Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sound familiar? You bet.

From the combox of this ABC story on Archbishop Bathersby's decision to appoint a new administrator at St Mary's South Brisbane:
My family where all practicing Catholics but now none of us (out of 7 children) including our parents declare ourselves as Catholic anymore.

Like you said I dont need some old fart to tell me about what he thinks God is about - most of the priests I had dealings with were very very far from Godly... The whole church heirachy is groaning from the weight of its own debauchery and I hope I live to see it collapse.

If Jesus were here today I think He would be banging on the doors of the Vatican just like He did with the money lenders at the temple. I dont think He would take their crap very well at all..

People seem to forget that Jesus was a rebel, and fought against the might and hypocrisy of the religious establishment, He spent time with the underpriveliged and the outcasts and turned His back on the powerful and exposed their moral vacuum..

Does this sound familiar?
Oh yes, very familiar. So familiar that it makes one wonder if there is some website somewhere with some sort of software-generator thingy that just churns this stuff out at a push of the button...

I thought this comment string from the same post was a worth a chuckle:
Commentator: The little noise you just heard was Jesus turning in his grave [in reaction to the Archbishop's decision].

Next Commentator: Hmmmm, not read your bible? He left his grave after three days for more appropriate lodgings.

19 Comments:

At Wednesday, February 11, 2009 2:29:00 pm , Blogger Louise said...

Like you said I dont need some old fart to tell me about what he thinks God is about - most of the priests I had dealings with were very very far from Godly... The whole church heirachy is groaning from the weight of its own debauchery and I hope I live to see it collapse.

Hilarious! What a tantie!

If Jesus were here today I think He would be banging on the doors of the Vatican just like He did with the money lenders at the temple. I dont think He would take their crap very well at all.

I'm pretty sure He wouldn't take this crap very well, either.

Go on, stamp your little foot in impotent rage!

 
At Wednesday, February 11, 2009 2:30:00 pm , Blogger Louise said...

Needs to have a chat with the Bad Vicar!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGDndcxH-O4&eurl=http://www.markshea.blogspot.com/

 
At Wednesday, February 11, 2009 4:05:00 pm , Anonymous matthias said...

I did not know that there was a person still alive from the Borgia's era-debauchery? see it collapse? Hell will freeze over before that happens.Correction hell will be in the Lake of fire .
Jesus will not banging on any doors when He Returns,and even if he were i am sure the vatican would be well down the list after :
Lambeth palace,New Hampshire Episcopal diocese,the UCA and the megachurches,both here and in the USA. And oh yes,the person who made those comments unless he/she repents as well
No tanties at the Judgement seat of Christ. But then I am just expressing stuff that is old fashioned and out of date and not in keeping with the Modern Smooth Cross

 
At Wednesday, February 11, 2009 4:51:00 pm , Blogger Paul said...

Fr Kennedy's supporters are clearly hoping for a PR coup when the new administrator arrives and asks him to leave. No doubt there will be some ABC cameras around at the time, but I wonder who else will be supporting Fr Kennedy?

Faithful Catholics who see the value of the graces from the sacraments will be happy to see him go. People who hate the Catholic Church will feel sympathetic, but they already think Fr Kennedy is an idiot for wanting to be a priest, so how far will they support him? People who admire the charitable activities of the parish will defend him, but again, do they see any necessity for a priest to be running these charities? (Catholics should read "Deus Caritas Est" to see a true description of the value of good works.)

I read a few websites which regularly criticise the Church, but they have all gone quiet on the South Brisbanites.
I am just curious and waiting for Feb 21st to see if Fr Kennedy gets as much support as he expects.
I read that one of their plans is to claim Aboriginal ownership of the church on the basis of the treaty they signed. If they try that, they might find that the radio shock jocks turn on them in a big way.

 
At Wednesday, February 11, 2009 6:20:00 pm , Anonymous Peregrinus said...

Haven’t followed this one closely, but it strikes me that the Archbishop has consistently tried to be low-key. For instance, in his recent letter he treats the matter as one involving the administrator first and foremost, rather than parish, and the only action he takes is with respect to the administrator. No question of interdict on the parish or anything else of the kind.

