[Marxism] Crisis in Catholic Church continues
gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Tue Mar 3 01:39:34 MST 2009
We seem to have reached something of a stale mate, in the crisis. Kennedy
remains sacked and he is still ensconced in his church.
Behind the scenes and calling all the shots is the ultra-right head of the
Australian Catholic Church - Cardinal Pell. Pell was the numbers man for
Ratsinger in the recent papal elections. So he is quite powerful. However
he is located in Sydney and that is perhaps why he has misjudged the mood in
Queensland. Brisbane remains solidly behind the sacked priest Father
Kennedy and his congregation.
Pell has garnered support in the Sydney press from two leading far right
commentators -Miranda Divine and Christopher Pearson. The latter is an
interesting case. He has worked for the former conservative Prime Minister
of Australia - John Howard. However he is also an avowed homosexual, I will
not call him gay, because that implies some commitment to emancipatory
politics. Having recently converted to Catholicism, Pearson now defends the
pope for including the racist Bishop Williamson within the church. He has
also now denounced Kennedy on mainly theological grounds. So we have the
illuminating spectacle of a homsexual man attacking a priest who supports
gays. Roy Cohn would thoroughly approve.
Interestingly both Pearson and Divine attack the head of the church in
Brisbane Bishop Battersby for not acting against Kennedy sooner.
Battersby has in all probability been pushed into sacking Kennedy by the far
right - possibly the work of Opus Dei. This is a clip from the leaflet I
wrote on the crisis:
To grasp the significance of the attack on Kennedy we need to understand
that he and his congregation belong to the church of the
is actively trying to fashion a faith which will transcend the antinomies of
capitalist modernity. He wants to confront capitalist values with ethical
norms that have been taken from the Sermon on the Mount – Blessed are the
destitute… for they shall see God. In Kennedy’s faith Jesus is the
outsider, the revolutionary, who opposes Empire and suffers a horrible death
because of that. But for Kennedy Christ’s sacrifice calls on all of us to
make a similar commitment in our search for the Kingdom of God on earth.
The church of the intellectuals is of course the church that the clerical
core fears the most. This is the church-within which contains the seeds of
an alternative to the church of the Curia. Ironically what Kennedy and his
community are doing, whether they realize it or not, is struggling to ensure
the survival of a church that is dying in front of our very eyes. Only
through the ordination of women, the abolition of celibacy and the adaption
of a sincere “option for the poor” can the Roman Catholic Church hope to
survive. But the Church authorities will consider none of these things.
Go to http://stmaryssouthbrisbane.com/father-peter-sings for clip of Kennedy
singing at a recent church concert. It gives some indication of the man's
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