We also had the “Church Indifferent”.

Former-Father Greg Reynolds is still excommunicated.

The most wonderfullest and fluffiest Pope ehvur did this.

Always keep that in mind when you read liberal cant about how he is shaking things up.

There is an article about former-Father Reynolds who, like all dissenters, seems not to be able to shut up about himself.

This is an interesting tidbit about him…

After completing an economics degree at Monash University, Reynolds started questioning whether there was more to life. A friend of his mother’s suggested he enter the seminary, where others were surely grappling with such questions.

“I went into the seminary not even sure that God existed,” he says. “I didn’t put a time frame on it, but it was certainly just going to be a temporary arrangement, ’til I got a few answers and then I’d get out.”

He enjoyed it and began to think that he could be a priest. “But it’s a bit awkward if you don’t believe in God,” he says laughing. “So I gave God, if She’s [sic] out there, a bit of time, saying, ‘You’re going to have to sort this out because I can’t go on here indefinitely.’?”

You will by now be asking: “How the hell did this guy even get into the seminary in the first place?”

This sort of thing, the Greg Reynolds types, don’t just “happen”.

We have the Church Suffering, the Church Militant, and the Church Triumphant.

We also had the Church Indifferent.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. mamajen says:

    Men being sent to seminary to “find themselves”…oh, that’s just wonderful. Reminds me of the parents who send problem students to Catholic schools to get straightened out.

    Incidentally, my five-year-old insists on referring to the devil as “she”. I’ve tried correcting him, to no avail.

  2. Joseph-Mary says:

    I knew an “ex-priest” who claimed to be a Buddhist and was openly homosexual. He told me he was that way in seminary and did not accept the teachings of the Catholic Church in that and other areas and was not secretive about it but they ordained him anyway. I wonder how many souls he wounded before he officially jumped ship and became a self proclaimed gay Buddhist?

  3. Nan says:

    Maybe Pope Francis wasn’t having a fluffy day and thought, wow, if you haven’t yet figured out that God exists, buh-bye.

    Mamajen, maybe he’s confusing the devil with Eve since she got her stupid idea from him?

  4. robtbrown says:

    Regardless of whether he should have been admitted, cases like his can resolved by good education (or formation). The problem is that during his time in seminary it didn’t exist.

  5. Supertradmum says:

    I think Our Lord had something to say about the indifferent.

    Revelation 3:16

    “But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, not hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.”


  6. Midwest St. Michael says:

    Fr. Z: “We also had the Church Indifferent.”

    Could we say, Fr. Z, given Mr. Reynolds’ breathtaking example coupled with some of the comments above:

    The Church Incompetent?

    Good grief.


  7. wmeyer says:

    I wish I could agree with the past tense on the Church indifferent, but in my area, it seems very much to be still with us. When I have commented on liturgical abuses, I have been challenged as to why I think that’s important. “Does that really interfere with your own salvation?” Well, yes, I think that it does, if I remain silent in the face of violations of doctrine and Canons. We either believe that the Church is essential or we do not. And if we believe, then it’s a package, not a menu. And if we truly embrace the understanding that we are the “body of Christ”, then each of us is responsible to defend what is right. Indifferentism is not a Christian virtue.

  8. robtbrown says:


    See also Dante’s Inferno, Canto III, Gli ignavi (the trimmers), “c’hanno perduto il bene de l’intelletto” (who have lost the good of the intellect).

  9. Nan says:

    wmeyer, I feel your pain; while my parish is faithful and orthodox in every way, I cross paths with many, particularly now that my diocese is undergoing purification. Last week a woman said that she didn’t like the way things were going in the archdiocese; I agreed with her and said I’m tired of people complaining and that we need to support our bishop. That was the end of the conversation.

  10. yatzer says:

    You will by now be asking: “How the hell did this guy even get into the seminary in the first place?”

    That was exactly my first thought. This helps explain how, way back in the day when I innocently thought all clergy believe in God, many of them had actions and statements that didn’t make sense. When the truth finally dawned, I left for evangelical Protestantism. Finally I stumbled onto a parish where the priests had integrity, preached the truths of the faith, and tried to act that way. Apparently the people who approve these frauds don’t care about the effects they have on others.

