A couple of days ago, in Francis Excommunicates Dissident, Not Man Sullivan Thought , I mentioned Andrew Sullivan’s misreading of Pope Francis — typical of such efforts, which would once have been called “jesuitical” — which his (Francis’) excommunicating a dissident Australian priest disprove rather nicely. The N ational Catholic Reporter reports, not happily , that the pope’s letter,

a copy of which  NCR  obtained and translated, accuses Reynolds of heresy (Canon 751) and determined he incurred  latae sententiae  excommunication for throwing away the consecrated host or retaining it “for a sacrilegious purpose” (Canon 1367). It also referenced Canon 1369 (speaking publicly against church teaching) in its review of the case.

“Pope Francis, Supreme Pontiff having heard the presentation of this Congregation concerning the grave reason for action . . . of [Fr. Greg Reynolds] of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, all the preceding actions to be taken having been followed, with a final and unappealable decision and subject to no recourse, has decreed dismissal from the clerical state is to be imposed on said priest for the good of the Church,” read the document, signed by Archbishop Gerhard Muller, prefect for the congregation, and his secretary, Jesuit Archbishop Luis Ladaria.


Fr. Zuhlsdorf offers a close reading of the  NCR ‘s story, noting that the story has upset liberal Catholics because “After all, isn’t Pope Francis supposed to be  against  rules?  Isn’t he the most wonderfulest and bestest and fluffiest Pope ehvur?  He’s so chill about, you know, like, stuff like . . . you know!”
Thanks to Father Joseph Wilson for the links.

Articles by David Mills

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