Our faith community

I am unable to sit up here in Federal and remain silent. For many, many years priests have abused parishioners. How long did it take for someone somewhere to recognise and admit that many priests have sexually abused parishioners. This is not the only form of violence being inflicted on parishioners by priests. How long will it take for someone somewhere to recognise this, name it and deal with it?

Since the arrival of Peter Carroll at Redfern the faith community of Redfern have had to tolerate insults, abuse and physical violence from people who are totally unsuited for the priesthood. In the secular world there are very high levels of accountability for professional conduct particularly in the caring professions.

In my complacency I wanted to believe that those who had been responsible for placing the priests at Redfern had done so in ignorance.

Now that I have read the statement from Bishop Fisher, (whom I do not know) I realise that I was at best naiive.

Those in positions of power within the Church are not above the law. The many cases of sexual abuse that have come before the courts are a testament to this.

The day will come when the abusive conduct of the priests at Redfern (and undoubtedly elsewhere) will be recognised and someone is going to be held accountable.

Meanwhile I am buoyed by the privilege of having known Ted Kennedy and learnt through his example the true meaning of priesthood and a faith fully lived.

I will always take inspiration from the thousands of fellow travellers who have trod the wooden boards of Redfern Church over many many years.

I am inspired by knowing that no one will ever be able to taint the spiritual legacy that Ted has left for us all. How painful that must be for the priesthood that seeks to destroy in order to maintain power and prestige at any cost. Perhaps only now am I beginning to understand their misplaced anger.


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