Australian dog recieves a host.

It is not intentional that I should mention Australia in two consectutive posts, however this is so despicable that I can not ignore it.

"...For many will come in my name saying, I am Christ: and they will seduce many..."
Matthew 24:5 Douay-Rheims bible

FATHER Greg Reynolds wants his church of dissident Catholics to welcome all - ''every man and his dog'', one might say, risking the non-inclusive language he deplores - but even he was taken aback when that was put to the test during Mass yesterday.

A first-time visitor arrived late at the Inclusive Catholics service in South Yarra with a large and well-trained German shepherd. When the consecrated bread and wine were passed around, the visitor took some bread and fed it to his dog.

Apart from one stifled gasp, those present showed admirable presence of mind - but the dog was not offered the cup!

Father Reynolds, a Melbourne priest for 32 years, launched Inclusive Catholics earlier this year. He now ministers to up to 40 people at fortnightly services alternating between two inner-suburban Protestant churches.

Advertisement The congregation includes gay men, former priests, abuse victims and many women who feel disenfranchised, but it is optimistic rather than bitter.

Yesterday a woman, Irene Wilson, led the liturgy and another, Emmy Silvius, preached the homily. Two more passed the bread and wine around.

Father Reynolds - his only clerical adornment a green stole around his neck - played as small a role as he could.

Inclusive Catholics is part of a small but growing trend in the West of disaffiliated Catholics forming their own communities and offering ''illicit'' Masses, yet are slightly uncertain of their identities. The question was posed during the service: ''Are we part of the church or are we a breakaway movement?''

Father Reynolds was a thorn in the side of Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart when he preached in 2010 that it was God's will to have women priests. He resigned as Western Port parish priest last August and had his faculties to act as a priest in Melbourne removed.

He is still a priest, though now on the dole. Mary Fenelon, who usually worships in Abbotsford, comes to this Mass because ''these people are forward-thinkers, and the church is going backwards. This is inclusive and welcoming.''

Another member is Michael Kelly, long the public face of the Rainbow Sash movement that sought acceptance for homosexuals in the church. He finds it a step forward to see a Catholic priest prepared to ''break through the intimidation and threats and oppression of a very frightened institution''. ''People have just had it,'' he says.

''There's a sense of hopelessness and despair when you look at the hierarchy, and nothing one says gets through to these guys. They are wrapped up in their own sense of entitlement.

''Intelligent, educated, adult Catholics have had enough.''

But if there's one thing that unites Inclusive Catholics and the mainstream church, it's their reliance on hard-working women behind the scenes. The volunteer who made the name tags given out yesterday turned 88 during the week.

Read more:

Ok for those who do not know it this is the epitome of heresy. These people by their abuse of the Sacrement have Excomunicated themsleves.




Anonymous said...


I first caught wind of this over at Fr. Z's blog earlier in the week and am greatly disturbed and upset by it.

My upset is twofold in nature. firstly, as a guide dog user (who utilizes www.satogo.com from www.serotek.com to access the computer world), this flies in the face of everything I hold sacred as a new Catholic; not to mention the hard work thousands of faithful Catholic guide dog users exercise at every moment when handling our dog guides within the Church's sacred spaces, inside and out (especially when receiving the Eucharist - another pro for kneeling at the rail…gives a division to keep guide doggie separated from the priest that bit more if it harbours poor intentions and whilst kneeling with dog lying on the floor beside one with shortened lead in hand cuts 'accidents' to zero, as does receiving on the tongue when your hands are occupied with guide dog's kit, not to mention cutting down the outside chance of Labrador temptation-born horrific ‘accidents’ – remember, they’re dogs firstly and guide dogs secondly.

