Brisbane: renegade parish in the news again

St. Mary’s in Brisbane is in the news again.

ABC (non commercial govt. station) had a video piece on the 7:30 report.   There is a transcript.

Check also these past entries here and here.

Here is a link to the video.

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  1. Templar says:

    I am struck by the contrast between this story and the story yesterday about the SSPX in Ameins. In that story you have Catholics who desire to be loyal and faithful, who are forced into the street. In this story you have people who merely call themselves Catholic, but are in reality complete Protestant, yet they are allowed to continue to occupy Church property. Scandalized may be too strong a word, but it’s how I feel.

  2. Ohio Annie says:

    I can’t see the video but looked at the other links. What they do isn’t even protestant, it’s something all made up and mixed up! I am so glad I am not there.

  3. “And the collection has gone up, too”.

  4. Chironomo says:

    Scandalized is not too strong. The difference between the two situations is found in the attitude of those involved in relation to “authority”. In the one situation (Brisbane), the authority has determined that those involved have ceased being Catholic. In the other (SSPX), those involved have determined that the authority has ceased being Catholic. The one situation (Brisbane) desires to expand the definition of Catholicism to include a wide variety of things, while the other (SSPX) wishes to narrow the definition to exclude much of what has been done by the “authority”. Without making a judgment either way, you have to admit that while they may have some parrallels, they are quite different situations.

    Please do not read this as a criticism of the SSPX… it is not! On many issues I agree with them, while earnestly hoping that their situation can be regularized and they will some day be a part of the Church again… I wish no such thing for the insanity in Brisbane!

  5. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:

    Funny how “inclusive/welcoming” liberals seem to think there is such thing as a “private” baptism or liturgy. I’m not up on my Canon Law but I don’t think any Mass or celebration of the sacraments can be deemed “private” in the sense where people can be kicked out. Besides, shouldn’t they reach out to those who disagree with them?

    And the “Jesus broke the rules” argument doesn’t wash. Yes He did…and then He set up a new authority.

    And it’s not a battle between “traditional” and “unorthodox” Catholics. It’s between Catholics and those who have been led into error.

  6. Brian Mershon says:

    There are churches very similar to this one in nearly every diocese in the United States. It is just that they have not captured this much attention. From CA, to WI, to SC, to FL,these exact type of parishes, with these type of priests, are “tolerated” (and encouraged by many) by bishops throughout the U.S.

    Why is anyone surprised? This is what happens when bishops hide and cower in their chanceries for decades.

  7. Rudy of CC says:

    Sad situation. The collection went up so it must be OK to continue in this fashion. The people have spoken. The church of what ever floats my boat will come to order.

  8. Thomas says:

    Another interview with Fr. Kennedy:,23739,24892611-3102,00.html

    Some gems from Father:

    “Most of the people who come here are what we call ‘recovering Catholics’.

    “Well, Jesus always stood with the poor, the broken and the oppressed. Jesus was not a Christian. He was a Jew. And he certainly wasn’t a Catholic and he didn’t start the Catholic Church. He didn’t start any church.”

    I guess Father’s non-genedered translation of the Gospels edits out the whole “and on this rock I shall build My Church”

    Orate pro eum.

  9. IvoDeNorthfield says:

    The priest says that they have attracted the attention of Church authorities “because we’re breaking the rules, and that’s exactly what Jesus did.” Actually, they’re in trouble because they’ve created and are enforcing their own set of rules. They were quite happy to enforce their rules when they roughed up a whistle blower taking pictures at one of their baptisms. They’re not opposed to authority; they’re just opposed to authority of the Catholic CHurch.

  10. Scandal, sigh, it brings great sorrow, i have no words.

  11. TJM says:

    It would be nice for an excommunication via “bell, book, and candle.” Wishful thinking aside, it is truly a sad day when a priest uses his authority to lead people away from the one true Faith. Tom

  12. Fr. Guy says:

    I couldn’t help but notice that Fr. Kennedy looks to be in his late 60’s. That’s fitting since he also seems to be stuck in the decade of the 60’s. We will sadly and unfortunately have to deal with mistaken attitudes like his until all the aging hippies have passed away.

