St Mary’s , Brisbane told: Be Catholic, or Be Shut Down

Yes, it happen in the Catholic Church. A parish can be quashed for going astray of Church teachings, liturgical norms and other practices antithetical to the Catholic faith. This parish has now been given fair warning.

From The Courier Mail:

In a three-page letter delivered to parish priest Father Peter Kennedy on the weekend, Archbishop Bathersby said St Mary’s was operating outside practices and policies acceptable to the Roman Catholic Church.

The church – where women can preach, homosexual couples can be blessed and social justice is championed – has a congregation of about 700 that would be the envy of many parishes.

About 300 church members at Sunday morning’s Mass listened stunned as Fr Kennedy read out excerpts from Archbishop Bathersby’s ultimatum.

“The question for me,” the Archbishop wrote, “is not so much whether St Mary’s should be closed down, but whether St Mary’s will close itself down by practices that separate it from communion with the Roman Catholic Church.”

He cited a number of issues including allegedly unorthodox masses being practised and the hierarchical authority of the Church not being respected.

If the church were forced to close by the Brisbane Archdiocese it would be a first for the Catholic Church in Australia.

“In reality St Mary’s South Brisbane has taken a Roman Catholic parish and established its own brand of religion,” he said. “Undoubtedly it does good, it promotes a strong sense of community, opens its doors to all who wish to come, but its own style of worship and sacramental practice can hardly be described as Roman Catholic.”

This is not the first time St. Mary’s, Brisbane has been in trouble. From May 2008:

Back in 2004, Archbishop John Bathersby wrote to Fr Peter Kennedy, parish priest of St Mary’s, South Brisbane, to ask that he comply with Redemptionis Sacramentum, follow the liturgical norms and stop baptising people “in the Name of the Creator and of the Liberator and of the Sustainer”. They were doing this to make the sacrament “more inclusive, less patriarchal.” Fr Kennedy begged to differ from the Bishop’s suggestion that he had been baptising invalidly. From The Hermeneutic of Continuity.

Of course I am with the Archbishop on this. Better they be shut down than preach another gospel. But, I am also sure that I am with the Archbishop in saying that it is far, far better that they come in line with the fulness of the faith than be shut down. In the Church, disciplines which distance one from the Church are meant not for retribution but for the good of the one disciplined that they may feel the desire for reconciliation and be converted.


2 Responses to St Mary’s , Brisbane told: Be Catholic, or Be Shut Down

  1. […] Gay Parish is Part of Brisbane Gay Network, May Get Closed According to Queensland Pride, there is a broader network of gay parishes in Brisbane, Australia, which the Archbishop ought to be looking at.  Again with the identity politics. See Also: St. Mary’s, Brisbane Told: Be Catholic or Be Shut Down. […]

  2. J says:

    I went to this parish on the weekend and found the change refreshing. For the first 12 years of my life I went to church on a very regular basis. Going back to a church which does not have such stringent guidelines was a good change. It was willing to talk about issues that were important to the community here and now and not a community in 33 AD. They tackled more personal issues and the people that i attended with felt more relaxed and at home.

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