At the end of a long dispute the Catholic church has finally decided to excommunicate Father Kennedy.
Two years ago the Socialist Alliance posters outside St Mary's Catholic Church in Brisbane said it all. "Dump Intolerance, not Father Kennedy." "Who would Jesus sack?" The father in question is Peter Kennedy, the 70-year-old Catholic priest who is being forced out of the church he has turned into a green-leftist New Age drop-in centre.
This is a version of the church refashioned ad lib in the likeness of its members. The well-heeled congregation at St Mary's -- many of whom are from the upper echelons of the church's lay bureaucracy -- have been dispensed by their priest from the need to subscribe to the particulars of any credal statements or articles of faith that might prove problematic. The trinity, the virgin birth, the divinity of Christ and his bodily resurrection, not to mention their own; in short, all the perennial stumbling blocks to faith have been in effect discarded. All that remains is a commitment to social justice, feminism and deep green ideology.
Father Kennedy's response?
Sacked Catholic priest Peter Kennedy says he hasn't given up on God and prayer, but no longer believes in Jesus.
Father Kennedy, dismissed by the church for unorthodox practices, says he now considers Jesus "a fable". The rebel priest made headlines in 2009 when he formed a congregation in exile. Fr Kennedy says he still believes in God, just not a God who intervenes in the affairs of humans. "It's true I've given up on that sort of a God, that sort of a 'being' that sits up there in heaven somewhere and intervenes in human affairs," he said today.
"If you believe in a God that intervenes into human history why didn't God intervene in the massacre in Norway? Whatever God is, God is not that sort of God, obviously. "That's what I'm trying to say." Fr Kennedy said he still believed in prayer, but not asking things of God. "For me prayer is just standing in wonder and awe at the mystery of life, the beauty of life, the goodness of people." Praying in church was not about talking directly to God, he said.
But he said he had not believed in Jesus for some time, calling the son of God a "fable" and a "metaphor".
The Socialist Alliance banner asked, "Who would Jesus sack?" It appears Fr Kennedy has sacked Jesus.