The disease of clericalism

—– Original Message —–
From: Anne Webb
To: letters@smh.com.au
Sent: Tuesday, June 07, 2005 3:37 AM
Subject: The disease of clericalism

The disease of clericalism is out of control in Redfern. Had Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher consulted with the community of St Vincent’s Redfern (Priests call in police: SMH 6.6.’05,p.3) he may have learnt that not only are his ridiculous assertions unfounded in fact but that the police were called to the church on 29 May, 2005, by the perpetrator of the violence, assistant priest Denis Sudla, who smashed the Aboriginal cross and smashed into ten pieces the small table on which it rested. His encore was to direct and incite a physical assault on one of the community members who is still bruised as a result of this unprovoked attack for which there was no retaliation.

Sudla’s violent behaviour and his many previous acts of verbal violence are un-Christian, un-Australian and unacceptable.

The poor and marginalised of Redfern, in particular the Aboriginal people, were welcomed and loved by Ted Kennedy and Mum Shirl who, for more than 30 years, walked their painful journey with them. Now the colonisers have appeared again, bearing both sword and cross. How many times and in how many ways are Aboriginal Australians to be dispossessed? They (together with their non-Aboriginal friends) are no longer welcome on their own land on their own terms by the Neocatechumenate priests and their imported followers who have attempted to impose their rigidly authoritarian, uncaring, cult-like rules and questionable theology on us.

The long term members of the community are committed to walking in the footsteps of our priest and friend Ted Kennedy and to continuing the practices and traditions of the last 34 years. In his words: “Life is made up of warm flesh and blood human beings, not rules made in an age long gone, or ill-fitting principles that were never made-to-measure anyhow”.

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