  13. How funny this came up,. I was just thinking yesterday, about the contrasts with st Mary\’s of Brisbane. Or closer to home some of the churches in my own Diocese that have taken liberties (The nun at st Cronin\’s, St Stanislaus board, etc)

    All three of the above examples I think went further off their rocker then the SSPX ever did.

    Waht will happen unfortunately if a Bishop slams down the Crosier (which HE SHOULD BTW) is a situation similar. One, you have the people who \”built the parish\” who because they were never properly catechized, will see it as such and back their priest. Then you have a situation similar. The Bishop, doing the only thing he can, remove\’s the offending priest. Now I am not sure of property issues, thats what blew the mess up in St Louis. But you end up again with sides in an arguement.

    I think sometimes bishops get blinded by that, and refuse to act for the sake of \”pastoral harmony\”. I go back to the St stan example. IT had been going on since the 70\’s, yet people attribute it to his Excellency Raymond burke, Why, because he was the one who finally publically stood up to them. He had the courage. He is incredibly educated. I think the past 40 years, have unfortunately produced some un educated priests and Bishops. They either dont compeltely know the faith, dont teach it, or dont want to teach it. So I think the courage is shrunk right there.

    Many Pastors/Bishops opertate under the assumption \”well atleast they are in church\”. To a point, I guess that\’s true. Atleast St AMry\’s is in Church, at least St Stan\’s is in church, At least the SSPX celebrates mass, according to the Latin Rite. but we have to be careful with such statements, lest we become complacent, and not uphold the teaching of the church, and defend her magisterium

    In the end, I dont think any of the above situations have an easy solution, save the gradual replacement of the people in those situations.

  14. Tomas says:

    Brian M.

    “This is what happens when bishops hide and cower in their chanceries for decades.”

    I believe the Lavender Mafia has been doing a lot more than hiding and cowering…

  15. magdalene says:

    This priest can go and start his own church but he had better leave the property to do it! He is as ‘catholic’ as the founder of the ‘life teen mass’ who also left to start hsi own brand of church.
    LET THEM GO. They only continue to take souls from Christ from within the ‘establishment’ but are actually outside of it and hate it too. This priest is not a Catholic so lets see the charade ended.

  16. Ad Orientem says:

    To me this is a sign of much that is wrong in the RCC. And I am not talking about the loons in this obviously heretical parish. The problem is with bishops who has tolerated this insanity for so many years. There is the real scandal. Any church can and will have occasional malcontents and theological wack jobs. But when the malcontents and wack jobs are wearing miters, you have a serious problem. There are from my perspective two possibilities here.

    1. The bishop is sympathetic to the heretics.
    2. The bishop is afraid to do his job.

    I am Orthodox and maybe I am being unduly harsh in my criticism. It may also be that I am used to a different sort of ecclesiology. Our bishops tend to keep their priests on a much shorter leash and are fairly quick with the hook if it looks like something is amiss. That said if I were the Pope I would not worry about this silly parish in a church of a billion+ people. That’s not his job. I would however fire the bishop for dereliction of duty (I am giving the more charitable interpretation to the bishop’s non-action) and then put someone in there who has a clue about what a bishop is supposed to do.

    In ICXC

  17. RANCHER says:

    Perhaps my thoughts are not very christian but my advice to the priest (not!) and those who would leave with him is don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out. On second thought………

  18. YW says:

    I’m quite open to exploring ways to make the liturgy more accessible, but this is just ridiculous.

    I am probably to the left of most people here, but please don’t think that all of us modern types think this kind of thing is okay. Though there is clearly a great spirit in the parish, what they are doing is going to alienate people. I would like to think that there are ways to maintain that same spirit while still keeping a relatively orthodox Mass.

  19. tradone says:

    The most charitable thing kennedy could do is, as he said, “ride off into the sunset”. I say ride and don’t let the door hit you.
    That this has been allowed to continue is outrageous.

  20. Jordanes says:

    IvoDeNorthfield said: The priest says that they have attracted the attention of Church authorities “because we’re breaking the rules, and that’s exactly what Jesus did.” Actually, they’re in trouble because they’ve created and are enforcing their own set of rules.

    That’s the thing, though: Jesus set aside the Mosaic rules not to do His own will, but to accomplish His Father’s will, to establish His Messiahship, to show that the Son of Man is both Lord and God. When they set aside the rules of the Church of Jesus, they are setting themselves against and in place of Jesus: they are implicitly proclaim themselves to be Lord and God instead of Jesus.

