Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby has written to former St Mary's South Brisbane administrator warning him that penalties will be imposed unless he ceases to celebrate Mass at the Trades and Labor Council building.
In a letter to Fr Kennedy, Archbishop Bathersby accused Fr Kennedy of causing further harm to the communion of the Catholic Church by setting up the St Mary's-in-exile breakaway group, The Courier-Mail reports.
"Unless you cease these actions and by a formal act repent and are reconciled to the Church, I shall impose on you penalties . . . not excluding dismissal from the clerical state," Archbishop Bathersby said.
The letter was also signed by the Chancellor of the Brisbane Archdiocese, Fr Adrian Farrelly who told The Courier-Mail the penalties the Archbishop might impose ranged from stripping Fr Kennedy of his authority to perform public "priestly duties" such as masses or marriages, to banning him from functioning as a priest altogether, except in an emergency situation.
"To be told that you cannot function as a priest ever again is a very serious penalty," Fr Farrelly said.
"Excommunication is also there (as a penalty) but the Archbishop has chosen not to look at that at this stage."
Fr Kennedy described the letter as "medieval gobbledygook".
He said the threats of penalties and punishment were to be expected, because the St Mary's-in-exile congregation posed a "real confrontation to the Church's patriarchal and hierarchical culture."
"There's nothing to do about it," Fr Kennedy said.
"We'll just continue on and we will continue to say we are in the Catholic tradition. It will be business at the TLC building as usual. Our numbers are very stable if not growing."
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New threat to sacked St Mary's priest Peter Kennedy (Courier-Mail)
St Mary's Community, South Brisbane