Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Heresy trial for priest; he administered sacraments to gays, ordained women & rejected papal infallibility

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From News & the Associated Press: Gave Gays Communion, S. Calif. Priest Tried For Heresy by Robert Jablon, Associated Press Posted: December 14, 2005 3:00 pm ET (Los Angeles, California) A heresy trial has been held for a Roman Catholic priest who permitted gays to take Communion, ordained women clergy, and joined a sect that doesn't accept papal infallibility. The Rev. Ned Reidy did not attend the one-day closed trial, which was conducted this week by three priests at the headquarters of the Diocese of San Bernardino. He is accused of heresy defined as "the rejection of fundamental matters of Catholic faith at the highest levels," such as papal authority, according to the Rev. Howard Lincoln, spokesperson for the diocese. Reidy, 69, also is charged with schism for breaking communion with the Roman Catholic church. If convicted, he could appeal to the Vatican, although Reidy said he would have no interest in doing so. The court's decision will be announced to Reidy at an unspecified future date but it does not have to be made public, Lincoln said. Reidy called the trial "medieval" and contends that it has no authority because he stopped being a Roman Catholic in 1999. "I just think the discourtesy level is appalling," he said in a telephone interview. "I have moved way beyond all that and the brutality of the Roman Catholic church and for me to go would give a certain legitimacy to this witch hunt." Reidy was automatically excommunicated when he went to another denomination, Lincoln said, but under canonical law he remains a Roman Catholic priest until he is formally excommunicated and defrocked. The trial would "officially clarify his status within the church," Lincoln said. "We live in a time when we need to be clear who is legally entrusted to administer in the name of the church and who isn't," he said. Reidy disagrees. "I'm not a Roman Catholic priest. I used to be," he said. The most famous heresy trial in history may have been Galileo's second trial before the Inquisition in 1633. The astronomer was found guilty of heresy for promoting the view that the earth revolves around the sun. He was ordered to recant and was sentenced to imprisonment, which turned into lifelong house arrest. To read the full article click here


I don't particularly have a problem with this. A rejection of papal infallibility, defined by an ecumenical council, is indeed heresy -- and since he was ordained a Catholic priest, the Church has to officially resolve the matter in some way. Laicization and excommunication would seem to be it.
posted by Blogger Nate at 12/14/2005 06:57:00 PM