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Bathersby tells New Age nuns to put house in order

Brisbane's Archbishop John Bathersby has told the religious orders involved in the city's controversial Womenspace community centre at Kedron to thoroughly examine its operations after allegations that the centre has held meetings or distributed material related to witchcraft or New Age practices.

The Catholic Leader reports that the archbishop has also called for an urgent review of the centre's management structure.

His response to the controversy is contained in a 20 December statement after an investigation of the allegations by archdiocesan vicar for religious, Sr Patricia Scully RSC.

Archbishop Bathersby said Sr Scully's examination of Womenspace did not find evidence that the sisters are supporting "happenings" which might seem routine at a New Age, pagan or witches' gathering.

However, "the public perception of the Catholic people of the Archdiocese of Brisbane is that the sisters are accountable for the operation of Womenspace", and Canon Law would seem to support this perception, he added.

Brisbane bishop denounces witchcraft (23/11/01)
Archbishop orders probe into witchcraft claims (15/11/01)

Catholic Leader