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Catholic priest excommunicated over support for women priests, gay marriage

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Just one day before Pope Francis criticized the Catholic Church over its obsession with gays, an Australian priest learned he had been both defrocked and excommunicated over his support for women priests and same-sex marriage.

Greg Reynolds

Greg Reynolds, holding his excommunication document.

Father Greg Reynolds said 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, reported Australia’s The Age.

The excommunication document — written in Latin and giving no reason — was delivered Sept. 18 through a canon lawyer for the Melbourne archdiocese, Fr. John Salvano, who invited Reynolds a few weeks earlier to meet “to discuss ‘some canonical issue,’” Reynolds said.

A separate letter sent Friday from Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart indicated Reynolds’ support of women’s ordination was a primary reason for the excommunication

But Reynolds said he believes the excommunication also resulted from his support of the gay community.

Reynolds said the letter was dated May 31, meaning it comes under the authority of Pope Francis, who made international headlines on Thursday calling for a less rule-obsessed church.

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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.

According to church teaching, excommunication refers to the severest measure of censure for Catholics and forbids an individual from holding any office or receive any sacraments. Being laicised means one is no longer a priest.

Reynolds said he was penniless when he resigned as a Melbourne priest, and was later offered $5,000 as a payout for his 32 years of service, though he says the usual figure is about $1500 per year of service – in his case, $48,000.

Negotiations are continuing.

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36 more reader comments:

  1. Who wants to be associated with a hate group anyways

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 12:39am
  2. Pope speaks with forked tongue?

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 12:39am
  3. what did you expect?

    Replied on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 6:09am
  4. That's what I expected. That explains why I'm Episcopalian now.

    Replied on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 11:47am
  5. Ridiculous. ..

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 1:01am
  6. His heart is good. God sees this.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 1:22am
  7. well if he is refusing to follow church rules then he should quite that church and find one that he can follow. its like a job if i dont follow the rules then i get fired. I get tired of people who dont agree with something thinking they can just ignore it and not get punished. Also just because someone doesnt agree with You doesnt make that person a hater. we need to grow up as well

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 1:27am
  8. A verse by Martin Niemöller (WW2) you would do well to take to heart: First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.

    Replied on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 3:01am
  9. Brian I agree with you. Just because the Catholic church does not believe in allowing woman to be priest OR gays/lesbians to partake un the Sacrament of marriage does NOT make them a hate group. We are all allowed our beliefs. Being a PROUD Catholic lesbian, I can tell you it takes a WHOLE LOT MORE to get excommunicated than just to speak out against what The Church's official beliefs are!! (Go ahead TRUE BASHERS AND TRUE HATERS, tell me I'm a hypocrite for admitting I an a PROUD Catholic and in the same breath stating u am a lesbian.) Do I believe that Iur Catholic Church should ine day look at the possibility of allowing women to become priest?? Yes, but maybe after we allow priest ti marry and then if we should still be facing a shortage it ciuld come out of need. Should we allow gays/lesbians to marry in The Church?? I say yes but I also recognize that that as a religious freedom question. If a particular church chooses NOT to allow gays and lesbians to marry in that religion, then they should NOT be forced to do so or to recognize the said marriage. I do thinj something *stinks* about this article bit it is NOT the contents ~ It is what is being left out. There us definitely MORE ti this story than a priest being defrocked and excommunicated for having different views!!!! TOO MUCH BEING UNSAI'D ~THAT IS WHAT STINKS!!!!

    Replied on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 4:30am
  10. Im gay and i dont call anyone who doesnt want me to marry my boyfriend a hater. I look at it as they simply do not agree with an issue i am tollerant of others veiws and i think they should be the same.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 1:28am
  11. EXACTLY!!

    Replied on Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 2:29am
  12. Makes me wonder how many child-molesting priests have be excommunicated.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 1:31am
  13. But they don’t excommunicate them for pedophilia? What a bunch of morons with wacked priorities!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 1:34am
  14. Lucky him. Time to have a normal life with healthy sexual expression and distance himself from the largest male cult in the world. There’s nothing normal about catholicism and it’s cultural lies that are man made and misogynist and promote shame and abuse.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 1:52am
  15. he should start his own church…one of love and family values :)

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 1:57am
  16. I guess the Pope is next!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 1:59am
  17. Leave the hate group! you’re a real human! gratz :) glad you support woman’s rights and lgbt rights

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 2:06am
  18. Where is the other half of the story ~ I see what you did there ~ Only told part of the story; the part makes gays and lesbians and women thr target for what you make out to be a hate group

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 4:42am
  19. Too bad. He sounds like an honestly good Christian.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 4:45am
  20. This from the other side of Francis’ mouth.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 5:59am
  21. He should have stuck to fucking kids. They mostly just give you a pat on the back for that, right?

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 7:12am
  22. Standing up for what is right–Jesus would have been proud of you!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 11:05am
  23. Did you really believed Pope Francis was TRULY gay friendly? Right, like a nazi could have beemn pro-jew

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 11:33am
  24. sigh

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 12:20pm
  25. meanwhile in the real world….

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 1:20pm
  26. Who cares really? This is the 21st century it is about time we abandon superstitious ideologies and start dealing with FACTS!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 2:35pm
  27. I guess he’s going to Hell. Not! As I have stated before, action speaks louder than words and the Pope’s words are hallow and meaningless.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 5:20pm
  28. He’s better off!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 5:53pm
  29. The Catholic Church seems to have been built by men and for men.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 6:21pm
  30. catholic church = the root of all bigotry

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 6:31pm
  31. he may be excommunicated from the church, but not from God.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 6:59pm
  32. And you expected something different?

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 7:22pm
  33. Now he can go be a pastor to people in a church that does not practice bigotry!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 8:07pm
  34. a priest with a consciousness.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 11:54pm
  35. what a loving bunch, eh?

    Posted on Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 3:16am
  36. IF YOUR PARENTS WERE GAY BEFORE THEY HAD YOU, WOULD YOU EVEN EXIST TO FORWARD THIS CAUSE? GOD LOVES YOU GUYS EVEN MORE THAN YOUR PARTNERS DO MY FRIENDS.

    Posted on Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 9:15am