Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Why is the bitter pill defending ex-Fr Reynolds!

It is certainly not news that the UK Tablet, aka the Bitter Pill, provides a fairly consistently anti-Catholic spin, as @MenAreLikeWine1 reminded us on twitter this morning.

But honestly, the continuing defence of ex-priest Greg Reynolds from liberal media sites beggars belief.

The Bitter Pill: Defending the indefensible

The latest is a piece from The Tablet that claims that he was excommunicated for the dog given communion sacrilege, but he wasn't even aware of it until after it had occurred.

Now I don't know if that is the particular incident that led to his excommunication: from what I've read, there were likely multiple occasions when sacrilege occurred, and several good reasons for his laicization and excommunication, not least his continuing exercise of his ministerial functions after he had been suspended.

But the excuse of ignorance just doesn't, in my view, cut it.

If he wasn't aware of what had happened, he should have been.

And the reason he may not have been aware of it was that instead of distributing the Eucharist himself or by using Extraordinary Ministers, the hosts were passed around the room on a plate for everyone to help themselves!  That alone is a serious abuse and clearly facilitated the act of sacrilege.

That Age story

The reality is that Reynolds did actually have a chance to condemn what had happened, and choose not to do.  In fact, on the face of it, he positively supported the story being publicized.

Go and have a read of the original story about this incident in The Age.  Perhaps the spin on it was by the journalist, inevitably Mr Barney Zwartz.  But if Reynolds had been unhappy about it, he could have come out at the time and said so.  Instead we were left with the inevitable impression that the 'inclusiveness' of the event even down to the animals was entirely in keeping with his schismatic and heretical communities ethos.

As I said back in August last year, the real scandal in this affair, in my view, is that Archbishop Hart didn't, apparently, initiate action himself in response to Reynolds' disobedience to his decision to suspend him.

Let's be thankful though, that the Vatican has stepped in, and hope that action encourages our bishops to act themselves rather more expeditiously in the face of such scandalous threats to the faith.

***There is an interesting article on this over at New Matilda which provides some more background on the canonical processes that occurred (though it adds even further to the confusion to the question of the role of Archbishop Hart in the affair).  The article takes the predictable anti-'Temple Police' line.  But is worth reading nonetheless. 


Joshua said...

I detest such whining, whinging moaning - such people are always the same: they obey none but themselves, and cry "I'm a victim, a victim!" even as they trample upon all that is good and right and holy.

In a better age they would have been given a sound whipping, in the hope of bringing them to a better mind; but I suppose that is an unworthy thought.

Luke said...

The organisation that I'm at managed to grab a written statement from Archbishop Hart a few weeks back (http://cradio.org.au/news-references/archbishop-dennis-harts-statement-on-excommunicated-priest/), and it's curious in this case for a few reasons:
- The reason for his excommunication (according to Archbishop Hart) is because of his continued celebration of the Eucharist without the faculties to do so, and his continued teaching of the ordination of women. So the Tablet story is a non-starter, if the Archbishop is correct.
- The ex-Fr Reynolds viewed and signed an acceptance of the decree, so any speculation by him about ignorance of the Eucharist-scandal is, again, a non-starter because that wasn't why he was excommunicated.
- Archbishop Hart started that he "encourage[d] Greg Reynolds to cease his activities contrary to the teachings of the Church but without success". What exactly this means, I'm not sure, but certainly the Greg Reynolds cannot claim to have been blindsided by this. It seems like the case of a child who is shocked that his mother actually reached the count of three.

Indeed, we ought to pray for him and his community.