A recently excommunicated priest is counting on the recent statement of Pope Francis that the Church should stop being anti-gay and the pontiff's move to reform the Church, particularly its Vatican-centric orientation.
La Republica quoted Pope Francis on Tuesday as saying, "The Church is or should go back to being a community of God's people, and priests, pastors and bishops who have the care of souls, are at the service of the people of God."
"Our goal (as Christians) is not to proselytize but to listen to needs, desires and disappointments, despair, hope. We must restore hope to young people, help the old, be one to the future, spread love," the pontiff added.
Pope Francis pointed out that the administrative body that serves Vatican is mostly after temporal interests, causing the Church to neglect the world around them. "I do not share this view and I'll do everything I can to change it," he said.
The hint of more reforms in the Church, which could eventually benefit priests like Fr Reynolds, was confirmed by Fr. Thomas Rosica, president and vice chancellor of the Assumption University.
"We are living through one of the most exciting periods in the history of the church," he said, citing the series of discussions the pope had with his closest advisers on Tuesday to rewrite the Vatican constitution and change its Vatican-centric view.
In March, the Vatican excommunicated Fr Greg Reynolds of Melbourne for his support of marriage equality and ordination of women priests.
The initial recommendation of Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart in 2012 was to defrock of laicise Fr Reynolds, however, Fr Reynolds instead got a letter from the Vatican, written in Latin, that he could no longer receive the sacrament of Holy Communion or hold any church office.
The letter, sent after Pope Francis was elected, did not explain the reason behind the extreme sanction.
Fr Reynolds had actually resigned as parish priest in 2011 to establish the group Inclusive Catholics in 2012. The group gathers Catholics who feel disenfranchised by the Catholic Church to celebrate the Eucharist. Among the group members are lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals.
However, Fr Reynolds said despite the excommunication, he has been receiving support from people.