His letter does not ask Fr Kennedy to move out of the parish house (where I assume he lives). The new administrator is already the Dean, and may already live quite close by. (From the fact that St Mary’s has an administrator rather than a pastor, I assume it’s a city centre parish attached in some way to the Cathedral parish.)

The letter does rather hint that the Archbishop would not be too disappointed if Fr Kennedy were to retire from active ministry, so he is not getting another post which requires him to move to a new residence. Nor has the Archbishop offered him any alternative residence, which points fairly strongly to the suggestion that the Archbishop expects him to remain in the parish house, at least for the time being. The diocese presumably houses retired priests and, if he does retire, the question of where he will live will need to be addressed. But it doesn’t have to be addressed by 21 February.

So there may be no showdown on Saturday simply because there may be no attempt by the Dean to move into the parish house, or to get Fr Kennedy to leave.

 
At Wednesday, February 11, 2009 6:31:00 pm , Blogger Tony said...

I just love this 'us and them' stuff. Let's find an expression of anger and wagg our collective fingers and say, 'See what they are like!'. You can almost hear, 'I'm glad we're not like them'.

It may useful to think in terms of a conspiracy theory David -- it's a great 'depersonaliser' -- but it may just express what many people feel.

It may be that some people have a common feeling of distance from church leadership and that makes them angry.

This kind of expression of anger is not confined to the 'left' as this blog attests on an almost daily basis.

How does this stone throwing contribute to unite Catholics let alone with other denominations?

My 'window' into 'the left' (I really hate the labels) is Catholica and I'm struck by a sense that very few have this tone of superiority over recent events -- not that they aren't capable of it! -- rather they are urging caution and restraint.

I know you guys are sick to the back teeth of St Marys, but there are real people there. Some are arrogant, but they don't have a monopoly on that, and others are trying to respond in a Christ-like way to what they see in front of them.

They might be wrong and they might let off steam occasionally, but they're in the same boat we are ... just.

 
At Thursday, February 12, 2009 8:43:00 am , Anonymous Tom said...

Tony said..

It may be that some people have a common feeling of distance from church leadership and that makes them angry

I answer that...(who got that? :D)

The difficulty with feeling angry about a distance between oneself and the authority of the church is that our modern answer is to rebel. In virtually every situation when something isn't the way we like it, we tend either to try and change it, or failing this reject it. Now, the church wont do this. I'm sure PE will rip me a new one for this, but the reality is the church is The Church, and (as JP2 said) it does not need to change for the world, the world needs to change for it.

So, to be quite clear, the people who are at St. Mary's, and even Fr. Kennedy are still our brothers and sisters in the communion of the church. However, they are acting heretically; and if they're unhappy with how the church leadership is dealing with the problem, the solution isn't to act even more so.

I mean personally, I'm in favour of obedience to the Bishop. That being said, if someone doesn't feel they can do this, the answer isn't to jump up and down, and try and make others feel the same. At least engage in a discourse with the Bishop instead of hopping on national media and trying to make the Vatican and the Arch-Diocese out to be bullies.

Fr. Kennedy is playing with peoples lives; if he wants to break away from the Communion with Rome, then he can do this. No-one, anywhere can rightfully stop him. The problem is he doesn't understand that in breaking away from Rome, it's not the authority of Rome he's rebelling against, what he's rebelling against is the fact that he's not sitting in Rome. Any breakaway church rebelling against the Pope fundamentally ends up either fracturing more and more, or in order to remain together, replacing the Pope with a different head. One which will be just as sure to retain their authority to teach truthfully.

Either way, Fr. Kennedy isn't right to do what he's doing. If he wants to let off steam, do it without assaulting our Holy Mother.

 
At Thursday, February 12, 2009 11:13:00 am , Blogger Paul said...

Hi Tom, I agree with what you are saying. As I understand the reference in this post to the money changers in the Temple, Jesus' objection was that they and the local authoritories were not being true to their tradition and that the Lord's house was no longer "a house of prayer". He was not protesting against the Temple itself.

The trouble is, there doesn't seem to be much listening going on at St Mary's. From my reading about this in the newspapers, some people at the StMary's parish are being as dogmatic and high handed as they accuse Rome of being.

