Mgr Brian Rayner visits Redfern

There was an impromptu meeting after the 10:00am Mass today with Mgr Brian Rayner, Vicar General and Chancellor of the Sydney Archdiocese, who dropped in for Mass with some friends from South America, and approximately 70 parishioners.

As far as Church Mouse could tell, none of the larger than usual group of Neocatechumenal Wayfarers who attended Mass stayed for the meeting. Fr Gerry Prindiville was present for part of the meeting. He left early declaring: "I don’t have to listen to this". The Neocats customarily leave the church quickly after Mass, avoiding any interaction with the St Vincent’s community.

This was the first time that any representative from the Sydney Archdiocese has faced the community to hear about the difficulties that it has been experiencing over the past 3 years.

A clear and passionate plea was made to be allowed to maintain and develop the gift to the Church of the ministry of Father Ted Kennedy and his vision of what it is to be a Catholic in the world today, and that Cardinal Pell hear the community’s prayer to appoint a priest who, in open dialogue and with trust, can truly join in its journey of faith.

It was argued that if the Archdiocese could only recognise what a rare gem it has in the deeply spiritual and committed people of the St Vincent’s community, it would not waste time appointing inappropriate ministers to this flock. Significantly Mgr B stated that he saw no serious irregularities in the community’s liturgy; that in fact he was moved by some of its innovations. Fr G on the other hand has on various occasions described the sign of peace as disgusting, the prayers of the faithful as mere political expressions, and the lack(?) of reverence for the Eucharist as a disgrace.

He has also stated that the community is not Christian, and that its members do not really belong to the parish because their homes are outside the church’s boundaries. (How many of the Neocats, then, "belong to the parish"?)

It was emphasised that there was no personal attack against Fr G, who has been placed in the same impossible position as the community. He is unable to contribute in any way to Ted’s vision, because not only do the Neocatechumenates fail to understand it, they explicitly reject it.

The incompatibility is so stark that to conceive that two such disparate theological models can co-exist in the same space is an illusion. How can it last?

The community has written to Mgr B, thanking him for his attention, acknowledging that the Neocats have a place somewhere – elsewhere – and asking for respect for the Ted Kennedy tradition of catholicism in the modern world. (Read the letters {rdlc id=363})
Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply