Sharpening their claws

The Mouse was a tad late this morning, but was assured by those who take their church going much more seriously that before Mass today Clesio Mendes, accompanied by his assistant Joe Pelle, made a pronouncement to the effect that there were to be no statements made in the Church by community members unless they had been vetted by the clergy. He clearly stated that violation of this edict would be punished by cancelation of the Mass.

Furthermore, Mendes and Pelle are now making noises about taking control of the community’s informal liturgy group.

The Neocat clergy have never been happy with the community’s reflections on the scriptures, but seem to have begrudgingly allowed them, especially on Sundays.

Prayers of the faithful have also often been a source of tension – denigrated variously as mere political statements, or much worse "criticism of the church", not prayerful enough, and so on.

And the once customary practice of making community announcements after communion was banned by Prindiville when the Neocats first came to Redfern.

It would seem that today’s display of muscle flexing might have been triggered by a couple of recent events.

Firstly, last Sunday Jack delivered his reflection on the scriptures for the day. He drew some parallels between the Pharisees in the Gospel story and certain aforementioned Redfern clerics. This came as no surprise to the Mouse, since Jack has on numerous occasions been, at best, shabbily treated by the Neocat clergy of the parish.

His comments were, no doubt, in part a cry of pain from the open wound resulting from the appalling event of May 14, when Joe Pelle tried to deny Jack the Eucharist, without explanation. [Jack is the senior community member mentioned in the article Eucharist Wars. The Mouse also has it on good authority that last Friday Jack confronted Joe Pelle at the 9am Mass, asking (not for the first time) when he might expect an apology for this action. Pelle responded with a threat to call the police and have him removed.

Secondly, after Mass today, as he rushed out of the church with typical Neocat haste, Mendes paused barely long enough to angrily threaten Len: "You took the microphone … if you do again I cancel the Mass".

This was, in all probability, a reference to an incident several weeks ago, when Len spontaneously leapt up to the lectern before Mendes began his approach to the altar to say Mass to welcome a couple of guests from Kelmscott [see The Neocats In Perth], who had made the three or so thousand kilometre trip from Western Australia to meet the St Vincent’s community. He introduced them as special visitors who had also experienced persecution at the hands of the Neocats. By way of balance he then went on to offer genuine thanks to Mendes for making the effort to contact community stalwart and Neocat opponent Clare with good wishes and offers of prayers after her recent accident.

Suffering from selective hearing, blind to the needs of parishioners to see evidence of integrity and dialogue, and maybe a whiff of intelligence, these desensitised cats seem to be sharpening their claws for action.

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