A few days ago I wrote about Pope Francis making overtures to the more moderate and liberal elements of his flock by saying that church leadership focuses too much on homosexuality and abortion, and not enough on pretty much everything else Jesus actually said. The public response to his statements was largely positive, but we need to keep in mind that even though the new RCC may not be overly obsessed with these issues, it doesn’t mean they’re going to feel any differently about them.
Take, for example, Greg Reynolds, a parish priest in Melbourne, Australia, who was recently defrocked and excommunicated for speaking about homosexuality and allowing women to take on positions of authority in the church.
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.
To Reynolds, this isn’t really going to change anything as he still intends to keep teaching a doctrine that’s … well … less obsessed with homosexuality and abortion. The article also notes that the only other Melbourne priests that have suffered the same fate have been pedophiles … and it took the church about 20 years to act on them.
It’s good to see how quickly they’re acting on the things that matter most to them, especially in light of their recent shifting of their priorities. Oh, and they’re also stiffing him out of about $43k … but that’s still being sorted out. I’m sure in the end they’ll be happy to fully compensate him for his years of service.