Being a native of Brisbane, and a baptised Roman Catholic, the case of Father Peter Kennedy, the parish priest of St. Mary's Church South Brisbane, is of particular interest to me. Is it something in the air...or perhaps the holy water?
The Curious Case of Father Kennedy
Father Kennedy is now at the centre of a firestorm just as potentially deadly on a spritual level as the recent Victorian bushfires proved to be on a physical level, a firestorm which just may spread to other Catholic communities who do not wish to live according to the dictates of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy.
Father Kennedy, a priest for 45 years, has made international headlines because of his stance against Roman Catholic dogma and doctrine, and against Papal "tyranny."
Not wishing to use the term "excommunicated," the Rev. John Bathersby, Archbishop of Brisbane, has now "sacked" Father Kennedy.
There is a disturbing parallel to the case of Father Kennedy. It occurred exactly 80 years ago, in the same circumstances, and in the same place, with the Archbishop of Brisbane also playing one of the central roles.
The Curious Case of Thomas Michael Wixted
Thomas Michael Wixted was a Queensland farmer born in 1889 and baptised into the Roman Catholic faith. Around the age of 40, he began to examine and then to question the doctrines of his religion. He, accompanied by his wife Margaret, also a Roman Catholic, visited the Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane, Sir James Duhig, to acquaint the Archbishop with his position regarding the veracity of Catholic doctrine. He challenged the Archbishop over the doctrine of the "Virgin Birth" and the "Deity of Jesus" just as Father Kennedy has now done.
A short time later, Thomas Wixted was committed to the terrors of a "lunatic asylum," as such institutions were at that time designated, and declared legally dead, as was also the procedure at that time. The name of the lunatic asylum was “Goodna.” The word “Goodna” is of Aboriginal Australian derivation. It has a very expressive meaning which accurately captures the attitude of the religious authorities towards the man Thomas Michael Wixted – the word means “human dung.” He was regarded as “human dung” and consigned to the “human dung” lunatic asylum for more than twenty years – an experience from which he was never to recover.
The Papacy has always used the authority of the State to mete out its punishments. It is the nature of the particular State which determines the extent of the punishment. As we all know, in mediaeval times, the State had the power to inflict death and death was the punishment for heresy.
By 1929, however, the State could not execute for religious "heresy." But it could exercise more subtle means and have a person committed to a lunatic asylum and declared legally dead if that person's mental competency was questioned by a person in authority...such as a priest.
Now, in 2009, in this age of instant mass communication, things are not quite so simple. A "heretic" cannot be made to just disappear into a "lunatic" asylum. Now, the only avenue left to the religious establishment is to blacken a "heretic's" character and reputation, which we would have already witnessed in the case of Father Kennedy if not for his particularly vocal and devoted congregation.
The entire world may take a turn for the better when the vast mass of Roman Catholic faithful begin to comprehend that the Papacy is their deadliest enemy, the enemy of true Christianity, the enemy of freedom of conscience, the enemy of freedom of thought, and of all the wordly powers that ever existed, the most ruthless and tyrannical abuser of their trust.