• RSS Queering the Church

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS Spirit of a Liberal

    • Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand September 15, 2014
      Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand: A Vietnam Soldier's Story has just been released. The title comes from a stanza of the gospel traditional, Down by the Riverside, with its refrain--"Ain't gonna study war no more." Golden Sand is a bold, dark, and intense retelling of the Vietnam experience through the eyes of an army scout that is […]
      Obie Holmen
    • Gay Games Symposium July 21, 2014
      I am pleased and honored that the UCC has asked me to moderate a symposium during the games entitled Queer Christians: Celebrating the Past, Shaping the Future. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
      Obie Holmen
  • RSS There Will be Bread

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS The Wild Reed

    • Photo of the Day April 17, 2018
      See also the previous Wild Reed posts:• Spring's Snowy Start• Farewell Winter• Out and About – Winter 2017-2018Image: Michael J. Bayly.
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • The Spring Blizzard of 2018 April 14, 2018
      It's being called a blizzard and a winter storm of "historic" proportions. I'm opting to acknowledge the season we're actually in (as hard as it may be to believe) and calling it the spring blizzard of 2018. . . . And, yes, it's still very much happening right now in the Twin Cities and across southern Minnesota.I was out in it […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
  • RSS Bilgrimage

  • RSS Enlightened Catholicism

  • RSS Far From Rome

    • the way ahead March 23, 2013
      My current blog is called the way ahead.
      noreply@blogger.com (PrickliestPear)
  • RSS The Gay Mystic

    • Mystical Czech artist, Marie Brozova February 22, 2018
      About Life, Universe and All…The luminous Czech artist, Marie Brozova, creator of the wonderful 'Forest Shaman' painting featured on my blog, lives with her husband and seven cats deep in a Czech forest - without electricity or running water. No computers, no cell phones, no TV. Only the silence and the sounds of nature and the spirits. Artist Mari […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
    • SPICING UP THE CHURCH: February 14, 2018
      Here is the website of the wonderful meeting group for gay Christians in the Czech republic, Logos. And below is their position statement. Check them out. Logos – Gay Christians in the Czech RepublicWe are an ecumenical fellowship of gay and lesbian Christians and their friends, in which we share our faith in all its diverse manifestations, and try to suppor […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
  • RSS The Jesus Manifesto

    • Another World is Neccessary: Anarchism, Christianity and the Race from the White House July 30, 2008
      I’ll be presenting at the upcoming Jesus Radicals conference in Columbus, Ohio. My session (on the relationship between Church and State) will be on Friday afternoon. If you’re in the area, drop by. I’d love to meet some of the folks who frequent this site. Here’s the info: August 15-16, 2008 St. John’s Episcopal 1003 W Town Columbus, OH [...]ShareThis […]
      Mark Van Steenwyk
  • RSS John McNeill: Spiritual Transformations

  • RSS Perspective

    • RIP: Barbara Bush April 19, 2018
      Sad to hear that Barbara Bush has died. She was a Republican but I liked her ... her championing of reading, her fearless un-dyed white hair, her book about/by Millie the dog :) .... she was admirable and authentic. Here's more about her from the PBS NewsHour ...
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)
  • Advertisements

A Congregation in Exile: St Mary’s Brisbane Update

This is the face of the future church, unless the Vatican and the episcopal hegemony between them start to take seriously the need to be a listening Church, and find some way to include all Catholics in pastoral decisions -not just the men at the top in their scarlet robes and comfortable palaces: services with (almost) no congregation.

This report, from Brisbane Times, tells of St Mary’s Brisbane – but it could just as well be about other flourishing congregations around the world (St Stephen’s in Minneapolis, or St Joseph’s, Boston, the congregations with womenpriests, and many others) that are doing perfectly well without the help of professional, celibate male priests, officially approved  by the Vatican.

Faith stays strong at Brisbane’s ‘church in exile’

The pictures tell the story of attendance at the two St Mary’s Catholic churches at South Brisbane with the rebel congregation substantially outnumbering the traditionalists last week.

Fairfax Media’s Sun-Herald dropped in unannounced at the 9am services on a recent Sunday to check on parishioner numbers following last year’s very public split.

The church sanctioned by Brisbane Archdiocese’s Archbishop John Bathersby attracted about 45 people while the rebel St Mary’s-in-Exile had about 240 parishioners.

Father Ken Howell officiates at the original location, while Peter Kennedy – who does not use the title ‘Father’ – tends his flock down the road at the Trades and Labour Council building.

Archbishop Bathersby sacked Mr Kennedy as administrator of the church in February last year for unapproved practises including giving communion to divorced and gay people, priests not wearing traditional vestments and baptising babies using unorthodox wording. He gave his last sermon there in April last year before taking about 1000 supporters with him.

Mr Kennedy said last week the break-away group attracted about 500 people over three weekend services. “If there’s a special event about 1000 might come but normally there’s around 500 although not all of those would come every week,” he said.

The Dean of Brisbane’s St Stephen’s Cathedral, Fr Ken Howell who has taken over as administrator of St Mary’s said the decisions made last year were not about numbers, but about ensuring Catholic worship and teachings were restored.

“I am pleased to say that this has occurred and whilst we may be a small community, I am encouraged by the weekly growth of this community and the enthusiastic commitment of the people who have made St Mary’s their Parish,’’ he said.

But advertisements for St Mary’s Masses have appeared in the local paper, presumably in the hope of boosting numbers.

Mr Kennedy said the church had been used for many community events when he and fellow priest, Terry Fitzpatrick celebrated Mass there, including events run by the social justice group, Micah Projects and indigenous Australians.

Partly on the strength of those events, the Brisbane City Council in 2008 – when it was trying to have its controversial $370 million Go Between Bridge approved – agreed to give St Mary’s $1.5 m for noise mitigation because of the predicted extra traffic.

“Now the church can only be used by Catholics for worship so it’s become a very expensive exercise when so few attend,” Mr Kennedy said.

“They (the Catholic archdiocese) are only keeping it open to save face and no other church would be kept going with so few.”

He said the rebel church was part of the Progressive Spirituality Network, a group that has gained popularity with many denominations in the last 10 years.

It updates Christian beliefs and practices in line with the modern world and the latest findings in science, psychology, and sociology.

Mr Kennedy said the group ‘‘reinterprets as metaphor or even denies’’, the supernatural and miraculous elements of Christianity, including core beliefs like the virgin birth of Jesus and the resurrection.

Fr Howell did not comment on general church attendance numbers but said the Brisbane archdiocese would take part in a national church census next year that would supply updated figures.

Archbishop Bathersby said he was delighted with ‘‘standing only crowds’’ at the cathedral at Easter time, especially the number of young people.

It’s good to have confirmation that they are still doing well, but what else would you expect, when their very essence is based on responding to the real need of the people, and not to supporting the remote potentates of the Holy Roman Empire?

Also see:

Do It Yourself Catholicism


Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: