Sunday, 29 March 2009

And just when your thought the South Brisbane farce was over...

Fr Kennedy plans to set up 'St Mary's in exile' 200 metres away from the Church, in the Trades and Labour Hall, starting on April 20, according to the Courier Mail. So just why did the archdiocese agree to such a long delay - allowing more time for them to get organized?

On the plus side, there is something to be said for letting error flourish outside the nominal confines of the Church, rather than inside it, and this will certainly make things easier for the new administrator...

The paper reports (with my comments):

"REBEL priest Peter Kennedy has vowed to create a church "in exile" just 200 metres from the Brisbane Catholic church he is being forced [!] to leave.

St Mary's Catholic Church in South Brisbane will be handed back to Archbishop John Bathersby next month after Fr Kennedy was removed as administrator.

The archbishop in February sacked Fr Kennedy for refusing to stop unorthodox practices such as blessing gay couples and selling books that questioned the divinity of Jesus. [Not to mention his own erroneous views on the divinity of Christ. And his refusal to actually baptize people. And follow the rubrics of the Mass. And the list goes on...]

Father Kennedy initially refused to go and threatened legal action, but under a mediation deal agreed with the diocese on Thursday [I really hope that deal doesn't in any way preclude suitable further action against Fr Kennedy..], will now hold his final mass at St Mary's church on April 19.

St Mary's community council chairwoman Margaret Ortiz earlier said Fr Kennedy's backers were devastated that an end date had been set for him. "The community believes the process has been unjust and unfair," Ms Ortiz said. "The community also strongly believes Peter Kennedy has not caused ecclesiastical harm."

Thousands of people turned out for masses led by Fr Kennedy despite his sacking, to show their support.

Now, the congregation is preparing to move to the Trades and Labour Council [thank you labour movement...] building for weekly masses.

Fr Kennedy on Sunday told reporters he expected the vast majority of St Mary's congregation to go with him to the new community, to be called "St Mary's In Exile". [!]

"I think 95 per cent of the people we have now will come to the new place," he said.
Fr Kennedy said he was still a Catholic priest with the right to conduct masses and baptisms. [Well actually anyone, even a non-catholic can, in principle, baptize - provided they actually say the right words and intend to do what the Church wants, something Fr Kennedy seems to have a problem with. And on masses, one assumes that he will shortly be laicized, making any such masses illicit. Quite why he hasn't already been excommunicated or suspended is unclear, but presumably that will happen on April 20...]

He said the Trades and Labor Council building would not be the new community's permanent home, and the hunt was on to find a place to rent.

Fr Kennedy will begin holding mass at the new location on April 20, starting with a march from St Mary's."

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