Some excerpts from the minutes of the National Council of Priests Meeting in September.
There was ongoing concern about reports of the lack of pastoral sensitivity by the Neo-Catechmenate priests at Redfern.
There was particular concern about the decision to discontinue provision of a weekly meal and the withdrawal of the payment of $220 per week from the CWF that assisted outreach to the poor and needy of the community.
Several parish communities in the Deanery have been supporting various initiatives at Redfern and the concern was widespread.
There was a perception in the Catholic community that considerable funds were available to promote certain issues, to employ staff and to set up new agencies in the Archdiocese but no funds were available to continue support for those in need.
Mgr Rayner noted that:
- the decision to cease handouts at the Redfern centre had been made at the request of one of the aboriginal elders in the Redfern community;
- approximately $292000 was allocated to aboriginal ministry by the Archdiocese;
- very few Catholics lived in Redfern parish;
- most who attended mass there were from outside the Redfern area.