  21. Jess says:

    The last line of the interview really sums it up for me:

    “PETER KENNEDY: My brother said to me, “Why don’t you ride off into the sunset?” And, like, for me it would be like walking out on your family.

    Like cause why get out of bed every morning? This community.”

    This community. Not Christ.

    I do recommend watching the video. Seeing the way they are doing things at this parish was… edifying, to say the least.

  22. Thomas says:

    I believe the Lavender Mafia has been doing a lot more than hiding and cowering… –Tomas

    OUCH! Harsh but true. The past forty years has so eroded the efficacy and the authority of the hierarchy, we must expect that when the next generation of bishops begins to takes back the Church for Christ, as they must, we will lose those who refuse to return to the Truth. It is heart breaking, but unavoidable. We can only pray that those miserable people who reject the Truth have truely reached the state of invincible ignorance and may yet be saved in God’s mercy.

  23. tertullian says:

    Kudos to these gentlemen if they believe they’re on the right side of this controversy.But, speaking of Christ and the probable position he would take made me think of El Greco…

  24. Pat says:

    Why is it always “We are Church”, or “We have a new way of being Church”? Did the definite article go out with Vatican II? This newspeak drives me bonkers.

  25. Br Pelagius says:

    The Priory has been following this saga in the Australian media for sometime.
    It has been a media war (with the Archbishop absent) between orthodox Catholics
    and Fr Kennedy.

    Lately, the media has been biased toward Kennedy but the two early reports from
    the marvellous Tess Livingstone (Pell Biographer) in The Australian really set
    the ball rolling.

    My brothers and I have been advocating a formal Excommunication Rite
    exemplified in the Film Becket.

  26. Thomas says:


    What exactly does “relatively orthodox” mean?

    I see nothing about the “spirit” of that parish that is worthy of preservation. I see a spirit of pride and disobedience. Satan is a spirit, too. Having a “relatively orthodox Mass” is pointless (if not impossible) if these people are dominated by such poisonous vices. They haven’t simply cut themselves off from 2,000 years of Christian Tradition, teaching, faith, and worship; they have cut themselves off from Christ Himself. They won’t be saved by tweaking a few of the more egregious abuses in their “Masses.” In fact, that kind of hypocrisy will just add to the severity of their Judgement.

    These people and their Judas priest need a mega-dose of humility and penance, otherwise the isolation of which you speak will be nothing compared to the cold isolation of hell.

    Harsh words from me? Maybe. But to paraphrase Robert Bolt’s Thomas More, “Is it my place to say “good” to this parish’s sickness?”

    God have mercy on them all.

  27. Thanks for this Father, am linking you to my site. Found you through Fr Ray, St Mary Magdalen. God bless.

  28. Kradcliffe says:

    That story never explained what the traditionalists object to. Not one word about invalid sacraments or a specific example of a heretical statement by the priest. From the video, to the non-Catholic viewer, it just looks like some fuddy duddies are being grumpy and mean and not letting an Aboriginal elder speak from the pulpit.

    That is so annoying. :(

  29. Michael G says:

    Apart from some small examples of oddness in the Liturgy, easy enough to correct, there is nothing here that could not be done by an orthodox priest following the norms of the NO rite. This looks like another micro-celebrity ageing priest of the Spirit-of-Vatican-II hatch.

  30. josh says:

    The fact that the church building was beautiful just made it sadder. What would they do to expel the parish but keep the church?
    “I couldn’t help but notice that Fr. Kennedy looks to be in his late 60’s. That’s fitting since he also seems to be stuck in the decade of the 60’s. We will sadly and unfortunately have to deal with mistaken attitudes like his until all the aging hippies have passed away.” – Fr Guy
    Yes that seems to be the only way. Unless…no wait, i think there’s a Commandment against that.