We should pray for the new administrator that he can share Christ's message and that people are willing to listen.

Having said all of that, most of the social justice activities there are probably worthwhile, but StMary's parishioners have to be careful not to fall into the stereotype of "salvation through works" that Protestants have accused Catholics of for years.

 
At Thursday, February 12, 2009 11:22:00 am , Blogger Louise said...

I just love this 'us and them' stuff.

Interesting, really, because in my own parish, I accept the people who are there including the ones who are at The Tablet end of the spectrum. They, at least, are still in the Church out of a genuine humility that it's all about God. Interesting too, though, that of anayone in the parish who is likely to take an "us and them" approach st parish level, it's those who are at The Tblet end of the spectrum and not those of us who just want to believe in the contents of the catechism in peace. For people who love to yabber on about "inclusivity" they sure are happy to exclude catechism Catholics.

Oh yes and thankyou Tony for luding to the phaisaical nature of catechism Catholics. Can't say I've never heard that one before either.

How does this stone throwing contribute to unite Catholics let alone with other denominations?

How do you unite people who are fundamentally at odds with each other?

I'm struck by a sense that very few have this tone of superiority over recent events -- not that they aren't capable of it! -- rather they are urging caution and restraint.

This would be a rare moment, going by my experience of parish life.

I know you guys are sick to the back teeth of St Marys, but there are real people there.

Are we disputing this?

Some are arrogant, but they don't have a monopoly on that, and others are trying to respond in a Christ-like way to what they see in front of them.

How?

They might be wrong and they might let off steam occasionally

So, it's okay for them to let off steam and it's not okay for us to let off steam?

 
At Thursday, February 12, 2009 11:23:00 am , Blogger Louise said...

Sorry for the typos, my keyboard has some keys missing!!

 
At Thursday, February 12, 2009 11:55:00 am , Blogger Louise said...

From my reading about this in the newspapers, some people at the StMary's parish are being as dogmatic and high handed as they accuse Rome of being.

Bingo.

 
At Thursday, February 12, 2009 12:57:00 pm , Anonymous Peregrinus said...

Gosh, Louise, given our conversations on another topic on this board, you seem surprisingly willing to place a high degree of faith in the reliability of the newspapers!

 
At Thursday, February 12, 2009 3:56:00 pm , Blogger Louise said...

Yes, it would seem that way indeed, but I'm going more by experience of what Catholics at The Tablet end of the spectrum are actually like, than by Paul's reports of newspaper reports.

I certainly accept that there is a possibility that the newspapers have misrepresented the parishioners at St Mary's and if you can show why that might be the case, I'll gladly listen.

 
At Thursday, February 12, 2009 4:18:00 pm , Anonymous Peregrinus said...

I approach this, as I approach pretty well everything I read in the papers, on the basis that what the newspapers paint is a picture that is in some way distorted, so that everyone, on either side, who is actually involved in the situation would say, when faced with the newspapers reports either "well, not really . . . " or "yes, but . . ."

But, as to specifics, I can't help you. I suspect that the picture is distorted, but I don't know how it is distorted. I have never been to Brisbane, I don't know anyone in the congregation and I don't know anyone in the diocese charged with dealing with the matter.

 
At Thursday, February 12, 2009 6:50:00 pm , Blogger Tony said...

Interesting, really, because in my own parish, I accept the people who are there including the ones who are at The Tablet end of the spectrum. They, at least, are still in the Church out of a genuine humility that it's all about God.

And, I venture to suggest, so are the St Mary's people. So far the only action taken by the person on the ground with authority is to tell the priest he's 'moving on'. He, and the rest of the parish, are still in the church -- some may be hanging on by their fingernails, but that's all the more reason, in my view, to be very keen to engage with them. They are the 'lost sheep' we're supposed to go the extra mile for (even to extent of leaving the flock a little vulnerable).

Interesting too, though, that of anayone in the parish who is likely to take an "us and them" approach st parish level, it's those who are at The Tblet end of the spectrum and not those of us who just want to believe in the contents of the catechism in peace. For people who love to yabber on about "inclusivity" they sure are happy to exclude catechism Catholics.

