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Priests' consultation bid goes nowhere

A bid by the National Council of Priests (NCP) for more consultation on bishops' appointments has hit a wall of secrecy.

In April, The Catholic Leader revealed the NCP's concerns about several recent episcopal appointments, including a decision to move Archbishop George Pel from Melbourne to Sydney.

The paper now reports that NCP chairman, Fr Denis Minogue of Corio parish in Melbourne Archdiocese, says he had taken concerns by a number of priests to the plenary meeting of the Australian Bishops' Conference in May but these had struck a "dead end".

"We didn't get very far. They're as much in the dark as we are. The whole process is surrounded in secrecy. The bishops called it a bit of a mystery of religion," Fr Minogue said.

He said it was a source of frustration.

"Canon law says that Christ's faithful are to be consulted but it doesn't outline how. It's all to do with the nuncio. But there's a veil of secrecy so you just don't know who he consults and if he does, they are sworn to secrecy as well, so it's a dead end," Fr Minogue said.

Catholic Leader