One of Australia's largest and most historic indigenous
church congregations wants its parish priest of eight
months dismissed because he allegedly alienates Aborigines.
The dispute began when Fr Peter Carroll MSC demanded
the removal of Aborigines gathered on the footpath outside
St Vincent's Catholic Church in Redfern, Sydney, before
Under his predecessor, the legendary Fr Ted Kennedy,
it was a tradition to disburse collection money to those
waiting outside the church.
The congregation is also objecting to Fr Carroll's eviction
of an Aboriginal man who, with Fr Kennedy's blessing,
had been squatting in the unused presbytery for more
than a decade. It is believed Fr Carroll evicted the
man because of health and safety concerns.
The priest has also tried to evict Linda Kemp from the
weekly church cleaning job she has held for nine years.
She alleges he offered her $1500 to quit and asked her
to sign a confidentiality agreement.
"He has a fear of Aboriginal people. He doesn't give
us the time of day. He doesn't talk to us after mass.
He's straight out the door," Ms Kemp said.
The congregation would contact Archbishop George Pell
and the Provincial of the Missionaries of the Sacred
Heart this week to demand Fr Carroll's removal.
It said that if Father Carroll was not removed immediately,
it would consider breaking away from the Sydney Archdiocese.
Worshippers argue that Fr Carroll is violating canon
law, which says "clerics are always to do their utmost
to foster among people peace and harmony based on justice".
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
the Sacred Heart
of Sydney | St
Vincent de Paul Church
This story is available at: http://www.cathnews.com/news/305/101.php
by Catholic News