THE National Council of Priests (NCP) is to study canon law on the appointment of bishops at the request of concerned priests in Victoria and NSW, following Archbishop George Pell’s appointment to Sydney from Melbourne.
The priests’ concerns are also in relation to pending episcopal appointments in Melbourne, Wollongong and Wilcannia Forbes.
NCP chairman and Corio parish priest, Fr Denis Minogue from Melbourne archdiocese, said on April 4 the council was concerned about the whole process of appointments without consultation.
“It seems there could be wider consultation with Christ’s faithful,” he said.
“Actually it seems the outgoing bishop submits a list of possible successors to the papal nuncio.
“But if the people are to be welcoming and more accepting, they should be consulted. If you want people to work wholeheartedly with you, you can’t just be thrust on them.”
The NCP, which represents about 40 per cent of Australia’s priests, will discuss what canon law says at a meeting at the end of this month.
It plans to take the matter to the Australian bishops’ conference in May.