Trouble is, once you adopt these entrenched positions that the labels betray, you tend to see in others what you want to see. I have also experienced the negative - my way or the highway - side of those at the other end of the scale. The labels allow us to box people into impersonal groups with expected behaviour.

How do you unite people who are fundamentally at odds with each other?

We value dialogue and ecumenism with Anglicans, Lutherans (amazing as it is!), Jews ... We do it by treating them with respect (even ... especially when they don't reciprocate).

Are we disputing this?


Not in so many words ...

How?

In all sorts of ways.

So, it's okay for them to let off steam and it's not okay for us to let off steam?

I'm trying to get beyond the 'steam' I guess.

I guess it's one of my obsessions. Labels are wonderful linguistic shortcuts that work really well when there is an agreement about their meaning. When they're used as way's of boxing people in to certain behaviours they become rhetorical weapons and contribute to division in a really destructive way. When you expect people to behave in a way that the rest of the group you've assigned them to behaves, it's amazing how your view becomes distorted. It's how racism works.

 
At Thursday, February 12, 2009 9:02:00 pm , Blogger Louise said...

They are the 'lost sheep' we're supposed to go the extra mile for (even to extent of leaving the flock a little vulnerable).

Nice. But the analogy falls down somewhat. I mean, it's a case of going after the sheep and them continuing to run away, really. You can't leave the other 99 indefinitely.

Complaining about labels is reasonable and I don't normally relate to people as labels - most people don't fit neatly into boxes. However, there is a definite reality here and the labels can be helpful in these discussions.

"Getting past the steam" is also reasonable, but it strikes me that mean nasty "conservative" Catholics aren't allowed to have emotions. Sorry, that's my experience as a Catholic and I think I'm allowed to express my anger as much as anyone. And I'll do it whenever I like.

Seriously, all I want to do is live according to the catechism without being ridiculed by my co-religionists! Is it really too much to ask that I can go to Mass, which is said according to the rubric and hear a homily that sounds *different* to the garbage I hear on the TV? Is it? Really?

And as for the mob at St Mary's, the problem seems that they are not very willing to dialogue in return.

And to clarify, I am certainly not disputing the humanity of the people at St Mary's.

 
At Thursday, February 12, 2009 9:05:00 pm , Blogger Louise said...

As someone else said:

If I go to join a club, they give me the application form which sets out their rules. I sign up. I then decide I don't like some of those rules and campaign against them, but am voted down in a meeting of members. Instead of leaving the club, I take over the clubhouse and whinge to the media that I'm being forced out by unfair and outdated rules.

I just don't get why these people are surprised they have been asked to leave private property in these circumstances. It is all well and good to agitate for change, but to say it is my way or no way, and refuse to leave the property, is misguided, rude and illegal.

Start up your own church if you want, but don't make out you are some sort of martyr when all you really are is a fool.


Not a lot of humility in such a position as this, IMO.

 
At Friday, February 13, 2009 8:36:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Can I just point out, as I did in my original blog on the matter, that the Archbishop is being amazingly pastoral and sensitive and patient and all the rest of it. He hasn't excommunicated anyone. He has said nothing at all about the people at St Mary's. He has offered Fr Kennedy an honourable way out of the situation. What is there to be angry about? The olive branch has been offered - it seems a little nasty to turn around an beat the offerer with it.

 
At Monday, February 16, 2009 11:28:00 am , Blogger Tony said...

It's and interesting take David. 'You're sacked!' is an olive branch?

Kennedy may be right or wrong, but what he's been offered is hardly an olive branch. It is much more akin to the Godfather's 'offer you can't refuse'.

Seriously, all I want to do is live according to the catechism without being ridiculed by my co-religionists! Is it really too much to ask that I can go to Mass, which is said according to the rubric and hear a homily that sounds *different* to the garbage I hear on the TV? Is it? Really?

The church is not a club with a narrow set of entry criteria. It is a vibrant community constantly engaging in change and growth. That process is often painful and very often today's rebels become tomorrow's saints.

If you want to withdraw from that messy growth, you can Louise. Just as you invite those you disagree with to join or set up another church, I invite you to find a church that is much more rigid in the way it deals with those on the edge.

 

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