Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hypocrite Benedict silenced Fr. Tony Flannery, Brian D'Arcy – A compilation… but he does not silence Cardinal Bernard Law and JP2 Army – John Paul II Pedophile Priests

Updated March 4, 2014

Read our new blog:  Pope Francis the CON Christ. Pretender & Impostor of Jesus. Merlin hoax CANNOT CLONE JESUS or dogs http://pope-francis-con-christ.blogspot.ca/


Our latest  related article about New Jersey "Bling"  Bishop Myers http://pope-francis-con-christ.blogspot.ca/2014/02/new-jersey-bling-bishop-myers-wants-100.html

Updated October 17, 2012  More news articles.  Read our latest articles : Synod of Bishops & New Evangelization...or New Marketing of Old Vatican Deceits.  Why Vatican must end as a “country” http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/

Updated May 17, 2012

Why is this  the most number of priests from one country ever silenced by the Vatican, 6 Irish priests and still counting?  It's because -- the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for (enough) good men - and good women - to do (and say) nothing, therefore the Vatican must silence ALL the few good outspoken priests in Ireland and the few liberal American nuns. Cardinal Ratzinger silenced the Liberation Theology priests because he feared their voices, albeit they were few, he knew he could not defeat them from far-flung Vatican in Rome, Italy.   These priests were right there amidst the people while he and John Paul II sat in their luxurious thrones in the Vatican, therefore the only way to control them is to silence them like docile lambs. 

But unlike these Irish priests today, the Liberation Theology priests were not all from one or the same country, read the list here http://pope-ratz.blogspot.ca/2010/03/benedict-xvi-cardinal-ratzinger-and-his.html  If the Liberation Theology priests like Jon Sobrino were allowed to continue speaking in all Catholic universities and Catholic churches in South America and to the Third World poor people, it would have been the most non-violent revolution since Gandhi, and the poor would have been awakened of their rights in this life and not "Blessed are the poor for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven - in the afterlife.  Then The Vatican Bank would have depleted its resources from their despots. Read our coverage about Jon Sobrino here http://pope-ratz.blogspot.ca/2008/02/benedict-xvi-delusion-of-jesuits-at.html

Let us learn from -- La Sapienza University rejects Old Pope Ratzinger...like Jews reject the Nazis' new identities

The Catholics, The Hague and the United Nations must learn from the young people in Benedict XVI own backyard, the La Sapienza University who refused to allow him to give a speech in their school (even if it was originally a pontificate university founded by Benedict XVI’s ancestors popes) and (only) a handful protested at the Rector’s office.   Benedict XIV had to cancel his speech and visit to save face.   Even the Italian Police refused to protect the pope as “head of the smallest state within Italy” (it would not have cost 100 million Euros to protect him like in Madrid) and they refused to face-off with these young unarmed Italian students (who were not WYD World Youth Day fanatics) who had no weapons except their youthful voice of rejection against the Old Pope.  The Italian Police knew their youthful innocence and courage were right-on to refuse to recognize the Old Pope clad in his morally-naked Papal Emperor’s Clothes and listen to his empty-talk papal speech, read our coverage here http://pope-ratz.blogspot.ca/2008/01/benedict-xvi-rejected-by-romes-sapienza.html

These young people knew the facts committed from history --- they refused to forget history -- and the La Sapienza University students and professors refused to allow Cardinal Ratzinger’s past to be eradicated or forgotten by his present stature as Pope the highest and most powerful person in Catholicism,  These young people had no fear of the infallible powers of the Pope nor of the Goliath-bully Bill Donohue and his 25 million dollars Catholic League.  (They were like the Jews who refused to recognize the present identity of Nazis who have changed names and identities in foreign countries that could neither eradicate their past nor make their victims forgive-and-forget them).  Therefore The Hague must likewise not be fazed by Benedict XVI’s current position and must urgently call on Cardinal Ratzinger to go immediately and stand trial for his crimes against humanity, against children to be precise, before he falls ill or dies...and let the Vatican Dream Team try to defend the greatest criminal in the history of Christendom, read our related articles here on details of Ratzinger’s crimes here -- Amnesty International Report included the Vatican “Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment” on tens of thousands of children sexually abused by priests in Ireland http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2011/09/amnesty-international-report-vatican.html  

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for (enough) good men - and good women - to do (and say) nothing.  It is time for The Hague to triumph over the evil of Ratzinger and his B16 Army – Benedict XVI Pedophile Priests Army who committed the most heinous crimes against Catholic children in the 20th century for over 27 years together with Opus Dei Golden Cow John Paul II.   Heil Satanas JP2 Patron Saint of Pedophiles, Pederasts Rapists-Priests! http://jp2m.blogspot.ca/2011/05/heil-satanas-jp2-patron-saint-of.html

