Tuesday, August 26, 2008


San Francisco's Holy Redeemer Parish has nothing over Brisbane's St. Mary's, and Catholics from both dioceses are requesting the Vatican to shut them down.

[Archbishop John] Bathersby raised a number of practices at St. Mary's that have sufficiently angered some conservative Catholics so as to spark complaints direct to The Vatican.

The issues include the presence of a Buiddhist statue, use of unorthodox liturgy and a "congregational" leadership style more democratic than authoritarian.

"In reality St. Mary's South Brisbane has taken a Roman Catholic parish and established its own brand of religion," Bathersby wrote.

The church has previously angered conservatives in the church by welcoming gay couples and allowing the Brisbane Gay and Lesbian Choir to perform there in June 2003 as part of Brisbane Pride Festival celebrations. Bathersby opposed the performance and said it was "inappropriate".

Tony Robertson, a gay Catholic activist and member of the parish, says "The response and support from across all social justice networks has been overwhelming". Interesting linking between this parish and "social justice networks".

Read the article here


Five hundred parishioners, many wearing stickers reading "I love the Vatican II", crammed St Mary's Church in Brisbane last night to respond to a letter from Archbishop John Bathersby while a Sunshine Coast priest has backed the parish.

The crowd sang the anthemic "We are Called" to close the emotion charged meeting, the Brisbane Times reports.

The group had come together to debate a challenge from Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby, who this week called on the popular church, with a parish of more than 700, to toe the Catholic line or close.

It is the second time in four years Archbishop Bathersby has questioned the church’s behaviour.

St Mary's champions social justice issues, embraces homosexual couples and allows women to preach, the online news site says....

"We are a Catholic Church, ministered by two catholic priests, from a community which has many leaders in the Catholic Church," one speaker said.

However others acknowledged that the church had some controversial areas which needed examination.

"We do have a radical point of view in terms of Christian prayer," one said.

"And we have to confront the issues that the Archbishop has raised." ...

"The church should be about inclusion not exclusion.

Read the article...

Indeed, the Church is about inclusion. However, that isn't the issue here. The issue is conformity to that in which you wish to be included. This Church is not in conformity, and the claim of exclusion is a straw man.

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