Future of St Marys church at stake

January 24, 2009

The future of St Marys Church, which for many years has served as a beacon of hope for many in need in the South Brisbane district, will soon be decided by the Roman Catholic archbishop, John Bathersby.

The archbishop has tabled a list of demands regarding the conduct of services at the church, insisting that the differences in opinion between the parish priests and himself be resolved in accordance with his wishes.

In his most recent letter he focuses on the need to conform to liturgical dogma and process and also insists that vestments are used to clearly show who is conducting the services.

At the moment the services are conducted in many ways similar to Venezuela's Bolivarian Circles, where everyone in the circle is included and equal.

In a letter to St Mary's Archbishop Bathersby argued "while it is admirable to read that St Marys focuses on social justice, its looseness of theology leaves much to be desired".

Basically he is saying that it is not possible to remain a part of the Catholic Church unless all forms of dogma and liturgy as defined by Rome are adhered to.

In the event that excommunication proceeds as threatened, then St Marys will close. While there may be other venues offered to conduct services, including the local Trades and Labour Council building, it will be difficult to ensure that the full social welfare program will remain in place.

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