Wednesday, December 03, 2008
HOW MUCH CAN A PARISH DEVIATE FROM CATHOLICISM AND STILL BE CATHOLIC ?
That seems to be a pretinent question for a Brisbane parish, St. Mary's. Catholic Online reports:
A letter from the Archbishop to the Administrator of St Mary's, Fr Peter Kennedy, dated 22 August 2008, set out a list of reasons why the parish could no longer be considered in communion with the Catholic Church.
The Archbishop wrote: 'The question for me is not so much whether St Mary's should be closed down, but whether St Mary's will close itself down by practices that separate it from communion with the Roman Catholic Church.'
A meeting of St Mary's parishioners yesterday endorsed a letter to Brisbane Catholic Archbishop John Bathersby that rejected a series of church demands.
The St Mary's parish and its priests, Peter Kennedy and Terry Fitzpatrick, may be excommunicated for their stand. Under pressure from the Vatican, Archbishop Bathersby had given the church until today to fall in line with orthodox standards.
The article lays out the heresy that has been imported into the Mass. Creative, but relatively meaningless when I tried to pin down what they were trying to say. It does look like just about anything goes so long as it's not according to the rubrics. It seems that a parish has to step WAY, WAY out of line before the authorities will intervene. A simple little bending of the rubrics here and there isn't going to invite condemnation.
I attended a Roman Catholic funeral in one of the Cleveland suburbs a few years ago. Both the layout of the church and the rite conducted had me wondering what religion was being practiced. I couldn't recognize in what was taking place any semblance of a Catholic Mass until the consecration which was at least recognizable. The funeral Mass had been turned into a call and response ritual between the priest and choir. It was discouragingly disorienting. There was no way to follow it as one would follow along in a missal. It was entirely strange and all I could do was sit there and observe. This Australian parish sounds like the same thing.