|Pope Benedict shakes his crozier at yet another dedicated priest who made the mistake of discussing women's ordination. Is this not the 21st Century or does this Pope really think the Church never changes.|
Irish Redemptorist priest Tony Flannery has been given a set of orders from the CDF in which he must recant certain past statements involving the ordination of women, homosexuality, birth control, and divorce and remarriage. Fr Flannery was one of the founders of the Association of Catholic Priests, and he has also been banned from working with that group until he writes a letter to be approved by the CDF renouncing his previously mentioned indiscretions. Essentially he faces the same banishment from the Redemptorists and excommunication/laicization leveled on Fr Roy Bourgeios. Loyalty must truly be a one way street in the Vatican. The following article is taken from the ACP website. The story is also in today's NY Times. This stuff is nauseating.
REDEMPTORIST SUBJECTED TO “FRIGHTENING PROCEDURES REMINISCENT OF THE INQUISITION”
Redemptorist Fr. Tony Flannery is threatened with excommunication from the Catholic Church for suggesting that, in the future, women might become priests and calling for this and other matters to be open for discussion. Fr. Flannery, (66) who joined the Redemptorists in 1964 at seventeen and was ordained ten years later, has been told that if he is to remain in the Church and in his Congregation, he must also guarantee not to attend meetings of the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) until he has publicly agreed to the conditions laid down.
Fr. Flannery was forbidden to minister as a priest for most of the past year, and this will continue until he meets the requirements of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
“I have been ordered not to engage with the media or publish any books or articles,”
he told a press briefing in Dublin today. “I have also been ordered not to have any involvement, public or private, with the ACP. I was put under a formal precept of obedience not to attend the AGM of the ACP last November by Michael Brehl, Superior General of the Redemptorists. But he made it clear he’d been instructed by the CDF to issue it.”
Fr Flannery will be allowed back into ministry only if he writes, signs and publishes an article (pre-approved by the CDF) accepting the Catholic Church can never ordain women to the priesthood and accepting all Church stances on contraception, homosexuality, and the refusal of the sacraments to people in second relationships.
“I could not possibly put my name to such an article without impugning my own integrity and conscience,” he said today. “The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is orchestrating all this while refusing to communicate with me. I have had no direct communication with them. I have never been given an opportunity to meet my accusers, or to understand why this action is being taken against me when I’ve raised the same issues, consistently, for decades.”
The documentation Fr Flannery received, apparently from the CDF took the form of a typed A4 page (not a letterhead) which was unsigned.
“The only reason that I can be sure that this came from the CDF is that Michael Brehl, the head of the Redemptorists, told me it did,” he said. “All requests for direct communication with the CDF have been ignored.””
Fr. Flannery described as “frightening, disproportionate and reminiscent of the Inquisition” the actions against him.
“I have served the Church, the Redemptorists and the People of God for two thirds of my life,” he pointed out. “Throughout that time, I have in good conscience raised issues I believed important for the future of the Church in books and essays largely read by practicing Catholics, rather than raising them in mainstream media. I’m hardly a major and subversive figure within the Church deserving excommunication and expulsion from the religious community within which I have lived since my teens.”
The choice facing him, he stated at a press briefing today, Sunday 20th January, was between deciding between Rome and his conscience.
“I must also question if the threats are a means, not just of terrifying me into submission, but of sending a message to any other priest expressing views at variance with those of the Roman Curia,” he added. “Submitting to these threats would be a betrayal of my ministry, my fellow priests and the Catholic people who want change.”
Fr. Flannery said that because he believes he is being subjected to unfair treatment, he has taken legal advice under Canon and Civil law to help him defend his rights as a member of the Church and as an Irish citizen. (At which point he will find out like Roy Bourgeios that he has no rights in this current Vatican.)