Secondly, it is this type of pheaux inclusivity that lecturers in ministry studies at my university (a course I am taking this semester to help me into a role as 'torch rep (Foursight for the Church under the Auspices of torch Trust for the Blind at www.torchtrust.org) are pedalling. They are not in accord with the church’s stance on practicing homosexuals, prohibition on women priests etc and even call New Testament works ‘ascribed to the apostle Paul e.g. 1 Cor 11 and 1 timothy etc) messogenistic – a description that had me yelling at the lecturer defending the passages in question last week in class – he would NOT yield to God’s truth, lumping the above in with other types of hospitality such as Church’s caritas for the poor, people with disabilities etc.

This upsets me no end!! Please pray for me,



Elisa said...

I was at Mass at a parish close to my work this past Sat. One of the parishioners who uses a custom made motorized wheelchair had his service dog (it was displayed on the dog's cloth blanket) on a leash with him. (I've seen other owners use stiff handled harnesses) The owner depends on his dog to help since he doesn't have much use of his limbs. As long as the service dog is quiet and does his job...

Anonymous said...


Exactly. name the disability, and hard working organizations will have developed a way to train a dog to assist a person with said disability. My dog guide is quiet and well behaved (my fourth...better than my second who used to yodle at a certain point when sung hymns hit a particular frequency...even more embarrassing as I was a member of said church's choir!!). I have to deal with enough guide dog discrimination as it is at church (I'm a Marounite convert and some 'parish policemen' seem to think they know better than Holy Mother Church about the acceptability of my guide dog in the sacred space) without scenes like this simply serving to blur the lines...

My guide dog must sense something at church, because, whenever we leave the church (either at my home congregation or the university chappel) he turns to look behind him; not at me, but behind me, looking over his shoulder towards the crucifix and tabernacle as we head towards the door; I can feel the very unsubtle motion clearly through the lead and harness handle...he also becomes incredibly calm within the confessional booth, curling up and settling into a doze for the few minutes I'm in there; half the time, its a bit of an effort to prompt him to leave...he must sense the peace and God's presence; I am sure he'd sleep quietly in the corner of the booth for the entire service if I left him there. if Richard is agreeable, I'd love to hear from other guide dog users who read this blog.



Brantigny said...

Of course I will.

Dogs have that sense of the divine. I have heard it said that a when a dog dies his master will always feel a sadness so closely are humans and dogs connected. My dog Benny is like a teenaged son, he is loving but he is clutsy.


Anonymous said...


Your experience with your dog is so similar to mine - out of harness, one would find it difficult to believe he could be a good guide, poor fellow's adorable but somewhat gormless. the emotions you've heard about re losing one's dog are spot on. I've retired three guide dogs over the past 20 years and can testify that it is a horrible wrench each and every time - I have never been in circumstances where there's been enough room to keep the retired dog and new arrival (the average retirement age of a guide dog ranges from the age of eight to the age of ten, depending upon the dog's workload and health). I mourned each and every one of them, and from what little I was able to glean, my second mourned me also (once they're handed back, we lose all custody rights' as it were). I dreamt of my third months after she was retired and rehomed (dreaming that she was in some degree of distress). having utterly fallen for my current dog guide (a golden labrador named Aaron), handover is something I choose not to think about at this point - I am hoping I can rehome him with a monastery or convent when the time comes as a companion dog to the men or women religious - but I've between four and six years of wonderful work with him still before me.

Wish we had a Patron Saint; look up the work of Fr. Johan Wilhelm Klein
who is credited as the first to formally train dogs to guide persons with little or no sight (the methods have not varied too differently from Fr.'s original work) Much of the secular material doesn't mention his Priestly vocation, however it is clearly raised in the work entitled 'The Unseen Minority' by F. A. Koestler. (A history of the blind in the US that also contains good international blindness history).

I wonder how one would commence a cause for his canonization??



Anonymous said...

Richard and Fellow Readers who are Dog owners,

I've only just (within the past 20 minutes - remember, I'm not ten months a Catholic yet), discovered that dogs have their own patron saint; St. Hubert.
He's also responsible for dog behaviour and protection from rabies (we're very blessed here in Australia that this disease is not a problem for us).

His feast day is 3rd November.


Australia. and