The shepherd caring for his flock

Back in June of last year Sister Dom wrote to the Cardinal about the unacceptable behaviour of the clergy of the Neocatechumenal Way that he had appointed to the parish of St Vincent’s Redfern. She received the following response:

Sister Dom has only recently replied to the good Cardinal with this letter:

18th May 2007

Your Eminence

I was deeply offended by your response to my letter dated the 15th June regarding the Neo-Catechumenate Priests of St Vincent’s. As a Vicar of Christ, quite frankly, your response to me was unprofessional, deeply offensive, and lacks any compassion, pastoral care and discernment for the situation that we continue to find ourselves in at St Vincent’s Redfern.

I was relieved to hear that Fr Gerry has been removed as Parish Priest. I was concerned that if he had continued he would have suffered a major breakdown which you had a duty of care to prevent.

Please do not threaten me again with the idea that the Neo-Catechumenal Way may sue me because of my letter. I have nothing to hide and what I have written is the truth. The sad thing is that your appointment of Clesio Mendes as Parish Priest has done nothing but inflamed the situation. Again you have chosen not to talk with the community and have treated us with the utmost disrespect and contempt.

Further more to my point in the previous letter, I will now reiterate to you that the Priests of the Neo-Catechumenate are sacrilegious. Your priests use the Eucharist as a weapon against our community, and their actions toward some are derogatory and disrespectful when the Eucharist is handed to them. This is an utter disgrace and scandalous. This has already occurred with your appointment of the new priest Joseph Pelle.

Where is your duty in nurturing a living faith in our community where the poor are the centre, the core of our belief and where Jesus lives? We ask you to examine your Priests and their Ways, we ask you to look at their behaviour which is systemically secretive, divisive and exclusive to their own needs. We ask you to revisit the promise you made to us at St Vincent’s to ensure that Ted Kennedy’s work would be respected and honoured.

Yours Sincerely

M.D.Furlong O.S.U.

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