Greg Stolz and Margaret Wenham
February 04, 2009 11:00pm
ARCHBISHOP of Sydney Cardinal George Pell has given his tacit blessing for the possible excommunication of a rebel Brisbane priest and his 800-strong flock.
Cardinal Pell said he was a "friend and supporter" of Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby, who will rule on whether to expel St Mary's priest Father Peter Kennedy and his supporters from the South Brisbane church.
Father Kennedy and his congregation have caused uproar for blessing homosexuals and allowing females to preach.
While refusing to comment directly on the controversy, Cardinal Pell, who was in Queensland yesterday, unreservedly backed Brisbane's Archbishop.
"I'm a friend and supporter of Archbishop Bathersby and I wish him well in a very difficult situation," he said.
St Mary's, which for almost 30 years has been a refuge for South Brisbane's homeless including Aborigines, has been under threat of closure since August, when an aggrieved churchgoer lodged a formal complaint about its practices to the Vatican.
Archbishop Bathersby wrote the church a six-page letter alleging it was out of communion with the Roman Catholic Church on a range of issues and should close.
He had been expected to rule on the church's fate last month.
St Mary's community member Karyn Walsh said nothing had been received from the Archbishop since his return from holidays earlier this week.
"We had no idea the Archbishop would be away for so long," she said.
"We're just waiting to hear."
Archbishop Bathersby was in Sydney yesterday and could not be contacted.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
George Cardinal Pell backs Archbishop Bathersby on actions taken regarding Fr. Peter Kennedy
Cardinal Pell has spoken, but first a recap and some notes....
It's getting down to the wire for Fr. Peter Kennedy in South Brisbane, Australia, who refused to accept and convey the Church's teachings on a number of issues at St. Mary's. There have been invalid baptisms using the wrong formula, questionable marriages, and one has to wonder whether the Mass is even valid (video can be seen in this earlier post).
The priest has vowed not to go down quietly and has considerable support from his parishioners and others from outside the parish, who would like Church teaching to be dynamic and relative to suit every individual's needs and desires.
Fr. Kennedy, 71, collapsed on the heels of what was probably his last Mass at St. Mary's and was released from the hospital soon after.
I have received several comments that I cannot post. If I could address the errors in these comments without re-writing half of the Catholic Catechism, I would have done so. It is clear by these very passionate comments in support of Fr. Kennedy, that the people writing them do not know the Catholic faith. Since I cannot address these many errors in a reasonable amount of writing space, I do not want to lead others into scandal by giving such statements an open platform.
I would urge Fr. Kennedy's supporters to spend time learning the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Approach it not with what you want it to teach, but with an open mind to learn what it teaches. Pray for enlightenment. Truth is not changing or dynamic, but fixed and static. You cannot have several versions of objective truth any more than you can have several versions of Jesus.
Archbishop Bathersby cannot concern himself with emotions and feelings, but with the salvation of those in his care. He is doing that by removing Fr. Peter Kennedy after giving him ample opportunity to learn and make adjustments accordingly. He is providing a shepherd that will offer the true Catholic faith - a faith which does not condemn people with homosexual orientation, but which urges them to live chaste lives like any unmarried heterosexual person must do. People need to align themselves with the teachings of the Church, not the other way around.
EDIT: If you struggle with same-sex attraction and want to live out your Catholic faith in it's fullness, visit COURAGE - a Church-approved apostolate.
CARDINAL PELL SPEAKS
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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!