Imagine the irony of this! St Vincent’s Redfern is a small Catholic Church in the heartland of the Archdiocese of Sydney, which is in the control of Cardinal George Pell. For years the loyal parishioners have been running a ‘Sharing the Meal ‘ Program which provides cooked, fresh and delicious meals for hundreds of marginalised people each week. For over six years they have been asking the Parish Priests of the church for running water, maybe a toilet and even perhaps a sink. Alas to no avail.
This week work began, without notice to the parishioners, the erection of four toilets for WYD pilgrims. The Parish Priest told parishioners that they have been erected because the Church has been in need of toilets for years. The builder informed some parishioners that they are temporary in nature and are for WYD activities within the Church.
When the parishioners asked the Parish Priests and some members of the Neo Catechumenal Way what activities where to be held in the Church they said that there was either nothing going on, or there were none planned, or they just did not know what the plans were. Despite this the toilets were still in construction and many non-English speaking young people where seen coming out of the Church several nights ago.
The recent display by Cardinal George Pell of clerical power and abuse and an inability to listen to members of the faithful reflects on the behaviour of some priests who will use their power not for the love of God, but for the manipulative and controlling powers of fulfilling their own, selfish, egotistical needs.
Is the Cardinal such an innocent man? To this day he still takes the words of his priests as sacrosanct in times of dispute between clerics and the faithful. Not only does he take side of a ‘supposed to be’ celibate Priest who performs supposedly consensual sexual acts but he also takes the side of priests who for years continue to lie, bully, threaten, assault, insult, and preach hate to most of its congregation. Women have been yelled at to ‘consume’, ‘to swallow’ the Eucharist, the congregation have been called murders and traitors, only this Friday the Priest told the mass goers that the pilgrims for WYD would be persecuted by the people of Sydney. Who will be persecuted?
The Cardinal still refuses, after years of attempts, to apologise to the volunteers of ‘Sharing the Meal’ for suggesting that they were handing out condoms and syringes to the people who they shared food with weekly. This has never been the case yet the Cardinal expressed this view in a National newspaper, which was grossly inflammatory to the good people of St Vincent’s. This is the Cardinal’s way of attempting to demonise a people and to perpetuate his lies. Bishop Fisher also has refused to apologise, after years of attempts, for a letter he wrote to the parishioners of St Vincent’s, one week after the funeral of its much beloved Priest Fr Ted Kennedy, instructing the Parish Priests to call the police if any more liturgical disturbances occurred in the church. The letter was read aloud at mass by a priest, Fr Denis Sudla, who has since been found guilty and fined by canon law for defaming a long-term parishioner publicly during mass. It would appear that the Cardinal and the Bishop continue to listen to their protected Clergy and have failed to listen to the faithful. The faithful of St Vincent’s have tried to be heard but are continually ignored and most likely disregarded or not believed, just like the brave sexual abuse victim Anthony Jones.
The priests at Redfern follow the Neocatecumenate Way, although they will openly deny this, they preach a God of fear and not of this World and exclude the entire human race, including orthodox Catholics who do not support their theology, for want of a better word. To be blunt, they suggest that we are all sinners and we will all go to hell unless you follow the secret methods and teachings of the Way.
The Neocatecumenate is a sect like organisation who prey on the vulnerable and misguided and set out to destroy the person to their core and then use techniques to rebuild that person into their warped sense of being. They call it a kind of rebaptising. They are misogynists and anti inculturation. They practise exclusive liturgies that have been disallowed by the Pope himself. They preach a heresy that uses and perverts systems of Catholicism to push their catechises and distorted view of the World and God. They try and find legitimacy through the church by their Catholic pretence. The Church Hierarchy are being fooled by their perverse modes operandi because they seem to be good at getting the numbers, resources and clergy into the church. They are clearly a dangerous mob, with disturbing intentions.
Some would say why make this made public now. It is because the faithful of St Vincent’s and beyond are desperate for justice and have been ignored deliberately for many years, and the only way the make the Hierarchy accountable is to embarrass them into action, particularly the Cardinal. Many of the churchs’ faithful now refuse to collude in the abuse of power that ultimately leads to the most unmentionable of horrors, the sexual abuse of children, women and men. Many faithful will not tolerate being ignored anymore to the satisfaction of the unaccountable and dysfunctional whims of those in power .
It took WYD to get toilets and washbasins at St Vincent’s, all be it temporary. Thousands in the past years have been fed without running water, no sinks, no basins, no toilets, this, in an inner suburb of Sydney. To this day many of the people from St Vincent’s continue to be abused, ignored, ostracised by the Parish Priests and their Neocatecumenate members. The exclusion of most parishioners on all fronts is profoundly uncatholic. The power of abuse is alive and well and fiercely supported by the Cardinal and his Bishop.
Where is Jesus in WYD08? Not at Randwick, not at St Mary’s Cathedral or the merchandise store across the road. You will find Jesus at ‘Sharing the Meal’, without the running water, but with plenty of love with those excluded and those who refuse to collude in the abuse of clerical power. Jesus will be with the least of his brothers and sisters.
I wonder if we can use the dunnies??