I have to be honest, there is a part of me that just can't believe this kind of thing is happening in Roman Catholicism in the 21st century. I'm not just talking about the inquisitional flavor of how priests like Fr Flannery are being taken out and silenced, but more so the incomprehensible fact that the priesthood of pedophiles like Marcial Maciel was protected by the same cast of characters that excommunicate other priests over women's ordination. Has Catholicism in it's Vatican heart reached such a nadir that pedophile priests who rape and sexually abuse children have more rights with in the Vatican than priests who speak on the issue of women's ordination? Is questioning an intellectual position about a priestly discipline really considered more grave than actually abusing the physical bodies of children and utterly undermining their connection with their own existence?
I get that Pope Benedict and his cronies really and truly want a much smaller more compliant Roman Catholic Church in the West. I also get that they don't appear to give a rat's ass about how many lay Catholics they drive from the faith anymore than they ever gave a damn about any abused children. In the end this is all about maintaining the current clerical system and nothing else. This is the reason Pope Benedict has so frequently stated the Church must be pruned. This is a strategy designed to disempower protest and reform movements before they can be effective. It essentially states "we don't care what you think, you are not real members of our Church, so we don't have to pay any attention to anything you say".
If Satan actually exists, his post office box is in Vatican City, where the smoke of Satan is so strong some people seem to think it's incense and others are just choking on it.
It's mind-boggling how backwards their values are. Nothing illustrates this better than their coddling of pedophile priests and their protectors on the one hand, and their persecution of prophetic figures like Flannery and Bourgeois on the other. It's both shocking and utterly predictable at the same time.ReplyDelete
Prickliest, I can never forget our leadership was characterized by betrayal, self interest, and sheer cowardice from the get go. Nothing has changed in our leadership, but plenty has changed in Jesus' followers.Delete
About as "prophetic" in the Church as a quack doctor is an expert in the medical profession! Gimme strength!ReplyDelete
I take it this comment is sarcasm. It doesn't take any real faith or courage to follow a pack of self serving cowards.Delete
I have no doubt Pope Benedict will die with Gorgeous George in his eyes. Good oh for dear old Pope Benedict.
A shower of bullies in the Vatican and CDF trying to silence a good priest who had devoted his life to the Church and people. Hopefully he and many other good priests will carry on their good work and speak the truth in the face of this mind boggling abuse of their rights. No such sanctions against the paedophiles in their midst or sanctions taken against them over the decades until they were found out! Shame on themReplyDelete
Kathleen, I think lay Catholics are going to have to stand up and take back their parishes. The assigned priests either follow or they don't. Laity can't leave priests like Fr Tony out to dry with nothing more than sympathy and a return to the same ole same ole.Delete
As much strength as people like you gave to victims/survivors of the abuse spoken about above.
What they are doing is wrong. Silencing people just as they always do. Threatening them for speaking - speaking about abuse/abuses. Ex communicating them. Making sacraments weapons - a means of threatening and punishing instead of the truly healing ministry of Christ they are supposed to be. That is making of what is truly the greatest good - evil - the 'sin unpardonable'. And you need to get yourself a better Catholic education. You are behind the times - even according to this lot in the Vatican.
You're shameful for a Scotsman. Please don't tell me you have Irish ancestry if you do.
Had as much sickening crap as I can tolerate for one day. Give you strength ?
Give the rest of us a break from you fathomless hypocrisy !!
Tony why are you surprised?, look what the Vatican did to Padre Pio ,(the Greatest Saint of the 20th Century)--- banned him from saying public masses, from hearing confessions and from contact with the faithful for 11 years, and his response was to say "Blessed be the hand of Holy Mother the Church that strikes me". Rejoice Tony you are in Good Company. Its just another trial for you to bear in your ascent in holiness. As Padre Pio said to some "Put up with it" and their trials diminished thereafter.Delete
As Goethe said... the truth must be repeated as long as error persists. Hopefully Tony will get the support of his fellow priests his Order and everyone who abhors abuse of this kind. Hopefully his fellow priests and lay people will also have the courage to speak out against this abuse by an out of touch Institution which I have belonged to for 60 yearsDelete
@Terry: Padre Pio is a very different case. One should never down grade the influence direct connection with the Communion of Saints and Angels has on one's willingness to maintain the situation in which they experience that connection. Fr Tony claims no such connection and there for has no such motivation to knuckle under.Delete
Padre Pio was given pretty much anything he desired after the Vatican became aware of the fact he was a cash cow. Sorry, I don't mean to denigrate Pio, but the Vatican's handling of him is a far cry from Fr Flannery and much more in the line of how they handled Marcial Maciel. Money and the voices of big donors are very persuasive in the Vatican.
