Friday, November 26, 2010
Priest's future hangs in balance after ordination comments
Father Greg Reynolds, based at The Immaculate Conception church in Hastings, whose parish stretches from Somerville to Flinders, made his assertions in a homily during weekend Mass two months ago.
"I believe certain women are being called by God to the ministerial priesthood and our official church is obstructing the work of the Holy Spirit.
"I feel I can no longer sit back and remain silent," he said in his homily.
It was reported in The Age last week that he sent a copy to Archbishop Denis Hart, head of the Catholic Church in Melbourne, to save his parishioners the trouble.
A popular parish priest not known for inflammatory views, Father Reynolds came to Western Port in October last year, shortly after clocking up 30 years in the priesthood.
He did not respond to the Weekly's request for an interview and his staff said he was on leave this week.
On the St Mary's Primary School website he stated he hoped to be parish priest at Western Port "for many years". That hope may now be dashed.
Ordination of women is considered a "grave crime" on a par with paedophilia according to Pope Benedict, the head of the church.
Archbishop Hart's office yesterday declined to comment, saying the archbishop was at a conference in Sydney and could not be contacted.
Father Reynolds told The Age he expected to be dismissed from his job or even excommunicated from the Church.
Parents of children at St Joseph's School in Crib Point this week received a letter from principal Gab Espenschied briefly outlining the issue.
"Greg is a fine man and great priest and he wants to remain in the priesthood. We await the archbishop's response. Please keep Greg in your thoughts and prayers at this time," it read.
The parish office said Father Reynolds would be back to say Mass on the weekend and his future was not yet known.
at 7:23 PM