Church dumps rebel priest

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Dissident priest Greg Reynolds has been both defrocked and excommunicated over his support for women priests and gays – the first person ever excommunicated in Melbourne, he believes.

The order comes direct from the Vatican, not at the request of Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart, and apparently follows a secret denunciation in the best traditions of the inquisition, according to Father Reynolds.

The excommunication document – written in Latin and giving no reason – was dated May 31, meaning it comes under the authority of Pope Francis who made headlines on Thursday calling for a less rule-obsessed church.

Father Reynolds, who resigned as a parish priest in 2011 and last year founded Inclusive Catholics, said he had expected to be laicised (defrocked), but not excommunicated. But it would make no difference to his ministry.

''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.''

Written By: Barney Zwartz
continue to source article at theage.com.au

26 COMMENTS

    • In reply to #4 by Kim Probable:

      Couldn’t just quietly move him to a new parish where nobody knew of his deviant thoughts?

      But he had not molested any children. Only people who molest children get that treatment. He was not part of the old boy network.

  1. A phone call would have been nice. I mean, that’s like getting an email from your boss that says “You’re fired” – in Latin! (“Hey, how come you came to work, didn’t you get the memo? – “Sorry, I don’t understand Latin and assumed it was a commendation.”)

    Fascinating that it came from the Office of the Inquisition, though (now renamed to “Doctrine of the Faith, since “Inquisition” has such bad associations! lol).

  2. I’m sort of with the Pope on this. Greg is trying to cherry pick, and tying himself up in knots by accepting the bits of the Bible he likes and ignoring the rest.

    The problem is not about gays or women., The problem is about the Bible itself.

    It’s not about setting up yet another Christian denomination, Greg, it’s being religious at all that is the problem. And Pope Francis seems to have worked that out for you.

  3. Goodness me,these folks move pretty fast(skirts and all) when their dogma is under threat.

    Gives one a very good idea of what they value most.There they sit in their very own State (for crying out loud) surrounded by stolen treasure and, impervious to the suffering caused by their inflexible doctrines (in Africa for example with the problem of Aids and condom usage) excommunicate one who is doing something that right-thinking people would applaud.

  4. look on the bright side, being “defrocked” as a certain kudos attached to it these days, makes you come across as a bit of a bad boy

    “had to suddenly move to another parish” on the other hand, that’s the term no one wants

  5. Fr Greg Reynolds:

    ”In times past excommunication was a huge thing, but today the hierarchy have lost such trust and respect,” he said.

    Now why am I reminded of Philip Snowden and Bradley Manning?

    • In reply to #13 by crookedshoes:

      I would LOVE to get a copy of the letter. Just think of the practical jokes one could pull off with such a document.

      It could be treated like so many ancient religious documents:-

      Translated from Latin into Klingon and then “reinterpreted” using the usual subjective “ink-blot” technique!

      The Klingon Dictionary has many of the properties of religious books!

      The dictionary is written from a point of view from inside the fictive universe of Star Trek, that means in a manner, pretending the klingons do exist.

  6. He has freedom of religion, I assume. He should sue them for fucking with his freedom to practice religion as he sees fit, not as they see fit. It isn’t freedom to administer religion as you wish, it’s freedom to practice. I would like to test this freedom in a Mosque, here in Canada. See just how much freedom of religion I have, or if the religion has more freedom than the practitioner.

    • In reply to #14 by aquilacane:

      He has freedom of religion, I assume. He should sue them for fucking with his freedom to practice religion as he sees fit, not as they see fit.

      No, I’m with the Vatican here. He’s damaging the brand by calling his club Inclusive Catholics. As far as the Vatican is concerned there’s only one brand of Catholic and they are entitled to assert their “copyright”. Anything else, and you’re a Protestant!

      If I set up a burger chain called “Even Better Macdonalds” I would expect some difficulties. Not least, I would be surprised if Macdonalds kept me on the payroll.

  7. According to some bankruptcy papers (get-out-of-paying-for-paedophiles-free papers) by the Californian diocese, the Vatican has no say in the day-to-day management of the diocese. And yet, not only does the Vatican fire the priest it overrides the management decision of the Melbourne diocese.

    The lawyers are going to love this one as the claims for damages can be laid at the doors of the Vatican and, hence, all financial branches of the Catholic church.

