Pope Francis excommunicates Australian priest

Pope Francis issued his first excommunication since become Pope in March (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

Australian priest had continued to act publicly as a priest after having priestly facilities removed

An Australian priest who supports the ordination of women has been excommunicated by Pope Francis.

In the first such excommunication since the new pontiff took office Fr Greg Reynolds was dismissed in a letter from the Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart, which stated that “the decision by Pope Francis to dismiss Fr Reynolds from the clerical state and to declare his automatic excommunication has been made because of his public teaching on the ordination of women contrary to the teaching of the Church and his public celebration of the Eucharist when he did not hold faculties to act publicly as a priest.”

Archbishop Hart also told other priests in the archdiocese by letter that Fr Reynolds’s excommunication was “because of his public teaching on the ordination of women”, which are grounds for automatic excommunication.

Fr Reynolds is also a supporter of same-sex marriage and has attended rallies in favour of changing the definition of marriage. He has even reportedly presided at same-sex ceremonies.

He told National Catholic Reporter: “I am very surprised that this order has come under his watch; it seems so inconsistent with everything else he has said and done.”

In August 2011 Fr Reynolds resigned his position as a priest at two rural parishes and, after Archbishop Hart removed his priestly faculties, he founded Inclusive Catholics, a pro-female ordination and gay marriage group.

Australian media also reported that in August 2012 he was present at a Mass where a dog had received Communion, which Fr Reynolds said he was not aware of until after the incident.

That month Archbishop Hart wrote to him warning that if he continued to act publicly as a priest he would “be forced to take further canonical action for the good of the Church”.

About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
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