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St Mary’s Catholic Community agrees to handover to avoid legal action




The St Mary’s Community Council in South Brisbane with the support of Fr Peter Kennedy has agreed to a peaceful and dignified handover of church property following mediation with the Archdiocese of Brisbane.

This decision was made to avoid harm to the community which would result from imminent and abrupt legal action by the Archdiocese.


The St Mary’s Community has been shattered and deeply disappointed by the decree to remove Peter Kennedy and the process implemented by the Archdiocese and Archbishop over the last twelve months. The community believes the process has been unjust and unfair.


The St Mary’s Community was expecting Archbishop John Bathersby to attend the mediation yesterday. The council was disappointed that he did not attend and has still not met with representatives from the St Mary’s Community.


Instead he was represented at the mediation by Walter Sofronoff QC SG, John Moore, Dean Ken Howell and Monsignor Andrew Randazzo. It was not expected that Peter Kennedy would attend the mediation after lawyers informed him of the restrictive terms of mediation.


“The community and Peter Kennedy have been deeply offended,” says St Mary’s Community Council Chair Margaret Ortiz. “As a member of the St Mary’s Community and Council I am affronted by the Archbishop’s comment on Encounter that ‘a great number of them over there have no faith’.


“The Archbishop has not to my knowledge ever talked with people from St Mary’s about their faith. We are very much a faith-filled community.  I therefore respectfully invite the Archbishop to recant those words and apologise for the slur on our people.


“He may not realise that his remark was deeply hurtful to me personally and no doubt to many in the community.  Had he ever visited us in recent years he would himself been aware of how wrong this statement was.  We are hurt – deeply hurt,” says Margaret.


The community also strongly believes Peter Kennedy has not caused ecclesiastical harm. The transition arrangements for the church will be completed by Monday April 20.


Easter liturgies, mass and other church celebrations will continue as planned. they 

The St Mary’s Community will no longer continue to exist in its current form and the St Mary’s Community Council will resign on midnight Sunday April 19.

The St Mary’s Council advocated strongly for the community to remain together for the Easter liturgies. Each family and individual at St Mary’s will decide for themselves where they will celebrate mass after April 20.


Micah Projects Inc is an independently incorporated body that grew out of a social justice vision from the St Mary’s Community. It will continue to serve the needs of the local community and will relocate from St Mary’s House.