September 13, 2009

Slow news week drags on

Wasn't there any important news in the country or the world this week?

Not according to the Melbourne media, who have kept us breathlessly updated on the mandatory retired processes of the Catholic church, most especially as it affects one Father Bob of South Melbourne.

The church holds onto these guys until the overly-ripe age of 75 years, after which they keep them housed and supported until death.

Father Bob, just incidentally, has kept his parish in deficit, to the tune of millions, for eight out of the last 11 years.

Apart from the adoring support of his parishioners, Father Bob apparently has the vigorous support for his ongoing priestishness of "leading politicians and business leaders who were trying to convince Archbishop Hart to let Father Bob continue his work".

Which is noice.

My care factor?

Jack shit.

When one Catholic priest hits 75 and has to retire, why are we all forced to take an interest?

Congregation gets behind Father Bob


  1. "in deficit, to the tune of millions"

    I'm not all that up on what is involved in the Catholic mass (because sleep on Sunday is a religious institution too ya know), but I get this image of an enourmous collection plate getting passed around Father Bob's congregation with a couple of flunkys taking notes on who put what in it.

    In the name of the Father, the son, and our accountant... Amen!

  2. This year's debt, I gather, is around $1.9M,which, in Catholic church terms, is loose change at the back of the couch.

    It seems that the South Melbourne parish has had to sell off three properties over the years, with a fourth to be sold off shortly, to keep up with the cash flow under Father Bob's management.

    Correctly, Father Bob says that he can't sell property without the Archbishop agreeing and signing off, ipso facto, he's done nothing wrong. Can't argue with that, but the Archbishop might be concerned that South Melb is running out of church properties to sell. I mean, really, how many buildings and how much land is owned by the Catholics in one little suburb?

    I also think it's a bit of a red herring, even if the Archbishop claims this to be the driving reason for insisting that Bob retires at the designated age.

    Hell, the bible only offers six score and ten years!

    Let someone else take over. No wonder the churches are finding it hard to recruit. Forget about baby boomers cluttering up the corporate world, check out the churches being cluttered up by really, really, really, old guys. No room for promotion for the young 'uns. It's as bad as Charles waiting for Liz to die.

  3. Caz, sound like they've adopted the fiscal policies of the ALP.

    Spend up big porkbarrelling and sell the assets when the bills come in.

  4. Oh, and Father Bob's got it down pat.

    When you're out of the job leave it for someone else to pay off and sort out.

  5. Anonymous8:09 AM

    If Father Bob has sold those houses and spent all that cash on the needy then good for him; the Church can no doubt afford it.

    If he wants to continue working then good for him as well. Besides what else will th dear old bugger have to do.


    PS I bet Father Park will still be handing out confessions when he is a cranky old bugger - I hope so anyway.

  6. Justin my dear, we all hope and pray that Father Park continues to hand out confessions and atonements not only on this Earthly plane, but on whichever plane to whence we all end up, in due course.

    Father Bob, on the other hand, celebrated his 75th today, insisting that he felt like "a condemned man".

    He's having one hell of a public pity party for himself, more than a week now. His christian spirit is a self-indulgent variety, from what I've seen and read so far.

    Father Park, on the other hand, indulges, and insists that our penance is equally indulgent.

    I know which which Father I want on the other side of a bottle or two!

    Kae - he continues to vocalize disingenuous denials, along with faux shock, over suggestions that his management skills might be less than ideal.

  7. "Father Bob, on the other hand, celebrated his 75th today, insisting that he felt like "a condemned man".

    He's having one hell of a public pity party for himself, more than a week now. His christian spirit is a self-indulgent variety, from what I've seen and read so far."

    You are a very perceptive lady Caz.

    With all due respect, Father Bob should, (as directed by Church authorities) bloody well retire! It's Canon law. Father Bob is in breach (of Canon Law)if he refuses to retire.

  8. And another thing..

    Diocesan priests at their ordination make solemn promises of chaste celibacy for the love of God and of obedience to their Bishop.

    Father Bob is being a very naughty old boy!

    Why it's such news is beyond me, too, Caz!

  9. Anonymous4:51 PM

    Catholic by definition is inclusive yet Catholicism or its hierarchy is anything but - an oxymoron lead by men in dresses and fine jewellery.

    Too often faith is dressed up in self imposed disciplines that in reality have little to do with the faith but a lot to do with control. We see evidence of this amongst most faiths and belief systems.

    If one wishes to follow a particular faith and its rules so be it. If you believe praying 5 times a day will bring you closer to god then so be it. If you believe meditating on top of a mountain will bring you closer to god then so be it. If you believe having your genitals mutilated in the name of your god then so be it, but in reality these are disciplines and rituals we need not. And they will not bring thee closer to thy god.

    God couldn't give a shit - but the powers that be do.

    If a 75 year old priest signed a doc promising to retire then so be it, but it does make one wonder if the Catholic hierarchy is more about discipline and control and less about true Christianity.

    Besides are they not having trouble recruiting new priests these days? So why not keep the ones you have a little longer?

    Anyway, I suppose if they let the old bugger work on and continue burning cash like a drunken Christian then he may end up turning the extremely wealthy Catholic Church from a global business into an unprofitable universal benevolent society. And that might be a good thing for the Christians.

    At least those men attired in dresses and fine jewellery may finally understand what the point of the exercise is – as far as Jesus was concerned anyway.



  10. geoff6:41 AM

    What is it with the Catholics? Whenever they have an outspoken preacher who also happens to be a nice bloke they crucify him and then blame the Jews.

    [clears throat]
    [Ducks and runs for cover]

  11. Justin - while I appreciate the points you're making, churches are, above all else, made in man's image. So yes, they have rules and they are patriarchal and hierarchical.

    Geoff - hee, hee.

    I guess Bob is a "nice bloke", or at least lots of other people say he is. I don't find him especially endearing or articulate, and he's not my idea of inspiring. He's like everyone's embarrassing yobbo uncle. I don't mean because of his age either. I suspect Father Bob was exactly like everyone's embarrassing yobbo uncle even when he was 17. He's that kind of guy.

    He can't be especially outspoken. I'd never heard of him until now.

    No news on whether or not he sent his resignation letter off on Thursday.

    Kath - me thinks Father Bob, as sometimes happens with other priests (eg, that twit up in Queensland) is indulging his vanity a touch too much. Unseemly.