THE crisis at St Mary's Church has divided Catholic priests across Brisbane after allegations that the controversial parish has married divorcees. While some priests claimed St Mary's at South Brisbane had become "a joke", others urged the Roman Catholic hierarchy to use quiet diplomacy to resolve the impasse.
The future of the parish is at crossroads after Catholic Archbishop John Bathersby warned at the weekend it had become an "authority to itself" and must toe the Vatican line or shut down.
In addition to concerns over unorthodox masses and baptisms, one parish priest, who did not wish to be named, yesterday said he was aware that some divorced Catholics had been allowed to remarry at St Mary's without having their first marriage annulled.
Yesterday, Archbishop Bathersby confirmed there had been rumours that the church had adjusted the sacrament of marriage.
In a letter to the church last Friday, Archbishop Bathersby said marriage ceremonies at St Mary's sometimes completely overlooked the Church's normal requirement for validity and took place without "the slightest respect for Canon Law".
St Mary's yesterday did not respond to questions about the allegations.
Father Laurie Timms of Our Lady of Mt Carmel at Coorparoo said he sympathised with St Mary's parish priest Fr Peter Kennedy.
But Fr Peter Gillam of the Holy Cross at Redcliffe said some priests felt their colleagues at St Mary's were letting them down and were not playing by the same rules as everyone else.
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(Source: CM.au) +++++ (POSTING 9,500)