Monday, 30 March 2009

Fr Dresser on South Brisbane: theological illiteracy at play...

It seems to be one of those days (and yes I should be working on my thesis rather than reading this stuff)!

But remember Fr Peter Dresser, the guy who wrote the infamous book questioning the divinity of Jesus, and who is (still) a parish priest in the diocese of Bathurst?

Well over at Acatholica, they are discussing the latest in the Brisbane saga, and actually in general the view seems to be that Fr Kennedy really had gone even the limits of what a liberal catholic would accept! Until in steps Fr Dresser arguing that he should have been allowed to continue in his disobedience, and adding this clanger:

"I might also add, just in passing, that there is a clear distinction in liturgical law between "legality" and "validity" when it comes to the celebration of the Sacraments or any other liturgical rituals. While undoubtedly there are quite a number of questions regarding the legality of the liturgical practices at St Mary's, I feel that from what I have read, seen and heart, there is no question regarding their validity. [Actually there is a question on their validity. That's why something had to be done.] To baptise in the name of the Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier [specifically ruled as INVALID by the CDF] or to use the words "I forgive you your sins" rather than "I absolve you from your sins" [Of doubtful validity, though I haven't seen a specific ruling on this one.] may very well be illegal formulae but they would not, I believe, invalidate the Sacraments of Baptism or Reconciliation respectively. Similarly, the Mass has an approved Eucharistic Prayer and is presided over by an ordained priest. Whatever other irregularities occur, the Mass must be regarded as a valid celebration of the Eucharist." [Firstly, Fr Kennedy wasn't using the approved Eucharistic prayer, but something the community made up themselves. Matter, form, qualified celebrant, qualified recipient, intention are all required for validity of a sacrament. On the face of it more than one of these seem likely to be absent...].

He then goes on to discuss attempts to find 'more meaningful ways' of putting things in relation to the Virgin birth, etc.

Don't go read it. It will just make you madder.

Bring on the appointment of a new (and orthodox!) bishop of Bathurst, willing and able to tackle another festering problem!

And tomorrow I'm only going to report on good news stories - so please send me some!

1 comment:

Son of Trypho said...

I think the most interesting revelation that has come out of the St Mary's debacle is the fact that Fr Kennedy has implicitly admitted that he knew they were doing something wrong for years and "kept under the radar" and that this was ok with Abp Bathersby (similarly suggested by aCatholica posters).

It really is startling that the authorities are permitting these folks to run around causing these problems, primarily, it seems to me, because there are so few clergy that they are afraid to deal with them and have to deal with the logistical problems when they are removed.

I personally think parish members should directly question Abp Bathersby on what the negotiations with Fr Kennedy have been and what the details are. They really should know if the diocese is paying for Fr Kennedy to continue his antics from the TLC down the road and/or what agreements are being signed up behind the scenes.

I wonder if the liberals who keep crying out about the unnaccountability of the church would agree?