Monday, 6 August 2012

Sacrilege in Melbourne: 'Inclusive Catholics' give communion to a dog

There is an appalling story in The Age today, on a group of heretical ex-Catholics, led by Fr Greg Reynolds, when the 'inclusiveness' of this clearly protestant group was tested by a visitor giving his dog communion.

Sacrilege?

Given the description of the service, and the heretical views of the priest concerned, there seems a chance that the consecration was not in fact valid.  The problem is that the priest concerned is still a catholic priest, albeit one with his faculties suspended for his public support inter alia of the ordination of women, so there is a genuine risk that sacrilege did in fact occur.

Steel yourself before you read what the article said about the service:

"A first-time visitor arrived late at the Inclusive Catholics service in South Yarra with a large and well-trained German shepherd. When the consecrated bread and wine were passed around, the visitor took some bread and fed it to his dog.

Apart from one stifled gasp, those present showed admirable presence of mind - but the dog was not offered the cup!

Father Reynolds, a Melbourne priest for 32 years, launched Inclusive Catholics earlier this year. He now ministers to up to 40 people at fortnightly services alternating between two inner-suburban Protestant churches...

Yesterday a woman, Irene Wilson, led the liturgy and another, Emmy Silvius, preached the homily. Two more passed the bread and wine around.

Father Reynolds - his only clerical adornment a green stole around his neck - played as small a role as he could."

What action can be taken?

One hopes that Archbishop Hart of Melbourne will act quickly first to publicly declare Fr Reynolds' excommunication (and that of his congregation), and secondly to expedite his laicization.
What more can be done?  Well perhaps prayers of reparation? Holding a prayer vigil outside his future 'Masses'?

Bad journalism - Cath News and The Age

One other helpful step that could be taken would be for these events to be reported properly.

Cath News, that really should be expected to set some kind of (good) example on this instead makes the article a feature, and gives not a hint of the sacrilege that occurred in the summary that appears on its main webpage.  Instead of decrying this group as ex-Catholics turned utterly protestant, it gives the article the headline 'New Breed of Catholicism in Alternative Group'!

Barney Schwatz' treatment of the story in The Age is, as might be expected, far worse: either he or his sub-editor found it hard to resist 'the all creatures great and small' take, though perhaps the headline - 'Dissidents preach a new breed of Catholicism' - hints at the mongrel nature of this group of heretics and blasphemers.

All the same, surely a professional journalist can be expected to understand that this group of disaffected ex-catholics does not in fact represent any kind of catholicism at all? 

Surely he can be expected to understand that the events chronicled here will be deeply offensive to believing catholics, and not in the lest entertaining or to be approved of?

Just imagine if a visitor went into a mosque with his dog, and fed a page of the Koran to it...

Letters to the editor folks.

***Update:Archbishop Hart responds

Archbishop Hart has written a ltter to the editor and put out a press release complaining about the way this story was reported in the Age:

"Archbishop Denis Hart of the Archdiocese of Melbourne said today that Melbourne’s The Age newspaper was holding Catholicism up for ridicule in an article published in The Age this morning.


The article ‘Every flock needs a shepherd’ (The Age, 6/8), reports that at a Mass conducted by a group called Inclusive Catholics, the Blessed Sacrament was given to a dog.

The Archbishop said “that anyone would feed the Eucharist to a dog is an abomination.”

Writing to the Editor of The Age today, the Archbishop said “Your article ‘Every flock needs a shepherd’ is in bad faith. It is the most fundamental and defining belief of Catholics that what you call ‘the consecrated bread and wine’ is the body and blood of Jesus Christ.”

That you should choose to report the matter in the way that you did can only be understood as an attempt to hold Catholicism up to ridicule.

“Your integrity in this matter can be judged by asking whether, if something sacred to Judaism or Islam had similarly been desecrated, you would have treated the matter with such flippancy.”
No word however on what action is being taken against priest and congregation...

3 comments:

PM said...

Zwartz did, however, redeem himself witht he following - how it got past the Fiarfax thought police is a mystery.

'ORPHANS abused in state care in Australia are taking their complaints to the United Nations Committee against Torture, hoping it will recommend better compensation and understanding.

Leonie Sheedy, executive officer of the Care Leavers Australia Network, will leave for New York on Thursday to tell the UN that children in state institutions suffered physical, mental and sexual torture, and that Australian governments did not protect them. Nor had governments properly investigated the claims or provided redress, she said.

Ms Sheedy said a Victorian parliamentary inquiry into abuse by religious and other non-government organisations would not investigate abuse of state wards, which would deny justice to thousands.

She said the 17 state-run orphanages that operated in Victoria last century, including the Royal Park Depot and Turana in Parkville, would escape scrutiny.
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It was impossible to know how many children were abused in state care before some improvements began in the 1970s, she said, but the figure would number in the thousands.

To win compensation victims faced an uphill battle, which involved tracking down evidence from decades earlier and signing confidentiality agreements.

''The orphanages were primitive and run like military organisations … with not enough staff and the staff didn't know how to look after children,'' she said.

''There was physical abuse, neglect and psychological abuse, not just sexual abuse … there is more than one way to harm a child.

''We think this is discriminatory and the government don't want to acknowledge other crimes that were committed on their own turf and they don't want to be accountable … I feel we're society's throwaway children; no one cares about what happened to [us].''

Ms Sheedy has previously welcomed the inquiry but said it would be unjust if it proceeded without the input of orphans in state care.'

A Canberra Observer said...

outrageous example of CathNews publishing something that if the Catholic media touch at all it should be to admonish. But no, it's just page 3 'eyeful' stuff for CathNews.
outrageous reporting (though what can you expect from the illeterati that pass for journalists in this country)

Anonymous said...

Very disappointing by Age, Schwartz
Then again paper massive job losses, downturn
It is a way to create controversy
Catholic means Universal Church
The splinter activist group is illiterate
These people are playing with eternal fire
I am researching the Fatima prophecies
Began on May 13, 1917
Exact same date as Pope John Paul II's attempted assassination
May 13, 1981
We pray the splinter group sees the error of their ways and repents
Otherwise they Dave eternal damnation.
David Melbourne-Rome-New York
twitter.com/davidartedition