Pope Francis has sent a letter to a dissident priest Greg Reynolds announcing his excommunication from the Church over his public support of women priests and gay marriage, according to the Te Deum blog.

So on the same day that the media was doing cartwheels that Pope Francis was throwing out every rule in the Church, he was also informing Reynolds of his excommunication. Now, I wonder how soon until the media starts calling him something like “the wolf in sheep’s clothing” or some such idiocy.

The Age reports:

The order comes direct from the Vatican, not at the request of Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart, and apparently follows a secret denunciation in the best traditions of the inquisition, according to Father Reynolds.

The excommunication document – written in Latin and giving no reason – was dated May 31, meaning it comes under the authority of Pope Francis who made headlines on Thursday calling for a less rule-obsessed church.

Father Reynolds, who resigned as a parish priest in 2011 and last year founded Inclusive Catholics, said he had expected to be laicised (defrocked), but not excommunicated. But it would make no difference to his ministry.

”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.”

Prayers for Greg Reynolds. Sometimes something like this is exactly what someone needs to wake them up.