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Bishop Ingham's plea to schismatics...

The Bishop of Wollongong, Peter Ingham, has published a sensitively worded article in the Catholic Weekly which seeks to both explain the legal situation concerning the activities of the so-called "Order of St Charbel" whose leaders, Mr William Kamm and suspended American priest, Malcolm Broussard, have placed themselves in schism with the Catholic Church.

The Bishops writes: "Schism is a split or breach of communion with the Church caused by a real repudiation (not just an act of disobedience) of the authority of the Pope. The prerogative to appoint a bishop belongs to the Pope alone. To violate that brings an automatic excommunication reserved to the Holy See, for both the consecrating bishop and for the one consecrated."

He then goes on to explain the history of the difficulties with Mr Kamm, who is also known as "the Little Pebble", and previous pastoral warnings issued by Bishop William Murray and Archbishop Philip Wilson.

Bishop Ingham explains though that, "as the Bishop of Wollongong, I am acting very pastorally and making a fresh attempt to call [Fr Broussard], William Kamm and their followers, back into communion with the Catholic Church."

"I want Fr Broussard to heal the breach of communion that he has committed. I want him to see the error of his ways and be reconciled with the Church."

"I also have a pastoral concern to protect people of good faith from being caught up in a schismatic movement that Fr Broussard has now endorsed by his unlawful purported ordination. I am concerned for his salvation and the salvation of people who have been drawn into his schismatic movement. I want to help them all back into communion with the Catholic Church."

Catholic Weekly

30 Jun 2003