Sydney parishioners take dispute with Archdiocese to Rome

The congregation of one of Sydney's oldest Catholic parishes, displaced to make way for the redevelopment of a Sydney campus of the University of Notre Dame, is to take its appeal to the Vatican.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports today that parishioners would like Rome to overrule a decision made by the Sydney Archdiocese which they say effectively hands control of the church buildings to Notre Dame.

The Sacred Heart parishioners won the support of Sydney City Council in their attempt to put the 19th century church, opposite St Vincent's Hospital, on a heritage list, saving it from demolition.

But from this week worship has been moved to an adjacent chapel to allow a preliminary clean-up of the site before a development application for refurbishment works is lodged.

Notre Dame has challenged the parishioners' assertion that they have been evicted and says the refurbished church will be reopened within two years.

Cardinal George Pell said the deal with Notre Dame University would prove beneficial to parishioners.

"[Sacred Heart] will reopen as a parish church with a secure income for the parish, with an office, a centre and accommodation for the priest. It's a very good deal for the parish. There's no talk of shutting down the parish."

Notre Dame said it is responsible for restoring and maintaining the buildings on the Sacred Heart Parish site, including significant heritage works.

Parishioners take battle with Pell to Rome (Sydney Morning Herald 17/8/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Archdiocese of Sydney | Darlinghurst
Sacred Heart Rescue

Heritage listing to protect Sydney church (CathNews 15/2/05)
Keating lashes Sydney Archdiocese over heritage threat (CathNews 20/10/04)
Changing heritage status of inner Sydney church (CathNews 25/8/04)
Notre Dame welcomes support for Sydney Campus (CathNews 2/8/04)

17 Aug 2005