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Pope Francis 'Excommunicates Priest Over Views On Gay Marriage And Women'

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An Australian priest has been excommunicated by the Vatican over his liberal views, according to reports.

Greg Reynolds has reportedly been both defrocked and excommunicated over his support for women priests and the gay community.

The excommunication document - written in Latin and giving no reason - came directly from Vatican under the authority of Pope Francis, who just recently said that the Church focuses too much on gays and abortion, International Business Times reported.

Father Reynolds told Australia's The Age he had expected to be laicised (defrocked), but not excommunicated.

"In times past excommunication was a huge thing, but today the hierarchy have lost such trust and respect," he said.

"I've come to this position because I've followed my conscience on women's ordination and gay marriage."

"The Vatican never contacted me, and it gives no explanation."

Fairfax Media has said that the only other Melbourne priests laicised against their will have been notorious paedophiles.

"I'm a bit annoyed, if not angry, at the process or lack of process," Mr Reynolds told AAP.

Last week Francis sensationally said the Catholic Church is "obsessed" with preaching about issues like gay marriage and that it needs to stop interfering.

However, just a day later he issued a strong anti-abortion message and cited Vatican teaching on the need to defend the unborn during an audience with Catholic gynecologists.

The strong words came despite his warning that the Catholic Church's moral edifice might "fall like a house of cards" if it doesn't balance its divisive rules about abortion, gays and contraception with the greater need to make the church a merciful, more welcoming place for all.

The Pope had described his new vision for the church saying: “We have to find a new balance,” saying it should be a “home for all” and not a “small chapel.”

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