Parishioner breaches court order not to go to Mass

A Catholic from Kununnurra in the Kimberley has been in court to face charges of breaching a misconduct restraining order sought by the parish after he repeatedly took his own wine to Mass and claimed it was "the blood of Christ".

The Kimberley Echo reports that John Flint was back in the Kununurra Magistrate's Court to face charges of breaching a misconduct restraining order.

Mr Flint has been on the order not to go within the vicinity of the Church in Kununurra since last August, and the order does not run out until August this year.

Mr Flint will testify that he went to church several times over Easter following a telephone conversation with the Bishop of Broome. He says that from the conversation he developed the opinion that the church's stance of keeping him away from mass might have weakened.

The dispute with his local church began when Mr Flint objected to a change in the way communion was dispensed. He wanted his wine out of a challis, not the leavened bread dipped in it.

After much debate on the issue, Mr Flint began taking his own wine into church and claiming that by it being there, it became "the blood of Christ", which he would then consume at his leisure.

Much bickering ensued and finally the church had had enough and successfully sought a restraining order against Mr Flint.

When he started attending mass again, the long arm of the law interceded and that is how he ended up back in court on Friday.

Originally, it seemed that his appearance before Justices of the Peace Di Ausburn and Bernice Spackman would result in a "guilty" plea that could have ended the matter.

However, according to the The Kimberley Echo, somehow he found out that the usual magistrate Antoine Bloemen was not coming to Kununurra for the May sittings of the magistrate's court.

So, in the hope of finding a more receptive audience, Mr Flint entered a plea of "not guilty", which led to him being remanded to the 23 May sittings of the magistrate's court.

Flint breaches order (Kimberley Echo 4/5/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Diocese of Broome

4 May 2006