Fr Robert Riedling appointed to Glenmore Park
Catholic Outlook, June 2012
|Bishop Anthony was the principal celebrant for the final Parramatta Pilgrim Mass at WYD Madrid in 2011. The Mass was concelebrated by WYD Chaplains (from left): Fr Warren Edwards, Fr Robert Riedling, Fr John Watkins and Fr Paul Marshall. Photography: Alphonsus Fok and Grace Lu.|
Bishop Anthony Fisher OP has appointed Fr Robert Riedling as the new Parish Priest of Padre Pio Catholic Parish, Glenmore Park, following the departure of Fr Kevin Lee.
Bishop Anthony said he was very pleased to announce the appointment, effective 23 May 2012. “I know that parishioners have been eagerly awaiting the announcement of a new parish priest and I am grateful to Fr Robert for accepting this appointment.
“A young, energetic priest, Fr Robert has already had considerable pastoral experience as an Assistant Priest at Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Greystanes, as Administrator of St Michael’s Parish, Blacktown South, and since March 2010 as Parish Priest of St Michael’s.”
A former primary school teacher, Fr Robert sits on the advisory board of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, which provides Special Religion Education in state schools.
“He was a Chaplain accompanying pilgrims to World Youth Day in Madrid in 2011 and is Chair of the Diocese of Parramatta’s World Youth Day Rio 2013 Committee,” Bishop Anthony said.
“He is a man of talent and conviction who will bring to Padre Pio Parish the shepherding and healing it sorely needs at this time. I have great confidence that the parishioners will work with Fr Robert to make their great parish even better.”
Fr Robert said he was honoured to be appointed to Padre Pio Parish. “I am looking forward to meeting and working with the people of Glenmore Park so that together we can build up the Kingdom of God here in Western Sydney.”
Last month, Fr Lee gave a series of media interviews in which he stated that he entered into a civil marriage a year ago and claimed that “most priests lead a double life”.
Bishop Anthony said he was shocked and disappointed at this revelation. “Fr Lee did not communicate his intentions to the Church, so I was as shocked as you were and knew as little about all this when it happened.”
The Bishop denied Fr Lee’s claim that most priests lead a double life. “This impugns the reputation of the great majority of priests who faithfully serve God and their people,” he said.
“I also deny that the hierarchy of the Church knew that Fr Kevin had married or was leading ‘a double life’.”
On the weekend of 5-6 May, Bishop Anthony celebrated all the Masses in Padre Pio Parish. In his homily he said: “As your bishop when I heard the news my heart broke for you; as your brother in Christ my heart broke with you. I’ve been praying for wisdom on how to help all of us through this.”
The Bishop said no punitive action had been taken by the Diocese of Parramatta against Fr Lee. “He has not been excommunicated. He has not been evicted. However, by his actions he can no longer operate as a priest. By entering into a marriage, he has automatically become ‘irregular’ for the exercise of Orders.
“This means he may not perform any functions of a priest, for example, he is not permitted to celebrate Mass or the other Sacraments.”
Bishop Anthony said that even if he wanted to reinstate Fr Lee, he would be unable to do so because the lifting of this prohibition is reserved to the Holy See.
The Bishop said Padre Pio Parish was a resilient community. “I am confident that this young parish is mature enough to withstand the present challenge.
“So many people contribute in different ways and I ask you to redouble your efforts to support each other in faith and love at this time. You really do make a difference in each other’s lives and in the world.”View a video of Bishop Anthony’s homily at: http://www.parra.catholic.org.au/bishop-of-parramatta/most-rev-anthony-fisher-op/the-bishop-s-homilies.aspx
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