Sydney Morning Herald, August 1, 2006
Griffo and friends, what a beautiful work of art you have made in St Vincent’s (“A break-in immaculately conceived”, July 31). What a shame that nowhere in the article was that recognised by Father Prindiville. He was quoted as being more concerned with the congregation’s failure to “accept any sort of authority” than with the beauty of the words, art and artists in St Vincent’s. Perhaps he should try walking with the people as Christ did (and clearly Father Ted, too) rather than on them.
This is a wonderful story, to see that mural turn the words of John Paul II back on the hierarchy of the Australian church. Too long have Cardinal Pell and the hierarchists of the Catholic Church tried to “own” God through rule and ritual. Local churches are just that, a local community celebrating their faith, not a franchise to be dictated to by “head office”.
There are some things that make me ashamed at having been born a Catholic and Cardinal Pell’s attitude to the Aboriginal parishioners in Redfern is one of them.
Hats off to the authors of “the great St Vincent’s break-in”. In the present conservative climate that has done wonders for keeping lapsed Catholics like me away from the fold, it warms the heart to see the true faithful asserting their values as a community.
As for Father Prindiville’s comment that “I have the support of the Cardinal, so that helps me”, I somehow doubt it.
I can sympathise with Father Gerry Prindiville. He must feel as though someone had come and pulled the rug out from under his feet. Just like the original owners of the land must have felt when the white men came and took it from them.
Sounds like Father Prindiville is just another whitefella telling blackfellas what’s best for them. He could have learnt a lot from his predecessor, Ted Kennedy.