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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rebellious Australian priest plans to set up new church

Having finally been forced to relinquish control of St. Mary's parish in South Brisbane, Father Peter Kennedy plans to set up a rival church at a nearby union headquarters. After the parish council negotiated an agreement that the pastor would step down after Easter, Father Kennedy told reporters that he would establish a "Catholic community in exile" at the Trades and Labour Council Building-- which he jokingly referred to as the "Totally Lapsed Catholics Building." Father Kennedy said that he hoped 95% of his regular parishioners would join the new assembly.

Months ago, when the rebel priest first threatened to establish a rival congregation if he was ousted, Archbishop John Bathersby warned that the new group "will not be in communion with the Roman Catholic Church or the Archdiocese of Brisbane." The archbishop had already said that the St. Mary's community was already jeopardizing its connection with the Catholic Church by routinely violating liturgical and doctrinal norms.

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