  11. robtbrown says:


    There is a tendency now to isolate liturgy from the rest of life.

    You might invoke Vat II, SC:

    10. Nevertheless the liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the font from which all her power flows.

  12. pannw says:

    These people don’t strike me as indifferent so much as insidious. I think they actually do care and want to damage Holy Mother Church. I’m more prone to think of them as the Church Infiltrating.

  13. Nordic Breed says:

    God will judge the vocations directors and bishops who recruited and ordained these men. In our diocese the previous bishop not only screened out the orthodox men who also did not accept the idea that women could be priests, he actively recruited “progressives” and got himself the scandal of now defrocked Marek Bozek, about whom much that was detrimental could have been known long before letting him set foot in the diocese if the bishop had only cared. May God have mercy on all of them and bring them to repentance before they die!

  14. boko fittleworth says:

    I agree with pannw. If they were indifferent, they would have accepted arch-conservatives as well as lefties. They’re also not incompetent. They’ve done a great job of bring the Church low. This guy didn’t get in because of indifference, he got in because of pas d’ennemi à gauche.

  15. mamajen says:


    You could be right–I hadn’t thought of that. We have just recently been studying Adam and Eve, and that segued into learning about the devil. I just find it amusing since “progressives” always do exactly the opposite–God has always got to be “she”, but the devil (well, if they mention him at all) is most definitely male!

  16. Priam1184 says:

    I have to agree with boko fittleworth. I am almost certain that this was not ‘indifference’ at all but part of a deliberate plan. For a long time, and I believe and hope and pray (please please please) that this is starting to change now, many segments of the newly ordained clergy of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s were among the least faithful parts of the Church. That faithlessness then filtered down to and began to be encouraged by those of us (myself included) sitting in the pews every Sunday in that hypnotic trance, not really paying attention to a damn thing going on around us, and continually going up to receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ in a state of perpetual mortal sin. Pray for the hard of heart that their eyes be opened.

  17. A true wolf in sheep’s clothing if there ever was one.

  18. Bob B. says:

    The Church Indifferent continues today, as well. There are those who also work within the Church who speak up, only to be slapped down by the powers that be in the Church. (And don’t think they don’t blackball people who disagree with them either.)

  19. Clinton says:

    I agree with boko fittleworth and pannw. For decades our seminaries have often been places
    where orthodox men have been denied admission or tossed out very efficiently indeed. Those
    gatekeepers at our seminaries have been anything but indifferent as they’ve engineered our
    current famine of priests.

    I suspect that at Reynold’s seminary, the staff wasn’t indifferent to his appalling unsuitability
    for ordination– I’ll bet they heartily approved of him and his views.

  20. Dundonianski says:

    An interesting nuance viz a viz the excommunication of Reynolds; somehow I fail to understand why Fr Z appears to equate this unavoidable action as some form of “super-orthodoxy” on the part of Bishop Francis, unless of course he , Francis, is about to unleash a much needed cleansing across the “catholic” globe, perhaps starting with Austria!. I would respectfully suggest that Reynolds was such a dire example that there was absolutely no other choice. Icebergs and little tips spring to mind.

  21. mamajen says:

    Fr Z appears to equate this unavoidable action as some form of “super-orthodoxy” on the part of Bishop Francis


  22. Nan says:

    @Dudoniaski, I thought Z was pointing out that Pope Francis isn’t as warm and fuzzy as people portray him to be; orthodox Catholic rather than marshmallow bishop.

  23. ClavesCoelorum says:

    Father savours every bit of that line “Former-Father/Mr Greg Reynolds is still excommunicated.” :) [I would be far he had been faithful.]

  24. Dundonianski says:

    Nan. I agree with your brief explanation of Fr Z’s take on Francis’ perceived orthodoxy-however I find scant comfort in Francis’ wider liturgical/theological utterances to date and I don’t “buy in” to Father’s (sincere no doubt) faith in the present Pontiff’s “world view” Much too Jesuit for my comfort!

