Editors Note: Creator, Liberator, and Sustainer?
The Word of God made flesh says this: “Go, Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Mathew 28, 19-20).
Please, St. Mary’s, humble yourself and listen to what the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, is saying to the churches…
Brothers and sisters: Through Jesus, let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have; God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind. Obey your leaders and defer to them, for they keep watch over you and will have to give an account, that they may fulfill their task with joy and not with sorrow, for that would be of no advantage to you. May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep by the Blood of the eternal covenant, furnish you with all that is good, that you may do his will. May he carry out in you what is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
With prayers for truth and reconciliation in communion with the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church– james mary evans
THE LETTER FOLLOWS:
790 Brunswick Street
PO Box 936)
New Farm Old 4005
AustraliaTelephone (07) 3131 5500
Facsimile (07) 3358 1357
6 February 2009
Rev Fr P Kennedy
St Mary’s Catholic Parish
PO Box 3449
SOUTH BRISBANE QLD 4101
Thank you for your letter of 12 January with its invitation to further discuss the situation of St Mary’s South Brisbane. I see no reason to do so. I have repeatedly asked for changes but you and the community have not budged an inch. Moreover South Brisbane’s instant disclosure of my letters and comments in the media gives me no reason to enter into discussion. By all means consult the people of St Mary’s as you wish but ultimately you yourself are the shepherd and leader of its decisions. Time and time again I have spelt out a request for changes at St Mary’s Parish if it is to remain in communion with the Archdiocese of Brisbane and the Roman Catholic Church. However time and time again St Mary’s has chosen to go its own way. Therefore reluctantly I make the following decisions.
1. I will terminate your appointment as Administrator of St Mary’s Parish effective Saturday, 21 February 2009 unless you were to resign beforehand.
I would like to add, without trying to exert pressure, that if you wish to retire from active service as a priest, the Archdiocese will assist you as it does with other Archdiocesan priests who retire.
2. From the 21st February 2009 I will appoint Dean Ken Howell, of St Stephen’s Cathedral, as Administrator of St Mary’s, until a new Administrator is appointed.
From Sunday, 22 February 2009 regular Masses at 7am and 9am will be celebrated at St Mary’s Church until the matter is reviewed. Other sacraments of the Church will be available and can be arranged with Dean Ken Howell. Church goers attached to St Mary’s are most welcome to continue, as well as those who wish to return to the parish or those who wish to become new parishioners.
3. I sincerely hope that St Mary’s emphasis on social justice will remain. However such matters should be discussed with the new Administrator.
4. Because of its name, chosen originally in 1864, I also hope that sound Marian devotion will be promoted at St Mary’s as was normal in the past. I will do whatever I can to facilitate and encourage this devotion.
5. Because there is doubt about the validity of the many baptisms performed at St Mary’s, I will nominate a special day in the near future when baptisms can be performed at St Stephen’s Cathedral and certificates issued to parents concerned about validity, or those who are adult converts. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made it clear in March 2008 that invalid baptisms cannot be dismissed and forgotten. They must be corrected.
6. Peter you have already claimed in the media that you may lead people who desire to follow you into a breakaway Christian community elsewhere in South Brisbane. I cannot stop you from doing so. However those who follow you should realise that they will not be in communion with the Roman Catholic Church or the Archdiocese of Brisbane.
Peter, making these decisions gives me no satisfaction whatsoever. The separation of Christians is contrary to all that Christ prayed for. Nor does such division promote the Kingdom of God. You have had ample time to make a considered decision. Please God the division that exists at the present time will be healed in the future, probably not in my time. I ask the priests, deacons, religious and people of the Archdiocese of Brisbane to pray for me and for all who belong to the Archdiocese, especially the community of St Mary’s in its present situation. In this matter I pray also that Mary the mother of Jesus will be our inspiration and guide as we seek her prayerful support for the healing of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, and St Mary’s Parish.
Sincerely in Christ
Most Rev John A Bathersby DD
ARCHBISHOP OF BRISBANE