Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Real Saints of Australia

Soon to be excommunicated Father Peter Kennedy of St. Mary’s in Exile in Brisbane gets my vote for future sainthood and in his own church. God Bless him!

In any case he would not be the first religious excommunicated by a cracker bishop intent on upholding strict discipline in the ranks. One pending RC saint managed to get herself excommunicated over miscommunication with her bishop in her time.

The above photo of Blessed Mary MacKillop, soon to be the first native born Australian saint, is waiting for her third miracle.

Bathersby, the archbishop, is merely cleaning off his desk before retirement in two years time of old paperwork. Efforts to defrock ahead of the curve Father Kennedy have been going on for over twenty years. Previous bishops have not tried so hard to please the Vatican.

But then this is an old case file on the desk of Cardinal Ratszinger, then John Paul IIs hatchet man in the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. Lots of files left on Joe’s desk from the past and into the present. Makes you wonder why they elect somebody so old or was it fear that he knew where too many skeletons are buried or in the closet in the Vatican? Oh well.

Besides Blessed Mary MacKillop, let us not forget Joan of Arc who was excommunicated by the English bishops only to have the black mark taken off her record a few decades later in spiritual or was it political regret? In any case it would have saved a lot of fire wood. It only takes one bishop to excommunicate and, as in Joan of Arc’s case, another bishop not unlike a mere bishop of Rome to rescind an order of excommunication.

The church doesn’t always know the real thing when they see it. I think Peter Kennedy is the real thing. Like the historic model with Joan of Arc, Bathersby and his crowd (including Joe) don’t seem to know Christmas from Bourke Street as they say in parts of Oz.

Mary MacKillop’s nineteenth century RC bishop backed off and rescinded his excommunication. Father Kennedy officially or unofficially in his church will continue his work, his labor, his sheparding in the truest sense of the Message of Jesus and the Christian faith to the members of his congregation.

There is something so stubborn and frontier like in the nature of some Australians to blaze a true path to settlement or to the future that I greatly admire.

Maybe Mary MacKillop’s third miracle to achieve sainthood will have to do with the softening of the stone hearts of the RC hierarchy intent on destroying true good works.


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