Sunday, 15 February 2009

Spare a Thought for St Mary's, South Brisbane

St Mary's catholic church in Brisbane, Australia has been in opposition with their local bishop and the wider church over the last year or so. Whilst I am not fully aware of all that the community is undertaking, I do recognise their struggle to make relevant the Gospel in their everyday lives, in an inclusive spirit. Their searching has set them at odds with church authorities and their story can be read in local Australian press, their MySpace page and their blog. Show your support for St Mary's by voting here. St Mary's certainly has my support. Spare a prayer for their pastor Fr Peter Kennedy.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

A big thumbs down to the Catholic Church hierarchy in Brisbane for sacking the visionary Father Peter Kennedy.
As usual, anyone who dares to put into practice the teachings of Christ is condemned by the Church.

Father Kennedy has been relieved of his position as parish priest of St. Mary's, South Brisbane for being a true embodiment of God's grace. His cardinal crime was the exercise of acceptance, love and true inclusivity, welcoming all to his church. The good Father Kennedy is known for blessing gay couples, encouraging the active involvement of women in sacramental activity and even acknowledging the power and importance of religious traditions other than his own.

In 20 years time priests like Father Kennedy and parishes like St. Mary's will be the norm in Australia.

For now the Church must hang its head in shame and Archbishop Bathersby must prepare himself for an eternal place in the rogues gallery of the religious wicked who tried to stem the tides of love and compassion and stake a claim for legalism and all that is wrong in organised religion.

The Church has really made a terrible error in this case. As Macauley so brilliantly pointed out, the great genius of the Catholic Church through the ages has been in its ability to absorb its rebels. Simply shifting over and making a place for even the most radical ideas has meant that the Church has remained dynamic, varied and unified for a very long time.

But perhaps this is just a temporary blip, similar in kind to the excommunication of the Blessed Mother Mary Mackillop. Perhaps in a hundred years time we'll be celebrating the beatification of Father Kennedy. I think there's a very real possibility of that.

Father Kennedy is a great man, and has single handedly done more for the reputation of the Catholic Church than almost any other cleric in recent memory.

Contemplative Catholic said...

Thankyou so much for your comment. I'm delighted you took so much time to write in support of St Mary's. The parish and all you do will be in my thoughts and prayers. I wish there were more people with the vision of Fr Kennedy.