Loose cannon (now former) priest has been excommunicated

“Pope Francis is just, like, he’s just the most wonderfullest Pope, like, EHvur!”

So, the liberals gush, completely ignoring what Francis is about.

And so we turn out attention down-under, where a loose cannon of a priest ran amok for years, eventually to be suspended.  He has now received his decree of excommunication.

From The Age a whiny article by the perennial Church basher Barney Zwartz:

Dissident priest Greg Reynolds has been both defrocked [not a technical term] and excommunicated over his support for women priests and gays – the first person ever excommunicated in Melbourne, he believes. [But, we wonder, will he be the last?]

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.  [OOOPS!  Not “Father” Reynolds anymore.]

The excommunication document – written in Latin and giving no reason – [The reasons have been made abundantly clear in previous correspondence.] 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. [There we go again.  Francis talks about focusing less on “small-minded” rules, and suddenly liberals think there are no longer any rules… except the rules they impose.]

Father Reynolds, who resigned as a parish priest in 2011 and last year founded Inclusive Catholics, said he had expected to be laicised (defrocked), [Getting it wrong again.  “Laicized” is not a real term either.  He has been dismissed from the clerical state.] but not excommunicated. But it would make no difference to his ministry.  [It may not make a difference to the Reynoldian Church, but it may make a difference at his judgment.]

”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.”


There is more about this sad train-wreck at The Age.

Let the record show that Pope Francis, the destroyer of small-minded rules, the leveler of right-wingers, the newly-minted hero of atheists and gays who has put aside all that medieval stuff about dogma in favor of luv, still knows how to sign a decree.

Remember, friends, Popes do not govern the Church through interviews.

When they want to teach or to govern, they know how to use the proper means.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Wow…wonder how the moonbats are going to reconcile what they think they heard the Holy Father say last week with what the Holy Father did this week? You can hear the cervical vertebra snapping as their heads spin on this one.

    Intellectual whiplash must be a painful thing to experience.

  2. Anchorite says:

    Aww please, just like many things kept happening from previous administrations so is this development. Reynolds case has been brewing for years. If anyone is responsible for his defrocking it’s the Benedictine “residue” – not Francis’s micromanagement. Msgr. Ricco [Noooo… let’s get it right. It’s Ricca. Battista Ricca. ] – the porn-loving, gay-club aficionado still in place – that’s personal, I understand.
    Francis’s liberalism and love of the oppressed is so so ingrained he couldn’t even talk about abortion other than in terms of socially and economically disadvantaged shiftless underclass.
    What is painful is to watch perfectly smart people performing intellectual acrobatics to make a Bergoglio to look like a Ratzinger.

  3. ppintado says:

    Dear Father, maybe this could be a constructive suggestion. This is from the US Cardinal who will be working with the Holy Father and the Group of 8 next week.

    How about starting a campaign ASAP, sending letters to Cardinal Sean O. so that he informs Pope Francis about the amount of concern/confusion caused by the interview and how it is being used by those opposed to the Church (also Catholics, not just media).


  4. Lepidus says:

    I always get to learn something here. While I knew that “defrocked” wasn’t a real term in the Church, I did not realize that “laicization” wasn’t either. Thanks for today’s lesson.

  5. Phil_NL says:

    I read the phrase as “degree of excommunication” for a second. Then the thought popped up that it might very well be regarded that way by its recipient; as an achievement. Very sad indeed.

  6. Anchorite says:

    Sorry. Ricca. [Yes, Msgr. or Monsignor, or Monsingore Battista RICCA.]

  7. robtbrown says:

    Anchorite says,
    What is painful is to watch perfectly smart people performing intellectual acrobatics to make a Bergoglio to look like a Ratzinger.

    The present pope signed the document. He could have simply tabled it.

  8. Bosco says:

    I suspect this matter didn’t just pop-up on Pope Francis’ plate. But credit where credit is due, he did pull the trigger on the previously loaded gun.
    Pulled the trigger on the Franciscans of the Immaculate too I note.
    Speaking of trigger pulling…I see Father Z. picked-up on your misspelled ‘Ricco’ reference. When I first read the spelling of the surname I thought you were making a clever pun on E.G. Robinson’s ‘Little Caesar’ line:
    “Mother of Mercy! Is this the end of Rico?”