  31. Mitch says:

    Growing and increasing contributions do not make it right…And as for the programs they support that makes them wonderful generous people, but not necessarily Catholic…A big part of being a Catholic is the Church’s Magesterium and always has been….And with that they are not in line at all……Justifying their brand of Catholicism by using Jesus’ means of rebellion of authority does not give them the rights to do as they wish…..If it were correct there would be no real Catholic Church, just a bunch of independant Parishes, each doing as THEY seem fit…..A place where no one will belong or understand the neighboring parish. It will all lead somewhere, not good or Holy in the bitter end…Take for example the so called Palmarian Catholic Church…, whose leaders did things their way..Now they even have their Pope…Is this where St. Mary’s is headed?? I bet the poor people in Palmar de Troya never thought so either…

  32. Maureen says:

    Jesus didn’t break the Mosaic rules. He used well-established Jewish principles of law interpretation to do something entirely legal. He also used His own authority as God to dispense people from some rules, to modify other rules, and finally to establish some new ones.

    So saying that Jesus broke the rules is like saying that the Pope and the bishop can’t dispense you from eating meat on Friday, or can’t choose their own staffers, without breaking the rules. It’s like saying I break the law of gravity when I stand up. Nonsensical!

  33. David Kastel says:

    SSPX are (wrongly) commanded that they can’t say the old mass…They “disobeyed” this unjust command…and what resulted was suppression, suspension and excommunication…for the “crime” of using the old missal. The SSPX priests and faithful are like the guy who has been unjustly convicted, and “illegally” escaped from prison. The man accepts the authority of the government and the judge, but he knows he is right. They believe in and practice the Catholic faith and use a never-abrogated Catholic liturgy.

    These Aussies, on the other hand are like bomb-throwing anarchists. They do not believe in the Catholic faith, they (it would seem) do not use an authorized liturgy, they do not believe in, accept, or obey the Divine Constitution of the Catholic Church. And their penalty is…

  34. RC says:

    He doesn’t believe Christ founded a Church?

    Maybe we should send him a copy of Lamentabili sane, the 1907 list of condemned Modernist propositions, and ask him to check all the ones he holds. Or, for simplicity, maybe just the ones he doesn’t hold.

    While I don’t want to put words in Fr Kennedy’s mouth, I couldn’t help remembering this condemned error:

    52. It was far from the mind of Christ to found a Church as a society which would continue on earth for a long course of centuries. On the contrary, in the mind of Christ the kingdom of heaven together with the end of the world was about to come immediately.

  35. Andrew says:

    I am disgusted.

  36. Andrew says:

    Why didn’t they report the INVALID BAPTISMS?!?!?!?!?!

    Those people are not Catholic.

  37. rpg3 says:


    Thank you for those words, excellent point!

  38. How long has this been going on? What is the point of having a bishop if things like this are allowed to go on and gain steam?

    Meanwhile, you gotta love the hypcorisy. Listen to his “inclusiveness” in telling the man “you don’t belong here” at the baptism. And, didn’t he say that it was a “private” baptism? Any good liberal should know that no liturgical act is private! But, then again perhaps it wasn’t really a “liturgical” act in the true sense.

  39. peter says:

    I realise that I may be a little(well alot) out of left field,but the Great Synagogue disappeared this time last year, now perhaps it’s St Mary’s turn. When are people going to question the effect that occult architecture placed less than a 1km radius from both these buildings has had.
    Perhaps it’s time for Rome to turn the volume up, not off.

  40. Interesting to notice the obvious age of Fr. Kennedy; this is the era of the screwball church and he is but one example of it. Hopefully the newer generation of priests have been better trained, and we should see less of this folly.

  41. Dion says:

    May I summarise a solution, since souls are clearly at stake. Abolish the Bishop’s Conference and return to a Primate, subject to the Pope. Retire the Archbishop. Send the PP (who has been there so long he behaves as though St Mary’s is his personal prelature) on retreat until he retires or decides to dress and act like a priest. Hand over the parish to the FSSP (who have not been allowed to operate in Brisbane). Become Catholic again. Congratulate the loyal parishioners who have acted so courageously.
    PS. There are no bad soldiers, only bad officers. After 2,000 years, why is it necessary to constantly re-learn such obvious errors?

  42. pdt says:

    I notice the wording of the invalid baptisms at this church includes “Creator” in lieu of “Father”. One of our local priests does the same thing in the Canon of the Mass, explaining in one of his sermons that God has no gender. I know he’s not supposed to change the words of the Mass, but is this “non-gendered God” a specific heresy or is it just the nuttiness of an individual priest?

  43. I can’t see where it’s been mentioned in these comments, but when I open this page, this video clip goes right into “play” mode. It’s driving me almost as crazy as would the parish in question.

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