This is the first issue of Online Catholics edited by Chris McGillion, whose apologetic maiden editorial is laden with trepidation at the thought of filling the shoes of his extremely capable predecessor, Kate Mannix.
THE HUMAN COST
John Brogden’s self-harm caused a large amount of soul-searching about the role of media and public pressure in pushing a leader to the edge. A few weeks earlier, the defiant Redfern parishioners attempting to preserve the style of ministry of the late Fr Ted Kennedy must have feared their activism had somehow played a part in causing the serious ill-health of current parish priest Fr Gerry Prindiville.
Like Brogden, Prindiville had – in their view – indulged in a fair amount of inexcusable behaviour. He had dismantled many of the religious practices and symbols that existed in the parish. Conceivably, being constantly forced to account for his actions took its toll on Prindiville’s health. In late July, he was seriously ill in Calvary Hospital, Canberra, with a pulmonary embolism (blood clot on the lung). Eventually, on 22 August, the editor of the group’s Church Mouse Journal wrote, convincingly: “We are happy to report that the health of Fr Gerry continues to improve”.
[John Brogden recently resigned as NSW state parliamentary opposition leader after a particularly severe bout of foot in mouth disease]