Q: What is the Catholic Church's stand on the movement in Australia
known as Mary's Magnificat Meal?
A: The Mary Page has received the letters of Bishop
William Morris, the ordinary responsible for the diocese of Toowoomba, Queensland,
concerning the Magnificat Meal movement. The most recent published letter is dated
October 27, 1998 and follows here.
STATEMENT BY BISHOP WILLIAM MORRIS
Under ordinary conditions, priests in Australia are generally
presumed to have faculties to administer the sacraments anywhere in Australia within the
framework of the Catholic Church. Exceptions to this occur where there has been a specific
direction by any Bishop, within his diocese in some way limiting those faculties or by
virtue of a limitation indicated in the Code of Canon Law.
I have twice made public statements that the Magnificat Meal
Movement is not a movement of the Catholic Church. Neither I, nor any other Bishop in the
world, can grant to any cleric the faculties to preach or administer the sacraments for
any group which is not a recognized movement of the Catholic Church, nor give permission
for the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament.
The only legitimate clergyman in the Catholic parish of Helidon is
Father John Ryan or someone who legitimately replaces him. Anyone else intending to
minister in the parish must have my direct permission, or permission arranged through
Father Ryan. For some time now, there have been no such requests for clergy visiting the
Magnificat Meal Movement premises. The Magnificat Meal Movement has no right to dictate to
the parish of Helidon how to celebrate any Sacramental Rite or Eucharistic Celebration nor
does it have permission from myself or any other Bishop, including Bishop Issam Darwish,
to reserve the Blessed Sacrament on its premises, or in any private residence.
To my knowledge, the parish of Helidon always follows liturgical
rites as set down in the Roman Missal or the Roman Ritual: Holy Communion and Worship of
the Eucharist Outside Mass. Given its public statements and actions, there is some
considerable doubt as to whether the Magnificat Meal Movement is a genuine Christian
movement. However, if the Magnificat Meal Movement wished still to become a recognized
movement within the Catholic Church, the means are always there for it to do so.
WILLIAM M. MORRIS, DD
BISHOP OF TOOWOOMBA
For more information on the
Magnificat Meal Movement, consult the following text: An End Times Tragedy
by Wal Maggs of Helidon, Australia. Kathleen Collins, a Mary Page
reader, informs us that this book provides a run-down of the group as written
by a former member.
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