  25. joecct77 says:

    But! But! They will know we are Christians by our love!!! ;)

  26. Suburbanbanshee says:

    The saddest thing here is that this guy Reynolds went to the seminary as part of a cry for help, and this cry for help was not identified or answered. There he was, in the midst of priests who should have been hungry for souls, in the midst of teachers who should have been watching out for him, and part of the household of a bishop who didn’t care for him like a father. Obviously he wasn’t ready; but if they went to all this trouble to let him in, why didn’t they help him?

    I wonder how many other men went to the seminary looking for help, and didn’t even receive an accurate diagnosis from those charged with forming them and caring for their souls? Wouldn’t this tend to make these men into angry loose cannons, even if they were just passive-aggressive angry? Wouldn’t that explain a lot of troubles later on with priests and ex-priests?

  27. Nan says:

    @Dondonianski, you do realize that Pope Francis is a Jesuit, right? You can’t let the bad habits Jesuits normally wear be a problem here. He is pope. End of story.

  28. Greg Reynolds is almost certainly the product of a loving Catholic home, and 12 years of careful, expensive Catholic private schooling in Australia.

    THAT is the tragedy.

  29. mamajen says:


    I think you nailed it, especially the second half of your comment! That would explain a LOT of the problems in the world today, not just the Church. How sad for these people.

  30. But do you think he actually told anyone the truth about not believing in God?

    Or do you think he just kept schtum and went along with everyone else, saying and doing the right things so that he wouldn’t get thrown out?

    It does make you wonder what kinds of classroom conversations were going on, though … And what would have happened if he DID tell the truth?

  31. Father, can I ask your prayers for the repose of the soul of ex-Fr Kevin Lee, one of our celebrity scandal priests here in Australia, who has apparently died in a hurricane in the Philippines?

    He was laicised when he revealed to his parish he’d been secretly married for a year to a Filipina bar girl he met when overseas on holiday.

    He also claimed to be able to expose many cases of sexual abuse in the Church, but nothing came of it. He became a professional media star and then eventually went to the Philippines to live with his wife.

    May he rest in peace.

  32. James Joseph says:

    The irony is Buddhism condemns homosexual acts.

  33. LadyMarchmain says:

    Prayers for Father Kevin Lee. And for all our seminarians.

  34. Priam1184 says:

    @Philippa Martyr I don’t know whether he actually said the words “I don’t know whether or not I believe in God” or not, but come on. If this had been an isolated example and a one time thing then we could make the argument that he just fell through the cracks. But the sad thing is that I would bet a fair amount of money that 99% of the readers of this blog has experienced at least one, if not several priests, during the last 50 years who have had Fr. Reynolds attitude to one degree or another. It wasn’t an accident and he didn’t slip through the cracks. That said I agree with Suburbanshee and her comment accurately reflected life in the formerly Catholic world as long as I have been alive and is at the root of our current crises.

  35. LadyMarchmain says:

    Suburbanbanshee, exactly! Imagine the horrible cacophony of a symphony orchestra staffed by people who were tone deaf, and went to conservatory to try to learn to appreciate music. The only possible way they could be admitted or graduate would have to be that the people in charge were tone deaf also. Let us pray all the more for the good and faithful priests and seminarians and support them any way we can.

  36. jpwwhite says:

    Thanks for this Father.

    My wife knew many Melbourne seminarians. Their lack of piety was something that led her away from the Church. This man’s story is important as it explains so much about what was happening and how the Church could let something like this occur.

  37. Priam, I agree with you – Fr Greg was not alone, any more than Fr Kevin Lee was. And jpwwhite is right as well – the Melbourne seminarians from Corpus Christi seminary in the 1980s especially were a poor lot. I think almost all of them have now left the priesthood, one way or another.

    The child sexual abuse Royal Commission here has also turned the spotlight pretty firmly on Corpus Christi seminary in Melbourne in that era and earlier, as this is where many of the alleged perpertrators were formed as priests. There was a psychologist used informally in the admissions process who turned out to be a not-terribly-closet homosexual man – the late Ron Conway.

    Prayers, prayers, prayers.

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