  8. Bravo Mr. Reynolds. One of the very few priests who had the guts to resign for reasons of conscience. I may not agree with his beliefs but I have the utmost admiration for his integrity and courage as a human being.

    Another priest excommunicated for ideological reasons. Of all the priests found guilty of child abuse, how many have been excommunicated?….. Exactly 0. It’s at times like this when you see the REAL face of the papacy. Pope Francis can keep up the “sweet talk” act as long as he wants but actions speak louder than words and his actions are blaring out the word “phony”.

    But that’s fine though. In fact I sincerely hope that he and his successors do keep this up. The worst thing that could happen is that the Catholic Church really becomes progressive and liberal. Because that would increase its chances of survival. The vast majority of believers don’t really care about biblical ideology and are mostly unaware of what the bible contains anyway. “The flock” is easily put to sleep with a little bit of niceness and eye candy.

    The more nasty the Church remains, the faster this corrupt and hopelessly anachronistic institution will die. So I hope they keep showing the world what the Vatican aristocracy really is: a bunch of dour, narrow-minded, hypocritical, misogynistic, homophobic bullies who just won’t stop telling people how to live their lives.

  9. “Father Reynolds is not the first Australian Catholic to be excommunicated. The best-known was Sister Mary MacKillop, who was excommunicated by her local bishop but was reinstated. In 2010 she became Australia’s first saint.”

    Well, who knows, perhaps it’s Australia’s second saint in the making?

  10. Wow, is this a surprise. Well, not really. After all its ok in the eyes of the church to shuffle hundreds and hundreds of child rapists and molesters around the world and not one of whom has ever been defrocked or excommunicated . Sure thats a different sin to the sin of supporting women who want to join the priesthood. Or being tolerant to gays. After all thats a real sin..simple really.

    • In reply to #20 by Topomountain:

      Wow, is this a surprise. Well, not really. After all its ok in the eyes of the church to shuffle hundreds and hundreds of child rapists and molesters around the world and not one of whom has ever been defrocked or excommunicated . Sure thats a different sin to the sin of supporting women who want to…

      I could see excommunicating someone for ordaining a woman or marrying a couple of lesbians, or announcing these as official church policy, but surely just saying it would be a good idea is not that big a deal. How can the church possibly evolve if no one is allowed to suggest improvements?

      • In reply to #23 by Roedy:

        In reply to #20 by Topomountain:

        Wow, is this a surprise. Well, not really. After all its ok in the eyes of the church to shuffle hundreds and hundreds of child rapists and molesters around the world and not one of whom has ever been defrocked or excommunicated . Sure thats a different sin to the s…

        It’s the authoritarian mind set. Complete devotion is required, even thinking the wrong thoughts is considered a sin. It’s why I laugh (well really smirk) when Catholics say “oh yes we are backwards and misogynistic but nothing will change if I leave the church” The RCC couldn’t care less about what the actual members of their church think.

        I actually remember there was a very devout guy who was a neighbor when I was a kid. He was one of those people that was very active in the RCC, I think he held various titles they give to lay people to acknowledge those that have made significant volunteer contributions.

        Even then I was an atheist but he was one of the first people who made me realize that not all theists are just hypocritical jerks. He really believed all the stuff about Jesus and being good to everyone and you could tell he really tried to put it into practice. We used to argue all the time but as is usually the case with people I have good arguments with I respected him in spite of thinking he was wrong.

        I forget what the issue was but he was shattered when he tried to get involved in some local church issue and they told him, this guy who had volunteered so much of his time to them, to essentially F off. He literally was a changed guy after that, he no longer went to church and you could see it in his affect he had lost something out of his life. It was odd even as a kid I felt sorry for him and he was someone I had had pretty combative arguments with about the existence of God as well as all the other things young people and old people were arguing about in the 60′s.

  11. I once worked for computer software company with about 200 employees. I repeatedly warned the management that the whole project would collapse in a pile of undocumented unmaintainable spaghetti, and that they needed to take time out to do a major clean up. Their staff were mostly young and overconfident, and without formal training in software construction. To my surprise they fired me. However, within a year, management had been fired and the company went bankrupt.

    Denis Hart may have a similar experience.

  12. I don’t see any problem there. If women and gays disagree over their treatment by Catholic Church, why they don’t cease being catholics and don’t care anymore about it? It is very easy thing to do.

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