@kathleen H: If Roy Bourgeious' experience with Maryknoll is any guide, Fr Tony will be given the heave ho. I really hope the Redemptorists have more courage than Maryknoll, but I've kind of lost hope in the idea of courage in our religious men.Delete
"Fr Flannery will be allowed back into ministry only if he writes, signs and publishes an article (pre-approved by the CDF) accepting the Catholic Church can never ordain women to the priesthood and accepting all Church stances on contraception, homosexuality, and the refusal of the sacraments to people in second relationships."ReplyDelete
Fr. Flannery will be "allowed" to be a priest if he LIES and GOES AGAINST HIS CONSCIENCE.
It sure does make sense that liars such as PBXVI & the CDF would also want others to be liars just like them. Can't have anyone telling the TRUTH or having any mercy either.
Ah, the devils in the CDF have spoken!! May their pitchforks (disguised as croziers) trip them and hit them in the rear when they least expect it.
That is absolutely the crux of this letter: Fr Tony will be 'allowed' to be a priest if he lies and sells the integrity of his soul. He must barter with the devil.Delete
Why isn't it possible for the SCDF to be more flexible ? It shouldn't be impossible. FWIW, the SCDF has a very small staff - of about 20, IIRC. This could be important for the way it carries out its business, and - therefore - affect the effect it has.ReplyDelete
STM that it needs to change its manner; it comes across as harsh & unpastoral - the reverse of what is intended. If its tone were different, and its *modus operandi*, it could still be concerned for orthodoxy, but in a kinder, gentler, more gracious, more Christian way. Why should that be impossible ? At present it manages to give the impression that priestly lives of many years' service to the Church - and thus to "the Catholic in the pew" - go for nothing, because of one or two things that are judged to be wrong. Silencing people *may* shut them up, & it may have been appropriate for a different culture, without access to vast swathes of info; but does it work now ? Is it the way a Christian Church should act ? The SCDF does good work when saying what the doctrine about X or Y is: as a body exercising discipline over those deemed unorthodox, it's a moral & theological head-ache & a publicity disaster. This harms both it, and the CC. And fits very awkwardly indeed with the remarks about the Holy Office made by one Fr. Joseph Ratzinger almost 50 years ago.
The people in the SCDF are not monsters - I base this on the fact that I have had the the privilege of knowing one of them; that's anecdotal, but it counts for *something*. Those who complain - often justly - of being demonised, need to avoid the same trap.
Rat, the CDF is not giving the impression that a priest's long service to the Church can be forfeited in one act, it's propagating it's decrees on the fact. Their lives go for nothing, especially if they happen to be sympathetic to women's ordination.Delete
I don't think the people in the CDF are monsters. I think they are cowards and they are led by a proven coward. End of story.
When Benedict croaks, are we just going to get another one just as bad?Delete
It used to be that we'd wait for silenced folks to be rehabilitated, so to speak. Benedict and in his previous incarnation as the Grand Inquisitor has shunned so many; it's hard to believe these good people will be rehabilitated by the catholic church, ever.ReplyDelete
Much of the silencing has been around issues of sexuality and celibacy, and well women priests. It is time, if the Roman Catholic Church wants to survive, in my opinion, to take a serious look at their teachings on these issues.
I’d offer this historic note. The Shakers. I have visited their museum. They held strongly to the ideal of celibacy. Well, they are now history.
