Sunday, February 8, 2009
Archbishop John Bathersby will sack Fr Peter Kennedy, parish priest of St Mary's Catholic Church South Brisbane, he is advising the priest to retire
The news was contained in a letter sent by Archbishop Bathersby to Fr Kennedy, marking the church's formal response to a long-running dispute with Fr Kennedy. Archbishop Bathersby wrote that Dean Ken Howell from St Stephen's Cathedral in the CBD would be made temporary administrator of St Mary's from February 21.
In the letter, Archbishop Bathersby said it gave him no pleasure to terminate Father Kennedy's appointment. But he said there was no reason for further discussion of the decision.
"I have repeatedly asked for changes but you and community have not budged an inch," he wrote.
"... Time and time again St Mary's has chosen to go its own way."
The archbishop said he realised he could not stop the parish forming a breakaway Christian community elsewhere in Brisbane, but it would not be in communion with the Roman Catholic Church.
Archbishop Bathersby advised Fr Kennedy that if he "wished to retire from active service, the archdiocese will assist as it does with other priests who retire". Bathersby has warned any parishioners loyal to Fr Kennedy that they will be excluded from the church if they followed the priest to any new venture. "Those who follow you should realise that they will not be in communion with the Roman Catholic Church and the Archdiocese of Brisbane," Archbishop Bathersby wrote.
For many years, the Catholic parish of St Mary's, has been notorious for its continued liturgical abuses and doctrinal errors. In 2004 Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane took action over an invalid baptismal formula - 'Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier' instead of 'Father, Son and Holy Spirit'. Earlier this year matters came to a head when a statue of Buddha was placed in front of the altar at St Mary's, prompting letters of complaint to the Archbishop and to the Vatican. It is also reported that he allows women to preach and homosexual couples can have their relationships blessed.
St Mary's parish steering committee today vowed that it would be business as usual from February 21, insisting Fr Kennedy would stay on and parishioners would pay his stipend from the regular money collection take up during masses. Fr Kennedy did not reveal his plans today but again urged the Archbishop to change his mind and to meet with parishioners.
Last week Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell said he was a "friend and supporter" of Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby, who will rule on whether to expel St Mary's priest Father Peter Kennedy and his supporters from the South Brisbane church."I'm a friend and supporter of Archbishop Bathersby and I wish him well in a very difficult situation," he said.
I hope and pray that Fr Kennedy and his followers give up their heretical beliefs and return to the church. Thank you Archbishop Bathersby for your wisdom and strength in this difficult situation.
Links to similar articles
Father Kennedy Will Take St Mary's Parish With Him
Parish At Risk Of Excommunication