Sunday, February 8, 2009

Wayward Australian Parish Heading Towards a Breakaway

I have been following this for the last few months and have not really posted on it until now. I am doing so today because it seems to be nearing an end - a very sad end.

St. Mary's in Brisbane has sadly strayed not only on the liturgy, but on Catholic doctrine.

Archbishop John Bathersby of the Archdiocese of Brisbane has been trying to correct the problems for 6 months. From an article with ABC in Australia

The Archbishop of Brisbane, John Bathersby, previously warned Father Peter Kennedy to stop flouting church rules or face the sack.

In a letter received on Friday, Archbishop Bathersby said Father Kennedy and "the community have not budged an inch".

It says Father Kennedy’s appointment will be terminated on February 21, unless he resigns first.

Father Kennedy says he is considering his options.

"I’ve been here 28 years and I know this community is solidly behind me, and so we could go elsewhere," he said.

In the letter, Archbishop Bathersby says parishioners cannot be stopped from breaking away but has warned them they will not be in communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

In this video you get an idea that this is not your run-of-the-mill liturgical abuse. There is much more under the surface. What I think is even more sad, is that it took video footage captured by other Catholics, sent to the Vatican and the Archbishop to get things moving. This has all been going on for many years. One wonders, how many people have been led into grave scandal through the actions of this disoriented priest over the roughly 6 year period that other Catholics had been protesting the happenings at this parish. What I'm not clear on is whether any of those lodging complaints are from St. Mary's (a disaffected group), or if they are strictly from a neighboring community. Either way, it is good that it has all come to light because people cannot continue to be exposed to this parish as a Catholic parish, in communion with Rome.

Here in my neck of the woods there a parish every other mile. I don't know how many other parishes there are in South Brisbane, and how far people would have to commute without St. Mary's.

Will Fr. Kennedy leave the church building behind if he is ousted, or will he and his parishioners try to take the property?

Fr. Z has a podcast in in this post in which the dissident priest says he does not believe there is a heaven or a hell. There are many other such conflicts with Catholic teaching throughout the interview.

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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!