On a distasteful note, in Brisbane, Australia, the way-out-there Peter Kennedy is splitting a group even farther from Holy Church and taking it on the road.
My emphases and comments.
This is from ABC:
A controversial church congregation in South Brisbane has declared itself a Catholic community in exile.
The keys to St Mary’s Catholic Church will be handed back to Brisbane’s Archbishop John Bathersby next month after Father Peter Kennedy was removed as administrator, due to unorthodox practices.
The congregation is preparing to move 200 metres down the road to the Trades and Labour Council building, where weekly masses [maybe] will be held.
Father Peter Kennedy says it will be a dignified handover of church property and he expects most parishioners will move with him.
"I could be wrong but I would expect about 95 per cent to come. It’s very gracious of the Trades and Labour Council to invite us," he said.
"I’m hoping that somehow people within the community will come up with some ideas about how we might rent. We couldn’t buy one, but we could rent something."
He says he is still a Catholic priest and regular masses and baptisms will be held, but in a different place. [Invalidly. And it is true he is still a priest. He will be forever. Priests remain priests even after death…. even in hell.]
"I think we’ve lost the fight by being pushed out of here, by being excluded from here, but have they won the battle? That is the question."
The Trades and Labour Council building will be refit prior to becoming the new temporary base.
He obviously wanted the press to know.
There is another story here, at the Courier Mail.
REBEL Catholic priest Peter Kennedy expects 95 per cent of his 1000-strong congregation at St Mary’s South Brisbane to leave the church with him. [95%?]
He also believes his eviction from the church is being closely followed by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Premier Anna Bligh, who have both attended mass at St Mary’s. [?!?]
"On the second Sunday after Easter we will gather as a community here and we will walk down to the TLC Building," Fr Kennedy said yesterday after presiding over mass at St Mary’s. [Note the language used by the writer.]
"I expect 95 per cent of the congregation to go with me."
Fr Kennedy, 71, who has to quit St Mary’s by April 20, said he would move to the Trades and Labour Council Building, which he dubbed the "Totally Lapsed Catholics Building" or the "Tender Loving Care Building". [clever, too… you can probably come up with your own witty meanings for that acronym]
The move follows a mediated agreement [I wonder if in that mediation any possibility was raised that Kennedy might go to jail.] last week between the St Mary’s community and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane over Fr Kennedy’s removal for unorthodox practices, including changes to the liturgy, recognition of gay people and marriage of divorcees. [Again… notice the language "recognition of gay people".]
Fr Kennedy had been defying Archbishop John Bathersby’s February cannon [kaboom!] law decree of removal by refusing to hand over the keys to St Mary’s to new administrator Dean Ken Howell.
Fr Kennedy, a priest for 44 years including 28 at St Mary’s, said he still rejected Archbishop Bathersby’s claim that St Mary’s was operating outside the Church. [Again, the language. "Claim"?]
"We’ve lost the fight but have we lost the battle?" Fr Kennedy said.
He predicted the Catholic Church was "pragmatic enough" to change radically, including allowing women to become leaders. [Women can be leaders. They can’t be priests.]
"The Church when it is facing annihilation can turn itself around," he said.
Fr Kennedy said he was not afraid of being excommunicated, because the move was "just words". [okaaay…]
"They can’t burn you at the stake these days," he said. "We live, thank God, in a liberal-democratic society.
"That’s the question the Church has to face: How it can be a feudal system working in a liberal democracy." [?]
He said Mr Rudd, when in Opposition, had "sat on the floor" of St Mary’s and also given a keynote address to social justice organisation Mica Projects, which operated from St Marys’ House.
Ms Bligh had attended baptismal masses at the church and supported Mica projects.
Fr Kennedy said he had no plans to retire and expected to still receive some financial support from the Catholic Church. [perhaps a topic of the mediation?]