It would be difficult to imagine, as things now stand in the church, a more civil disagreement (and inevitable parting of ways) than occurred recently in the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne when Fr. Greg Reynolds publicly endorsed ordination of women.
Reynolds says he was compelled by conscience to do so and even spared detractors the need to tattle when he mailed a copy of the homily to his archbishop. What happens next is yet unknown (he gave the sermon two months ago) but Reynolds says he expects to be dismissed.
''I am convinced in my heart that it is God's will that we should have women priests … I feel prompted by the Holy Spirit to share my position publicly, and yet very reluctantly,'' the sermon said, according to a report on the Web site theage.com.au.
''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 conceded that as ''an insignificant little parish priest'' he lacked the profound theological training to contradict papal teaching, ''but some things you just know in your heart, in the core of your being''.