Letter to the Cardinal

Wednesday 7 April 2004

Dear Cardinal,

Many blessings to you at this time.

I know that this is a very busy time for you but I make a plea to you to become immediately involved in the situation at St Vincent’s Redfern before the situation worsens any further.

We are a faith filled community at St Vincent’s, a people who wear their catholicism on their sleeves and seek to live the Gospel values that have been with us all our lives.

At the moment we are under direct attack by your appointed clergy at St Vincent’s. I believe that you are fully supportive of their activities yet I believe that support has been based on misinformation and a lack of understanding of the true reality of the situation. The people of St Vincent’s have been constantly attacked, have not been allowed any way of dialogue with the Priests and have to constantly put up with what I believe is a serious abuse of clerical power.

We at St Vincent’s need to be heard and I believe you must be made available to listen to the reality of our situation. Your clerics have been nothing short of incompetent in the handling of the difficult environment of Redfern. People have been both physically and verbally attacked by your clerics and have been judged and denied Eucharist. Their gross inconsistency in their determination of who is and who not is worthy is an absolute travesty. It would appear to me that Fr Gerry and Dennis have little fear of the consequences of their actions. I believe that the support that you have given them is a license for them to act in any way that they deem fit. If that is true I fear you have either been misinformed of their activities or that you actively encourage them to continue as is. I pray and hope that the latter is not true. I need to believe in a church that has wisdom and understanding and that has the ability to see the whole story.

Cardinal George you have admired the ministry that Fr Ted Kennedy and Mum Shirl nurtured all those years. We at St Vincent’s are trying to continue that wonderful work yet it would appear that in your support of the clerics that you have imposed on the Community that you also encouraging their un catholic behaviour towards us.

Please tell me that is not true and please meet with us so that you can see what we do and open your heart to the possibility that all may not be what it seems.

with love and peace in the hope of the resurrection

Br Michael Gravener

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