The recently-appointed parish priest of inner-city Redfern
has had to stand over a female parishioner to demand
she "swallow" the communion wafer.
Press reports indicate growing hostility between Fr
Gerry Prindiville and parishioners of the largely aboriginal
St Vincent's Parish.
Earlier this month, Fr Prindiville provoked the ire
of congregation members by removing a photograph of
the late Mum Shirl Smith that he claimed was inappropriately
placed behind the altar. A co-founder of the first Aboriginal
medical service, Mum Shirl is a mother figure to many
On Sunday, members of the congregation staged walkouts
throughout the service. Sister Dominique, a nun who
has attended the church every day for decades, placed
a note on the altar and walked out of the church in
Her protest was in response to Fr Prindiville's refusal
to distribute the Eucharist to non-Catholics.
Fr Prindiville, a member of the Neocatechumenate Way
is attempting to "clean up" the Church by demanding
more respect for the Church's sacred ritual and practices.
It is common for dogs, the homeless, and people affected
by drugs and alcohol to wander in, as they were made
welcome by long-time parish priest Fr Ted Kennedy.
"I come from a completely different background and I
am trying to be faithful to the practices of the church,"
Fr Prindiville said.
"I asked that they consume communion in front of me
because I became aware people were going down the back
of the church with the eucharist and I don't know what
goes on down there," he said.
acts to resolve Redfern priest crisis (21/7/03)
to Neocatechumenal Way
priest removed from Sydney parish (26/5/03)
to the St Vincent’s Catholic Parish Community, Redfern
(Fr Bob Irwin MSC, Provincial, Missionaries of the Sacred
rejects priest´s disruption of Aboriginal ministry (19/5/03)
Catholic Ministry, Redfern
message of support for Sydney aboriginal medical centre
shalt not covet: a frail fighter puts his plea to the
Pope (SMH 3/12/01)
Confessions of a dying priest. Our savage moment of
of Sydney | St
Vincent de Paul Church
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by Catholic News