Church Mouse Journal

More morsels from St Vincent's Redfern

Sunday, 29 August 2004


The word according to Gerry

Prayers of the Faithful The priest and he alone decides if the prayers of the faithful are to be opened up to the congregation and he decides when the prayers are to be concluded. There is no right to publicly express your own private prayers at Mass. Whenever you are invited to pray it is not necessary to give explanation or introductions to your prayer. God knows what you are praying for. The prayer need to be brief and to the point. This is now the practise[sic] in this parish irrespective of what has happened in the past.

Tuesday, 24 August 2004


Good on you, Fr John Crothers

John Crothers, parish priest of St Declan's, Peakhurst and Penshurst, in southwest Sydney has bravely spoken out against Pell's leadership style in a letter to Online Catholics last week. The letter from which the following paragraphs were taken may be read here.

The fundamental problem with this sort of conservative leadership style is that it is exclusive and inflexible. Its exclusiveness expresses itself in an "us and them" mentality. I think this is one of the main reasons for the current low morale among the Sydney priests. Many feel that they are "on the outer" because their model of church does not correspond to the highly conservative model that is being pushed at the moment. The inflexibility of this particular model of leadership is expressed in the way the institution is seen as more important than the people in it. The gluten-free host issue is a typical example. I simply cannot understand how bishops can argue that this is what Jesus would want. Jesus' way of ministering was anything but rigid and institutionalised. He focussed on people, rather than laws. In particular he was always inclusive, rather than exclusive. I feel that many of our Church leaders need to reassess the current model of Church leadership in the light of Jesus' own style of leadership.

The issue was also taken up by the Sydney Morning Herald with articles on Monday and Tuesday. Let us pray that more of the good men out there find the courage to make a stand with Fr John.


No comment needed

First the Nazis went after the Jews, but I wasn't a Jew, so I did not react. Then they went after the Catholics, but I wasn't a Catholic, so I did not object. Then they went after the workers, but I wasn't a worker, so I did not stand up. Then they went after the Protestant clergy, and, by then, it was too late for anyone to stand up.

Pastor Martin Niemoeller

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [people] to do nothing.

Edmund Burke

A reminder from The Sydney Jewish Museum - thanks to Maire Irish

Friday, 20 August 2004


Mass at St Vincent's

The scriptures suggest that a balanced relationship between faith and its expression in good works might not be such a bad thing.

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well," but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Indeed someone might say, "You have faith and I have works." Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works. James 2:14-18

The Church Mouse is not sure that Dennis (water is a symbol of death) Sudla agrees.

No doubt guided by the same theology that inspired Gerry Prindiville on more than one occasion to say about the needy:

All they need to know is that Jesus loves them

Sudla loudly proclaimed in his homily that faith without works is dead, but good works without faith - i.e. working for social justice and the poor - are doubly dead.

Various members of the community walked out of the church in disgust, while others interjected, objecting to this blatant attack against Ted Kennedy's legacy and the community's values. On the other hand, the Neocats in the congregation were appalled at the intense display of antipathy towards THE PRIEST, to whom unconditional respect and obedience is due.

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Later during the Mass, Sudla graciously allowed extra time when his attention was drawn to the fact that the faithful had a few more prayers than he was initially prepared to tolerate.

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(PS: according to the hyperdictionary: Antipathy - [n] the object of a feeling of intense aversion; something to be avoided; "cats were his greatest antipathy"

Monday, 2 August 2004


Food for thought

Yesterday's announcement that Sydney's second Catholic university - the University of Notre Dame - is to open at St Benedict's on Broadway was attended by the likes of George Card Pell, Brendan Nelson, Mon Brian Raynor and the Prime Minister John Howard. The Church Mouse's observers noted food tables at the reception laden with wine and snacks.

There is apparently no shortage of money to feed the rich and powerful.

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