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from: Marita Franklin, Catholic Communications, 13 August

The Archbishop of Sydney and Archdiocesan authorities are well aware of the canonical requirements for projected Notre Dame developments at Broadway and Darlinghurst parishes. They are being and will be scrupulously respected.

Cardinal Pell explained that unfortunately Father Terry Purcell's recollections are no longer fully reliable. The Cardinal has never told him to be out "within the week" and guided him over and introduced him to the Prime Minister at the Notre Dame announcement ceremony. Initially Father Purcell was enthusiastic about Notre Dame coming to Broadway. Father Purcell has submitted his resignation effective in February next year.

Archdiocesan authorities, Father James Fowler and Father Brian Egan have been working since 1994 to provide for the future of Darlinghurst parish. A projected Notre Dame development remains the best option for a continuing parish presence, which remains uncertain.


from: Peter Kaufman, Voice of the Faithful, 17 August

Members of Voice of the Faithful read with disbelief and dismay the report in (The Age 16/8) 'Prosecutors block child sex charges' of the Office of Public Prosecutions refusing to try Gerald Risdale for the sex crimes alleged against him - disbelief because their decision not to proceed despite the evidence painstakingly gathered by Sergeant Carson is deemed to be "not in the public interest". We ask, 'in whose interest is the OPP working?'

Voice of the Faithful greets this report with dismay because we see victims and survivors again being treated with such callous disrespect. We call on the OPP to do its duty and prosecute the charges against Risdale. How can the public have confidence in the authorities if it flies in the face of public sentiment concerning sex crimes? Is this a case in which a defendant's crimes are to be ignored because of 'budget pressures'? These budget pressures don't come to bear in other areas - especially property crimes. If Risdale was accused of robbing a bank there would be no question of prosecuting. Thank God he is not accused of making sick jokes on an aircraft!

The OPP ought to rethink this position. We urge the Office to reflect on what 'public interest' means. In this case, it goes to public confidence in our institutions ( including the Catholic Church), public sympathy and compassion for survivors, transparency in decision making, justice and fairness in compensation and above all, accountability. Voice of the Faithful begs the OPP to accept the difficult challenge of making the hard decisions. Your choice to disregards victims and crimes renders you unworthy of the trust bestowed upon you by the public.


from: Brian Doyle, Portland, Oregon USA

Just a note from an interested and riveted reader in the States. I must commend the very existence of your journal, first; for without conversation and testiness, reports and rages, news and stories, articles and essays, letters and laments, elegies and eulogies, we are nary a church at all. Second, I am intrigued by the startling similarities and cousinship of the Catholic church in Australia and America; we face the same crimes and misdemeanors, the same hopes and challenges, the same fiscal emergencies, the same awe for the courage and grace of our ancestors and teachers in the faith, the same desperate labor to make of the modern church some shred of what was shouted as possible by the Second Vatican Council: a church in which men and women worked together to sing the genius and mystery of the message of the Christos. Sometimes I think that the church to come is being born right before our eyes, and its first forms are in your nation and mine; which is a frightening and wonderful thought; and one post office for this new church is your journal. For which, again, thanks.


from: Steve Cragan, 13 August

I was somewhat appalled at today's offering regarding the 'Canon Law' and Notre Dame. The vision of Cardinal Pell to bring renewal to Broadway parish, a parish that has been in serious decline since the School closed in 1982 is to be congratulated. The last time I attended Mass at St Benedict's there were four parishioners in the congregation and seven acolytes serving on the sanctuary. The liturgy was poorly interpreted due to Father Terrence's blindness. It is a very real sad occasion when Father Terrence is not part of the renewal of the Broadway Parish.

This renewal could have been his crowning achievement, but rather, he will now retire as somewhat of a pariah; as one who rather than leaving a legacy of renewal at St Benedict's has presided over an absolute disaster and one who seems hell bent on trying to embarrass his Archbishop and Cardinal and bring a great disservice on himself as he approaches his retirement. What has happened to our faith when there is no longer obedience to Bishop and Archbishop?

Today's article was most unedifying and only makes Father Terrence's remaining time as Parish Priest of St Benedict's somewhat of a joke. However, I will always have fond memories of him in happier times and may God's grace be with him always.


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