Brisbane, Australia, Nov 29, 2004 / 22:00 pm
Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane has publicly questioned whether a parish could be in communion with the Church if its ordained ministers do not use words from Scripture and do not follow the appropriate rites during the sacraments.
The archbishop's comments follow a controversy that recently broke in the press last week, where priests at St. Mary Parish’s in South Brisbane for the last 10 years were using the words "creator, liberator and sustainer" to baptize, instead of "Father, Son and Holy Spirit."
Archbishop Bathersby said such baptisms were invalid and would need to be redone.
"Larger questions lie not far beneath the surface of the controversy, and it is the question of communion, namely whether a parish of the Roman Catholic Church can be in communion with the Archdiocesan Church and the Universal Church if it changes the structure of the sacraments and locates its authority within the community," Archbishop Bathersby wrote in a comment in the Nov. 30 issue of the Courier Mail. "The baptism formula is merely one aspect, but an important one, of all these other questions."