  9. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Don’t forget that Alessio, the Argentinian priest for gay marriage went bye-bye this week too, and that was all courtesy of Bergoglio the archbishop. Needless to say, there’s some mighty unhappy liberals in certain corners.

    (Alessio also dug the hole deeper by sending Pope Francis a letter telling him to issue a document totally rejecting Church teaching on homosexuality, and “opening up a discussion” on all teachings of sexual morality. Plus telling all his friends about it. Yeah, he wanted to be gone.)

    You can be awfully smiley-friendly, give people every chance, and still know how to lower the boom. That’s not even a _conservative_ thing to do, guys. It’s plain old normal old standard Catholicism anywhere. Around here, we’ve just gotten used to Full Court Liberalism, so anything that’s not that seems conservative and hardcore.

  10. McCall1981 says:

    I think/hope that this is another example of Francis’ comments/style differing from his actual governance of the Church. If we put aside his comments (which admittedly are very harmful), his governance of the Church has really not been bad, it seems to me. The only action of his that I’ve had a problem with is the Franciscans of the Immaculate thing, and there have been a number of good actions too (like the LCWR reform, etc). He also made two more Curial appointments today, both reappointments from Benedict’s time. So, if I’m counting right, four of six of his appointments are Benedict’s guys, which is pretty far from a radical liberal take over of the Curia.

  11. Cathy says:

    I’ve been thinking a lot about Pope Francis’ comments regarding “small-minded rules” regarding abortion, homosexuality and contraception. At first glance, and, with the media carrying this message like a braying donkey that those on the “right” are too focused on these issues, they forget that they, themselves, are always the ones insisting on these questions as part of the interview. They keep asking the same questions with a quest for a different answer, and never with a desire of understanding Jesus Christ, His Church, conversion, natural law, salvation, redemption, free will, justice or mercy. I am a Catholic, I believe in everything that Holy Mother Church proposes for my belief. If I did not believe this, I would not be Catholic. There seems, however, groups of “Catholics” and “Catholic” publications consistently insisting that the Church change her teachings. Why does it never occur to them that, perhaps, it is simply they who need teaching? The Church proposes the Truth, it is never imposed. Isn’t it my duty, as a Catholic, to first believe what the Church proposes, then to seek, if I have no understanding, or misunderstanding, to understand what the Church teaches?
    I have to admit, it causes me great sorrow when I hear of a soul proclaiming that they are leaving the Church due to Her teachings on abortion, homosexuality or contraception. I rejoice, however, when they come to their senses and return in reconciliation and repentance. My views are not the views of one who can rejoice as always being in communion with the Church, simply a daughter who came to her senses and returned home. It is precisely these groups of religious who cheer-leaded my dissent, raised up the illusion “woman-power” and all its empty promises, applauded my haphazard emotions, washed their hands of my eternal salvation, and left me in my pain. Their “profound theology” of women divorced from themselves, from Christ and His Church, did not make me “equal”, simply horrifically confused and unhappy.
    I do not blame them for my sins, mea culpa, however, they bare a grave responsibility in their momentum and enormous support for declaring that which is sinful as some kind of great inherent good that the Church in Her 2,000 year history somehow missed and was waiting for them to learn from and accept.

  12. rbbadger says:

    The Reynolds case had been crying out for something like this for years. Plus, there was the incident in which they gave communion to a dog.

  13. TomG says:

    Cathy: For me, yours is the comment of the day. I suspect I won’t be alone.

  14. MaryW says:


    I heartily agree that you are not alone in thinking Cathy’s comment is the comment of the day. Think, too, it deserves Father Z’s Gold Star.

    Thank you, Cathy, from another daughter of the Church who came to her senses and returned home.

  15. Cathy says:

    Wow, thanks, but all Gold Stars for Jesus Christ.

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