Before saying Mass, Clesio Mendes read out the following letter from Cardinal George Pell:
Message to Redfern Parish – Cardinal George Pell, 20/12/2008
The Church Mouse welcomes this even-handed request for peace at Redfern from one who has in the past given the Neocat clergy his unconditional support.
Unfortunately it is not at all clear that Mendes understands the significance of the Cardinal’s request that "all parties will put aside their differences and refrain from expressions of hostility". As usual he fidgeted and fussed during the Prayers of the Faithful, tried to cut short the Sign of Peace, and expressed his disapproval of Helen’s brief commentary at the end of the Mass by clearing the altar before she was finished. In all fairness it must be admitted that he did refrain from repeatedly looking at his watch, as he often does during community contributions to the liturgy, as though he really should be somewhere else.
Worst of all, the highly offensive, provocative and openly hostile notice reproduced below appeared yet again in the Church bulletin, as it has every week for much of the year. Perhaps when the full significance of the Cardinal’s message sinks in the notice will disappear.
The Cardinal’s special request is to all of us – clergy and parishioners, Neocats and community.
The community is willing to give it a go, but cannot succeed on its own.
Usually reliable sources report that George Pell is not happy with the manner in which Julian Porteous handled things, and is adamant that he did not authorise the cancellation of the Mass on Sunday 14 Dec as stated in Mendes’ notice.