There is a huge program in the diocese here funded with lots of dollars to ask former catholics to come home. I turn off the ads. They are as bad as all the political ads a person had to endure living here and about as informative on issues of real life.
I don't think the Roman Catholic Church can be serious about asking people to come home until the church examines in a serious way, what appears to me to be an antiquated moral theology.
So for now, I will celebrate the reelection of President Barack Hussein Obama and the fact that a majority of Roman Catholics supported him even in the face of an onslaught of anathemas hurled by the Roman Catholic hierarchy in the United States. Yes, One Term More...Can’t say the same for Benedict XVI.
Yes, there are a lot of Roman Catholics who are at home. I'm not sure where Benedict is?
Wild I just don't see the Vatican changing it's stances on anything that is rankling the laity in the West. Benedict has made it very plain he doesn't give a damn. It's all about Africa and maintaining the growth in Africa and that means no women priests, no gays, no birth control, no equality in marriage for women, and no modifying atonement theology. Patriarchy and hierarchy all the way, anything else will be presented as 'western NGO's eroding tradtional African values." As Betty Clermont pointed out in her last article for Open Tabernacle, this is not about Jesus Christ and his teachings, it's about Western control of African mineral and oil wealth.Delete
It's been this way in one form or another in Roman Catholicism for 1700 years. I can longer delude myself about the truth of this. If it was always and forever about what Jesus taught and what He did, our Popes would be healing lepers and manifesting bread. They haven't accomplished anything like that in 1700 years. I don't think that's a coincidence.
As you said: "By their fruits shall ye know them..."Delete
Tony Flannery is right, and his "reward" is to be scorned and cast out like Roy Bourgeois, while pedophiles like Maciel received the royal treatment from the Vatican. Meanwhile, Robert Mickens accurately notes that the Vatican's age-old system of unaccountable governance is crumbling, and the cranky traditionalist take Mickens to task for stating the obvious. Benedict has named this the year of faith. Maybe he needs to take a look at the desperate need to reform, but I don't count on it.ReplyDelete
Pope Benedict should have named this the year of 'cowardice'. His papacy has nothing to do with real faith and everything to do with religious identity. No real faith in that. Might just as well believe in Touchdown Jesus.Delete
That is a good take on it, we could call it the Year of Cowardice and Defending the Indefensible.Delete
This is the company Benedict is keeping in Africa...Delete
Another very sad story. It is amazing how the Church in Ireland covered up for and protected pedophiles and went easy on them and they go after Father Flannery like this. Your comments are on target. MarkReplyDelete
Fr Tony Flannery wants to mould the catholic church in his own image and has inflicted enormous damage in disobeying defined teaching and orthodoxy.If he fails to recant his views he must be excommunicated.There is no alternative.ReplyDelete
Anon I don't see where Tony Flannery or the ACP are disobeying defined teaching and orthodoxy. What they are doing is calling into question Church disciplines which most certainly can be changed, and have been changed from the day St Peter gave in on mandatory circumcision.Delete
The truth is Pope Benedict has used his offices, that of the Papacy and previously at the CDF, to literally remake the Church into what he wants. Granted he won the 'triple tiara' lottery sweepstakes, but it's not all that pastoral to jam your own vision down everyone's throat. This is all Benedict's personal vision for the priesthood, the Mass, and by extension clerical authority. It's this vision which fuels his pathetic sucking up to SSPX while he and his CDF cronies wield the sword of secrecy in order to silence other voices.
All the while of course, it's really Jesus' Church, even though Rome may hold the secular titles to all the property and wealth. Jesus didn't seem to be too concerned how or where the bread and wine were offered in His memory. He Himself did it at meals both large and small and with lots of traditional ritual and with none, where many were gathered around him and where only it way only two. Rome seems to have forgotten all that.
Seems to me the Church itself has spent eons relying on the placebo effect.ReplyDelete