ARCHBISHOP John Bathersby of Brisbane has suspended former St Mary’s, South Brisbane, administrator Fr Peter Kennedy from all priestly activities.
Questions have also been raised about the validity of religious celebrations the priest continues to conduct.
Brisbane archdiocesan chancellor Fr Adrian Farrelly said questions had arisen about the validity of the Mass being celebrated at the Trades and Labour Council (TLC) building.
“In replying to one letter sent to Archbishop Bathersby I admitted that giving a definitive answer about the nature of the ceremonies was difficult.
“I simply do not know if Fr Kennedy intends doing what the Church intends when he holds these religious ceremonies,” Fr Farrelly said.
“The question arises whether what is being celebrated by Fr Kennedy and others can be called a Mass – especially given what he seems to believe now.
“One has to wonder what his intention is when he leads the celebration at TLC, given his public statements indicating his doubts about the divinity of Christ and even His historical reality.”
Fr Farrelly made the comments to The Catholic Leader after media reports indicated that Fr Kennedy was continuing to conduct a liturgy at the TLC building despite having been suspended from all priestly activities.
Archbishop Bathersby suspended Fr Kennedy from all priestly activities via a decree dated June 3.
Fr Farrelly, as chancellor, also signed the decree.
In addition to this, the archbishop revoked the faculties of Fr Kennedy to officiate at weddings, preach and hear confessions.
This revocation of faculties, the permission needed by a priest to act as a priest, means that Fr Kennedy cannot validly officiate at weddings or hear confessions in any diocese worldwide.
Archbishop Bathersby also revoked the faculties of Toowoomba priest Fr Terry Fitzpatrick who works with Fr Kennedy.
Fr Fitzpatrick’s loss of faculties is effective only in Brisbane archdiocese.
Fr Farrelly said those now attending the religious ceremonies at TLC had several issues to consider.
“Their participation in the celebrations that Fr Kennedy is leading is in opposition to the express wishes of Archbishop Bathersby,” he said.
“The archbishop by his suspension of Fr Kennedy’s faculties was saying in strongest possible terms: ‘Rethink where you now stand, make changes and return to being in full communion with the Church’.
“Do those who support Fr Kennedy at the TLC have no regard either for what the archbishop says or does?
“Do they not want to be in full communion with the Catholic Church?”