Peter Kennedy

Two fundamentals for religious worship are a belief in Jesus and faith in the power of prayer.

Peter Kennedy , a priest of St Mary’s Church, Brisbane, Australia, begs to differ. In 2009 he was kicked out of the Catholic Church for his unorthodox ideas.

Undeterred, the 72-year-old set up a thriving St Mary’s In Exile community so that he can continue preaching albeit well outside the narrow-minded parameters of Catholicism.

Tolerance and understanding of difference are high on his agenda, Kennedy recognises gay relationships and believes in equality for women; both fundamental positions the anachronistic Vatican authorities refuse to accept.

If there were such a thing as an interventionist God, he asks, why didn’t He intervene to stop the maniac’s recent killing spree  in Oslo. One might well ask why God never seems to intervene to stop evil acts or prevent natural disasters. If He (She?) is not prepared to give us any sign why should we believe.

I am reminded of the story of atheist philosopher  Bertrand Russell who was once asked what he would say to a deity if, when he died, he found there was indeed an afterlife. “I would ask why he didn’t give more evidence”, he replied.

A documentary film about the Aussie controversy – The Trouble With St Mary’s – was made earlier this year  by Peter Hegedus

Kennedy’s services sound to me a lot like Humanism –  “I think my way of prayer is to stand in wonder at the beauty of people and the wonder of life.”, he says.

I think the idea of people gathering to celebrate life , meditate and the show the value of community is a healthy idea – and if there more churches without christ I would be happy to join the congregation

Related link:
Priest without a prayer (Courier