to be.

    Susan Peterson

  19. Past Elder says:

    Great, so we’re back to telling Mr Coyne what he does and doesn’t believe and to finding him a new church.

    Funny you should say I have mistaken a particular moment in Catholicism for Catholicism itself. Now, as long as everyone is speaking for Mr Coyne, I guess I’ll have a go, and my guess is he would say the same about you — that the Church as you understand it with which you want to think is neither Church as instituted by Christ or recalled by Vatican II, but a point in time you seek to impose on all later points in time.

    Likewise doctrine: to seek to impose one moment of understanding of doctrine on all other points and call it unbelief if not accepted.

    And, like the sycophants of old, seek to have them punished and/or removed by the authorities to whom you appeal.

  20. eulogos says:

    PE- I think I know what you are trying to say but your second paragraph is incoherenet.

    I do believe the Catholic Church was founded by Christ himself, although I realize that he did so in a kernel form which later developed with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    I believe the kernel included bishops priests and deacons with somewhat differentiated roles,the idea that bishops would be the successors of the apostles, the idea that Peter was the first of the apostles and that that position would continue in his successors, the two main sacraments and some words of guidance from the Lord which were intended to point us to the other sacraments, and in general the idea that the church must be one in faith and visibly and structurally one. (This is ecclesiology now, not all the basics of the faith.)

    Isn’t that what you believed as a Catholic? It is what the Church still teaches.

    Mr. Coyne as I understand it from his defending this Spongian priest, has trouble with the basics of the Christian faith, the trinity, incarnation,divinity of Christ, virgin birth. The Church could never have a “moment” in which She denied these doctrines.
    Susan Peterson

Leave a Reply to Louise Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.