Good shepherd or dead sheep?

Predictably, the community was admonished today over last Sunday’s celebration.

Mendes seized upon the theme in today’s readings asserting the quality of his shepherding skills, as he has on other occasions, and that last week’s priests are  not just bad shepherds but wolves masquerading as shepherds, hungry to devour any misguided sheep that might stray within their reach.

(Ed: Neocat clergy, of course, do not register on the Church Mouse’s Good Shepherd Scale – not even somewhere below dead sheep.)

Lest anyone in the small congregation was struggling with the intent behind his good shepherd/bad shepherd pronouncements – his utterances from the pulpit are difficult to follow at the best of times – he obligingly spelt it out: “Last week I heard someone sitting here making jokes of the Cardinal, of Mother Theresa of Calcutta, and I didn’t like it …”

He could only have been referring to Danny Gilbert’s speech.

A recording of the celebration indicates that the most likely “joke of the Cardinal” that drew a chuckle from the audience went as follows:

Many others who influenced Ted are also mentioned. To name but a few – Cardinal John Henry Newman, the Jesuit Pedro Arupe, the American Dorothy Day, the Australian Jesuit Jerry Golden, Tony Coady, Roger Pryke and not to leave out of course Cardinal Pell himself – his influence being somewhat distinguishable from the others!

The same recording testifies that no one was particularly amused by Danny’s “joke of Mother T”:

There is a delicious piece in the book about his run-in with Mother Theresa. To Ted’s mind, she was seeking to impose her order on Aboriginal people, when what was required was to be invited. He told her, face to face, that until she was invited, she was not welcome in Redfern. She quickly took the hint.

Jokes at other’s expense, Clesio? Hardly. It is high time that you and your cronies made the effort to learn a few things about the Australian sense of humour, and perhaps something about Australian (not to mention Aboriginal) culture.

A Redfern prophet’s graffiti says it all
for the institutional church at St Vincent’s
not to mention globally.

And what of the behaviour of you and your handful of followers last week?

That most definitely identified you as being amongst those to whom Danny referred near the end of his speech, “who would rather forget that Ted Kennedy ever existed”. You looked desperately uncomfortable in the company of so many wolves and Judases, but at the same time happy that your suffering would stand you in good stead with your god.

Some of you disappeared immediately the priests left the altar, but Danny had already started his speech when you emerged from the sacristy, so, poor fellow, you felt obliged to wait for a gap in the proceedings. It was quite a time while the rest of the gathering listened with rapt attention before you and your minder could make your escape. And escape you did, rushing past Ed Campion as he started to speak.


With these few exceptions, last Sunday’s celebration was full of love. Just look at the photos.

In the six years the Neocats have been in Redfern, they have demonstrated no interest in, no capacity for, no understanding of, love.

Take another look at the photos – can you pick the Neocats?

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