Given the description of the service, and the heretical views of the priest concerned, there seems a chance that the consecration was not in fact valid. The problem is that the priest concerned is still a catholic priest, albeit one with his faculties suspended for his public support inter alia of the ordination of women, so there is a genuine risk that sacrilege did in fact occur.
Steel yourself before you read what the article said about the service:
"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...
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."
What action can be taken?
One hopes that Archbishop Hart of Melbourne will act quickly first to publicly declare Fr Reynolds' excommunication (and that of his congregation), and secondly to expedite his laicization.
What more can be done? Well perhaps prayers of reparation? Holding a prayer vigil outside his future 'Masses'?
Bad journalism - Cath News and The Age
One other helpful step that could be taken would be for these events to be reported properly.
Cath News, that really should be expected to set some kind of (good) example on this instead makes the article a feature, and gives not a hint of the sacrilege that occurred in the summary that appears on its main webpage. Instead of decrying this group as ex-Catholics turned utterly protestant, it gives the article the headline 'New Breed of Catholicism in Alternative Group'!
Barney Schwatz' treatment of the story in The Age is, as might be expected, far worse: either he or his sub-editor found it hard to resist 'the all creatures great and small' take, though perhaps the headline - 'Dissidents preach a new breed of Catholicism' - hints at the mongrel nature of this group of heretics and blasphemers.
All the same, surely a professional journalist can be expected to understand that this group of disaffected ex-catholics does not in fact represent any kind of catholicism at all?
Surely he can be expected to understand that the events chronicled here will be deeply offensive to believing catholics, and not in the lest entertaining or to be approved of?
Just imagine if a visitor went into a mosque with his dog, and fed a page of the Koran to it...
Letters to the editor folks.
***Update:Archbishop Hart responds
Archbishop Hart has written a ltter to the editor and put out a press release complaining about the way this story was reported in the Age:
"Archbishop Denis Hart of the Archdiocese of Melbourne said today that Melbourne’s The Age newspaper was holding Catholicism up for ridicule in an article published in The Age this morning.
The article ‘Every flock needs a shepherd’ (The Age, 6/8), reports that at a Mass conducted by a group called Inclusive Catholics, the Blessed Sacrament was given to a dog.
The Archbishop said “that anyone would feed the Eucharist to a dog is an abomination.”
Writing to the Editor of The Age today, the Archbishop said “Your article ‘Every flock needs a shepherd’ is in bad faith. It is the most fundamental and defining belief of Catholics that what you call ‘the consecrated bread and wine’ is the body and blood of Jesus Christ.”
“That you should choose to report the matter in the way that you did can only be understood as an attempt to hold Catholicism up to ridicule.
“Your integrity in this matter can be judged by asking whether, if something sacred to Judaism or Islam had similarly been desecrated, you would have treated the matter with such flippancy.”
No word however on what action is being taken against priest and congregation...