The man who took on Rome
THE sacking of Catholic priest Peter Kennedy for unorthodox practices in February 2009 made headlines around the world.
Just days after being forced out of St Mary’s church in South Brisbane, the rebel priest created a ‘‘ church in exile’’ a few hundred metres away in a council building, igniting one of the biggest rifts in the history of the Australian Catholic Church.
In the eyes of Rome, 72-year-old Father Peter Kennedy ( pictured) is a heretic, out of step with the Vatican on the most fundamental tenets of Catholicism.
Kennedy’s transgressions include questioning the virgin birth, the infallibility of the Pope and even that Jesus was the literal Son of God.
In practice, he rejects wearing vestments, allows all members of the church, including women, to recite the Eucharist, and changes the wording of the baptism.
In the view of the Archbishop of Brisbane, John Bathersby, Kennedy has put himself ‘‘ out of communion with the Roman Catholic Church’’.
Tonight’s must-see episode of Compass features unparalleled access to this community in exile and its leader as they struggle against the power of the church.
Kennedy’s religious ideals after the fact are truly fascinating.