Australian priest excommunicated by Holy See for public dissent about women’s ordination and gay marriage

The Holy See has excommunicated and laicised the Australian priest Greg Reynolds for forming his breakaway church ‘Inclusive Catholic’ through which he preached and taught errors about women’s ordination and homosexuality contrary to the doctrine of the Catholic Church. Denis Hart, the Archbishop of Melbourne, explained that Greg Reynolds was’ excommunicated because he continued to celebrate the Eucharist publicly after his priestly faculties were withdrawn. He was also preaching contrary to the teachings of the church.

The Age reports::

‘Mr Reynolds resigned as a parish priest in 2011, and has founded Inclusive Catholics in 2012. He said that although he was expecting to be laicised or defrocked for his views on ordination of women and homosexuality, he didn’t know he was to be excommunicated as well.’

”In times past excommunication was a huge thing, but today the hierarchy have lost such trust and respect,” he said. ”I’ve come to this position because I’ve followed my conscience on women’s ordination and gay marriage.”

According to church teaching, excommunication is the strongest sanction and means one can not hold any office or receive any sacraments. Being laicised means one is no longer a priest.

Reynolds said he was called to meet the Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral, John Salvano, a canon lawyer, to ”discuss some issues” on Wednesday morning. When he arrived, Father Salvano translated the document for him. ”He told me that Denis Hart did not apply for me to be laicised, but someone else unknown has gone over his head and contacted the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith…”The Vatican never contacted me, and it gives no explanation.”

Protect the Pope comment: Even though the pronouncement of excommunication against Mr Reynolds does not include details of the reasons for the imposition of this penalty the Archbishop of Melbourne made it clear that it was for two illicit actions by the former priest – celebrating the Mass without faculties and for preaching and teaching about women’s ordination and gay marriage contrary to the doctrine of the Church.  Like all dissenters from the Church’s teaching and authority Mr Reynold’s justified his disobedience by claiming he is following his conscience. Quite rightly this self-justification has been ignored and the truth of the situation recognised, Mr Reynold has broken away from the communion of the Church. If only the Holy See imposed the same just penalty on bishops, priests and laity who publicly justify their dissent by claiming they are following their consciences. Maybe if this happens they’ll reconsider their self-serving delusions.


10 comments to Australian priest excommunicated by Holy See for public dissent about women’s ordination and gay marriage

  • Rifleman 819

    Deacon Nick ,
    How will ACTA spin this one, I wonder?

  • Robert

    It plays into ACTA’s hands. We should be above such things.

  • Rifleman 819

    Wonder if Australian news is followed in deepest Sussex as well??

  • Robert

    Acta and SSPX have something in common: they both reject the Hermeneutic of Continuity as taught by Pope Benedict and Pope Francis.

  • BJC

    “Conscience” seems to be a completely selfish entity for liberals. I wonder what would happen if I told Catherine Pepinster or Clifford Longley in good conscience I thought that “ordaining” women was gravely sinful, as was “gay marriage” and homosexual acts. Does that mean they would support me in my expression of, as they put it, my God given right to follow my conscience? I doubt it, it only seems liberals are entitled to do that and to hell with anybody who disagrees with them.

  • John

    @Rifleman: oh they’ll just say it’s the evil, oppressive, authoritarian ‘Vatican’.

  • William

    How long before they try and spin as “the decision was made by that evil monster Pope Benedict and poor Pope Francis just went along with it because he was lied to or didn’t understand”. That is what they will say. Even though the Pope has stated women’s ordination is a closed subject, that’s ignored and they persist.

  • Lynda

    Excommunication is inherent in communion. Communion has no meaning without excommunIcation. One is either in communion or not – this is real. If one isn’t, then this must be formally declared, and the scandal halted. There is no charity, without truth or justice. The subject of the excommunication is himself responsible for thee communication – he freely chooses to excommunicate from Christ’s Church, from the truth. To be in communion with the Church is an ongoing act of the will.

  • Dilly

    It is most unfortunate for anyone to be excommunicated, but not at all vindictive to be grateful or relieved that heresy is being challenged by Rome (as will no doubt be the Modernist line). It’s a wake up call, and there is a simple solution.

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