The Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane, the Most Reverend John Bathersby DD has today issued a decree removing Fr Peter Kennedy from his position as Administrator of St Mary’s Catholic Parish, South Brisbane.
“After a long period of prayer and reflection, I have made the difficult decision to immediately cancel the appointment of Fr Peter Kennedy as Administrator of the Parish and appoint Fr Ken Howell in his place,” Archbishop Bathersby said.
“This decision brings me no satisfaction as division within the Church is contrary to all that Christ taught.
“I have been forced to take this step after Fr Kennedy has ignored my repeated requests to St Mary’s parish to re-establish communion with the Archdiocese and the universal church.
“I now appeal to the St Mary’s parishioners to ensure Fr Ken Howell is able to assume responsibility for the Parish on a peaceful basis and with minimal disruption.
“I have written to all parishes in the Archdiocese seeking prayers for the St Mary’s Parishioners, Fr Kennedy Fr Howell and myself during this difficult transition in parish leadership”, Archbishop Bathersby said.
Fr Howell said his first priority as the new Administrator of St Mary’s would be to ensure that there is a process of healing.
“It is important that the Mass be a time of prayer and not protest. This is particularly relevant this Sunday when we will be joining in the nation’s prayers for the victims of the Victorian bushfires.
“My hope is that in time we can move forward as a vibrant united community.
“I look forward to meeting with as many groups as possible within the Parish over the coming weeks, particularly to ensure the continuation of important activities including outreach to people at a social or economic disadvantage,” Fr Howell said.
Released by the Catholic Communications Office
February 19, 2009