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Brisbane Bishop denounces witchcraft

Brisbane Auxiliary Bishop John Gerry has given an unqualified assurance of the archdiocese's adherence to Catholic teaching after allegations that nuns are involved with a community centre which has been promoting or hosting witchcraft, new age and pro-abortion causes.

The Catholic Leader reports that the allegations follow reports in Brisbane's Courier-Mail newspaper on 10 November and in subsequent issues, that nuns from the Presentation, Mercy and Josephite orders support Womenspace, a community centre at Kedron, either financially or through the centre's management committee.

Bishop Gerry responded last Friday in lieu of Archbishop John Bathersby's absence in Rome for a dialogue between the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches.

In a statement, Bishop Gerry gave 'an unqualified assurance that the archdiocese under the leadership of Archbishop Bathersby is in complete accord with the teachings of the universal Catholic Church and the Holy Father' in relation to the issues raised by The Courier-Mail.

'The archdiocese is absolutely opposed to all activities associated with witchcraft and the practice of abortion,' he said.

Bishop Gerry 'strongly affirmed the excellent work of the thousands of members of religious congregations who have served the Church and the world so generously and effectively as teachers, nurses and community workers over the centuries and who continue to meet the needs of the poor and needy in Australia and internationally'.

Meanwhile, in response to claims that Womenspace had been the venue for the annual general meeting of Children by Choice on 15 November, Right to Life Queensland's president Dr Donna Purcell of Toowoomba said she was puzzled by the decision to let the property to the group.

'It's a well known pro-abortion organisation and has been here since the 1970s,' she said. 'It's difficult to understand how the sisters didn't know who they were.'

Catholic Leader