Pell's appointments
Recent parish priests at St Vincent's Redfern
Since the retirement of Ted Kennedy, George Pell has made two highly contentious appointments of parish priests to St Vincent's: Peter Carroll, MSC, July 2002 - May 2003; Gerry Prindiville, Neocatechumenate, July 2003 - ?
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Visitors since 12 April 2004
  Church Mouse
  The 1992 papal exhortation, Pastores Dabo Vobis , (meaning “I shall give you shepherds”) can be found on the Vatican web site. It contains a couple of sections that are particularly relevant to the selection of pastors for the parish of St Vincent's Redfern.

They are Part 43, under the subsection heading Human Formation, the Basis of All Priestly Formation:

… priests should therefore cultivate a series of human qualities, not only out of proper and due growth and realization of self, but also with a view to the ministry. These qualities are needed for them to be balanced people, strong and free, capable of bearing the weight of pastoral responsibilities. They need to be educated to love the truth, to be loyal, to respect every person, to have a sense of justice, to be true to their word, to be genuinely compassionate, to be men of integrity and, especially, to be balanced in judgment and behaviour. A simple and demanding program for this human formation can be found in the words of the apostle Paul to the Philippians: "Whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" (Phil. 4:8). It is interesting to note that Paul, precisely in these profoundly human qualities, presents himself as a model to his faithful, for he goes on to say: "What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do" (Phil. 4:9).

Of special importance is the capacity to relate to others. This is truly fundamental for a person who is called to be responsible for a community and to be a "man of communion." This demands that the priest not be arrogant, or quarrelsome, but affable, hospitable, sincere in his words and heart, prudent and discreet, generous and ready to serve, capable of opening himself to clear and brotherly relationships and of encouraging the same in others, and quick to understand, forgive and console (cf. 1 Tm. 3:1-5; Ti. 1:7-9). ….. Today this is one of the most eloquent signs and one of the most effective ways of transmitting the Gospel message.

And Part 72, under the subsection heading Different Dimensions of Ongoing Formation:

The People of God should be able to say about the priest, who has increasingly matured in human sensitivity, something similar to what we read about Jesus in the letter to the Hebrews: "For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sinning" (Heb. 4:15).

As the following documents show, there is scant evidence to suggest that these shepherdly qualities were significant criteria in the selection of parish priests for St Vincent's since Ted Kennedy's resignation due to ill health.

Open Letter to Fr Gerry Prindiville by St Vincent's community
- 15/03/2004
Open letter to Fr Gerry Prindiville requesting a meeting to discuss a number of issues, especially relating to the treatment of Aboriginals in the community. ... [more]  
Sydney priest still struggling to win congregation's loyalty by Catholic News
- 24/09/2003
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 ... ... [more]  
Neocatechumenate priest for Redfern by Catholic Weekly
- 27/07/2003
A Neo-catechumenate priest has been appointed to the Redfern parish of St Vincent de Paul. Fr Gerry Prindiville, an Australian priest on loan to the Sydney archdiocese from his home diocese of Newark, New Jersey, celebrated his first Mass at Redfern ... ... [more]  
Pell acts to resolve Redfern priest crisis by Catholic News
- 21/07/2003
Fr Gerry Prindiville, a member of The Neocatechumenal Way, yesterday celebrated his first mass as parish priest of the high profile and largely indigenous inner Sydney parish priest of Redfern, following Archbishop George Pell's Friday announcem ... ... [more]  
Parish Priest Appointed to St Vincent’s, Redfern by Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney
- 18/07/2003
Archbishop George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, has today announced the appointment of Fr Gerry Prindiville as Parish Priest of St Vincent’s, Redfern. Fr Prindiville will say his first Mass in the parish on Sunday 20 July 2003 ... [more]  
Church without a priest, but no loss of spirit by SMH -Tony Stephens
- 23/06/2003
The Catholic community of Redfern, with the largest indigenous congregation in Australia, prays without a resident parish priest. But this could not stop yesterday's celebration. The state MP Linda Burney told the congregation of the histor ... ... [more]  
Redfern Church without a priest, but no loss of spirit by Catholic News
- 23/06/2003
The Catholic community of Redfern, with the largest indigenous congregation in Australia, prays without a resident parish priest. But this could not stop yesterday's celebration. The Sydney Morning Herald this morning reports on the situation at St Vincent's Parish.... ... [more]  
Parish priest moves out of ‘intolerable’ position’ at Redfern by Catholic Weekly - Damir Govorcin
- 1/06/2003
Fr Bob Irwin, provincial of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, has asked the parish priest of St Vincent de Paul Church, Redfern, Fr Peter Carroll, to withdraw from the parish. “I believe Fr Peter has been placed in an intolerable position that i ... ... [more]  
Congregation rejects priest's disruption of Aboriginal ministry by Catholic News
- 19/05/2003
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 ... ... [more]  
Letter to Fr Bob Irwin, MSC Provincial by Rhonda Ansiewicz & Danny Gilbert
- 5/05/2003
We have been authorised to write to you on behalf of those members of the community of St Vincent’s Redfern who attended the meeting on May 4, 2003 to discuss the future o ... ... [more]  

The Canberra Times, Thursday Aug 26 2004 p18



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