Correspondence with Monsignor Brian Rayner, Vicar General/Chancellor of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney
(See related Church Mouse Morsel item.)
20 April 2004
Monsignor Brian Rayner
Vicar General – Chancellor
Archdiocese of Sydney
276 Pitt Street
SYDNEY NSW 2000
Dear Monsignor Rayner
I have been requested by the Community of St Vincent’s, Redfern to write to you following your visit to St Vincent’s on Sunday 18 April 2004.
The purpose of this letter is not to repeat or capture all that was said in our meeting with you. Across the range of what was said is a fairly simple but passionate plea. That is, that we wish to keep alive and nourish 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 modern world. We do not believe that Father Gerry Prindiville and the other followers of The Neocatechumenate Way can contribute to that vision, nor do we believe that they would wish to do so. The fact is that they do not understand and, indeed, reject that vision and the theological perspectives which have informed our faith over the years of Father Kennedy’s presence among us, and subsequently through many visiting priests, most notably Father John Ford. In short, it is our most earnest prayer that Cardinal Pell will hear us and appoint a priest who, in open dialogue and with trust, can truly join with the Redfern community in our journey of faith.
We wish to emphasise that we mean no discourtesy to Father Gerry Prindiville who we are sure is a man of good faith and conscience but who, like us, is in an impossibly difficult position. The Neocatechumenate Way has its rightful place in the Church, just as we do.
We again sincerely thank you for being with us and making the effort to hear what it is we have to say. We look forward to hearing from you and Cardinal Pell in the hope that this profoundly serious and intolerable situation can be put behind us all. Of course, it goes without saying that we would welcome the opportunity to have Cardinal Pell visit us at any time.
on behalf of the Community of St Vincent’s, Redfern