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    catholic church establishment seems to be feeling a bit threatened these days


    catholic church establishment seems to be feeling a bit threatened these days

    Post by chuglet on Sun May 17, 2009 3:55 am

    Rebel priest Father Peter Kennedy may soon be dismissed from the priesthood, but he says he will continue to conduct services regardless.

    Fr Kennedy has ignored two official letters from the Archbishop of Brisbane John Bathersby demanding he stop conducting services or face penalties, "not excluding dismissal from the clerical state".

    The priest has been involved in a long-running dispute with the Brisbane archdiocese, which sacked him as administrator of St Mary's for engaging in unorthodox practices, such as having a Buddhist statue in the church and allowing women to preach the homily.

    Fr Kennedy led most of his congregation away from the South Brisbane church the weekend after Easter and has since been conducting religious services in the nearby Trades and Labour Council (TLC) building.

    Archdiocesan chancellor Fr Adrian Farrelly said the way was now open for serious penalties to be imposed on the rebel priest.

    Fr Farrelly said sending the two letters - dated 30 April and 5 May - was a canon law requirement before penalties could be imposed for serious breaches of Church law. Penalties range from suspension from all priestly activities to dismissal from the priesthood.

    Suspension would mean Fr Kennedy would remain a cleric but could not lawfully celebrate Mass and the sacraments in public, officiate at weddings, preach or hear confessions.

    Fr Farrelly said a priest's dismissal was a significantly more serious penalty.

    "In such a case, the person involved could only return to active ministry as a priest with the approval of Rome," he said.

    But Fr Kennedy told AAP the two letters "changed nothing" and he would continue to conduct services even if dismissed.

    "We will go on maintaining that we are within the Catholic Church," he said.

    "The archbishop wrote prior to the sacking that he can't stop me going elsewhere but if I did and people followed me, that they would be outside the archdiocese and the Catholic Church.

    "That's his call. But bishops make mistakes and we believe he is making a gross mistake.

    "We believe the archbishop and Father Farrelly have done something incredibly unjust.

    "This should never have happened. We did nothing to deserve this," he said.

    Fr Kennedy said his congregation was "particularly strong" and that more than 300 people came to each of the three services at the TLC building every Sunday.

    He said a number of priests and bishops privately supported him and his congregation, which have named themselves St Mary's in Exile.

    With all the hoohah in The States about some bishops speaking out against reiki, and people accusing the new Pope as being quite reactionary or conservative in the least. It looks like the Church is battoning down the hatches, drawing imaginary lines in sand and digging its heels in against things it perceives as undermining its authority and teachings..Well, that's nothing new really- if you look at it- they've been doing that for centuries! (and there has always been rebel clergy about, who people loved and followed regardless)

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