What sort of priests are these?
Is he always like that?
Some examples of the strange behaviour of recent parish priests of St Vincent's Redfern
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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).

Contact details for the appointed pastors at St Vincent's:
126 George St Redfern, NSW Australia, 2016
PO Box 1067, Strawberry Hills, NSW Australia, 2012
Phone: +61 (0)2 9698 3030 or +61 (0)400 335 220
Fax: +61 (0)2 9699 9808
Email: stvinred@bigpond.net.au


The Church Mouse website now features a weblog - the Church Mouse Journal - to expedite the posting of news of the deteriorating situation at St Vincent's, and to allow readers to post comments.

Tuesday 21 December 2004 - Christmas Spirit

Which parish priest blew his stack on Monday morning because he felt that the church was in such a mess he couldn't say mass there, and would not do so until it was tidied up? Probably the same one that angrily declared there would be no more Christmas parties for the poor in "his" church, or the one that was too busy "having his lunch" to discuss what on earth he was on about.

The rear of the church beneath the choir loft was decorated, and hampers, donated by numerous Sydney parishes, were carefully arranged at the other end of the church after Sunday's mass, in readiness for Tuesday's Sharing the Meal Christmas mass and luncheon. In deference to the parish priest, the volunteers placed the 200 or so Christmas hampers [photo 1, photo 2] out of the way, even though the average priest would have been overjoyed with such an offering to the poor around his altar.

This extraordinary outburst left the already over-stressed Sharing the Meal organisers uncertain not only about the planned mass, but even whether they would be permitted to use the church at all for the special function.

Thank God that some semblance of sanity prevailed on the day, and Gerry turned up to say the 9:00am mass for a congregation of 25 or 30.

Gerry's assistant Dennis Sudla was in the congregation. After mass, as he left the sacristy, he was confronted by the elderly, irrepressible Jack Callaghan, who asked "And when are you going to apologise to Marnie and the other women of the parish that you have abused?" Sudla glared at Jack, twice spat some unintelligible words at him, then used his finger to make an obscene gesture before heading past the altar. Jack followed with more questions, whereupon Gerry intervened, angrily stamped his feet on the floor and told Jack that it was none of his business. He then grabbed Sudla by the arm, insisting that they leave. Len De Lorenzo, standing nearby taking photos of the hampers, witnessed the entire performance, and followed the unruly procession with his camera. He too was treated to Sudla's single finger salute as these noble pastors left the church premises.

"I am the parish priest. I can do as I like."


Sunday 26 September 2004

Sudla must go

The Community was shocked and outraged today.

Dennis Sudla's behaviour, especially towards women, is despicable. That he also purports to be a Catholic priest makes it infinitely more so. Today he attacked Sr Marnie Kennedy, one of the most loved and respected members of our community, and sister of Fr Ted Kennedy.

Marnie decided to take Sudla, assistant parish "priest" at St Vincent's to task over his display of "humour" at the expense of the parishioners of Kelmscott, WA:

"He said it was nice to see so many females at church ... some pretty, some not so pretty and some ugly." (more)

Their conversation went something like this:

Marnie: You know you can't go around saying things like that in this country.

Sudla (twice): I am the parish priest, I can say what I like!

(and then) Maybe you should look in a mirror yourself sometime. You are blind and need to be converted. I will pray for you.

Marnie: Thank you, but I don't need your prayers.

Sudla and his ilk operate in the Sydney archdiocese with the unconditional support of Cardinal George Pell. The Community is sickened that there is no impartial forum within our church to hear these issues.


Wednesday 17 March 2004

The funeral of Aboriginal Elder, Betty Roberts, was held at St Mary's Church Erskineville on 17th March.

On March 12th, her family - two daughters, Gail and Lynn, with daughter-in-law Dianne Wittaker - and Sr. Mary, visited Fr. Gerry Prindiville to request that she be buried from St Vincent's Church, Redfern, with Fr. John Ford officiating. Her son, shot dead in a Forbes St. hotel some 12 years ago, was buried from St Vincent's.

G: Are you Catholics?

Family: (looking shamed) No.

G: Is the deceased a Catholic?

Family: No.

G: How can she be buried from a Catholic Church when she's not a Catholic?

Sr. Mary: All they are asking for is that their mother be buried from the Aboriginal Church where so many Aboriginal people have been buried over many years.

As they stood outside the door, two clerical heads appeared behind G. One of them belonged to Fr. Dennis. No invitation to come in, no condolences offered. Finally G. grudgingly gave consent for Fr John Ford to conduct the ceremony. D. asked the daughters their mother's name and offered to pray for her. Nothing from G.

As they left, the women were heard asking: "Wasn't that terrible? Is he always like that?"



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