It's time to end the Rule of Religion and let the UN Charter of Rights reign

It is also time that the United Nations revoke the Vatican’s membership as a “country” because it is only one medieval building for a few only-male homosexual gays priests where women and children are forbidden to exist. When the United Nations annul the Vatican as a “country”, it will send a clear message to all “religion-states” that -- it is not religion and all its fanatic doctrines and inhuman beliefs and insane practices that rule countries and peoples -- but rather it is the UN Charter of Rights that rule the countries and the world.   It’s the freedom of speech, liberty, equality, fraternity and the rights and protection of the most vulnerable, the children and women and the poor men, that rule

Because it is sinking in moral bankruptcy, the Vatican Titanic is trying to salvage itself by doing what it does best - by reinforcing its theocratic powers - by condemning the good guys and good women -- who are docile little Agnus Dei’s, obedient and ready for the Vatican CDF or Inquisition to condemn them as Lambs of Silence -- today they are the Irish priests and American nuns.  Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it -- and obedient Catholics today continue to allow history to repeat itself as the Vatican Theocracy hunt and silence and imprison (in convents like Fr. Tony Flannery) the good guys and good gals just like it did when it silenced and imprisoned or hunted and burned the good women like Joan of Arc and the good guys like Galileo during the Inquisition (only to apologize centuries later like John Paul II did with some spectacle in St. Peter’s Square and a Hail Mary magical prayer would erase these Pope Crimes and Vatican Evils).    The theocracy of the Vatican can only reinforce the religious fanaticism and immoral doctrines and ethnic religious cleansings being committed by other religious-states ruled by religion.   As long as the Pope and the Vatican have powers to condemn non-baptized people into the fires of Hell (like the Nazis did with the Jews in Auschwitz) other religions will continue their likewise condemnations on non-believers and kill them, not later in the after-life but right here in this world.

Therefore it is time the world put an end to “religious states” and “religious rule” by first and foremost removing the Vatican as a “country” from the United Nations and for The Hague to call on Benedict XVI to stand trial for his crimes against humanity before he falls ill or dies.   The fall of the “Vatican Country” will also mean the fall of other fanatic theocracies or “religion-ruled-countries” and their theocratic rule (against secularists and non-believers) will no longer be valid or be recognised.

Hague Is Asked to Investigate Vatican Over Child Abuse. Bravo to SNAP and the Center for Constitutional Rights!! Court Filing details. http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2011/09/hague-is-asked-to-investigate-vatican.html  

 
Vatican retaliates Ireland
  
It was the right thing and the right time to do it when Ireland recently closed down its Vatican Embassy in Rome because now the Vatican Totalitarian Regime and Reign of Terror of God’s Rottweiler Benedict XVI  is retaliating Ireland from his despot control Vatican Bank Tower by silencing Fr. Tony Flannery and other outspoken Irish priests.  The Vatican Titanic Ship is sinking in moral bankruptcy as it has hit icebergs in Ireland and the USA and in all countries where the JP2 Army – John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army existed during the longest papacy of Blessed John Paul II, whose beatification one-year anniversary will be celebrated in May 1, read our related articles, Heil Satanas JP2 Patron Saint of Pedophiles, Pederasts Rapists-Priests! http://jp2m.blogspot.ca/2011/05/heil-satanas-jp2-patron-saint-of.html  Titanic = 1,500 victims. Vatican Titanic = 15,736 American victims of Captain John Paul II & Benedict Ratzinger http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2012/04/titanic-1500-victims-vatican-titanic.html  
Benedict XVI just came from Cuba after lecturing Fidel Castro on the "freedom of speech" and soon as he returns to the Vatican, he does not practise what he preaches, and he silences Irish priests for speaking out what the Holy Spirit inspires them to do.  Has Benedict XVI forgotten that St. Peter (the first pope) wrote and preached the least and St. Paul wrote and preached the most in the New Testament ?  Yet St. Paul is outside-the-wall of the Vatican?  but he is the most read and most cited in the Daily Mass and by all theological writings?  May The Hague call on hypocrite Benedict XVI to stand trial soon before he falls ill or dies and thus bring the one-and-only-justice to the hundreds of thousands of children sexually abused by his B16 Army Benedict XVI Pedophile Priests Army also known as JP2 Army-John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army whose beatification is celebrated by Benedict tomorrow May 1, read our related article 9/11 victims 3,000. JP2 Army 100,000s. May Day: both Hitler and bin Laden Announced Dead on May 1 on John Paul II Beatification Day B-Day  http://jp2m.blogspot.ca/2011/05/911-victims-5000-jp2-army-100000s-may.html.  

A sixth Irish priest is being silenced, but he will not accept the muffler that God's Rottweiler is imposing on his God-given eloquent mouth which he has used for more than 20 years as a regular contributor to BBC radio's Pause for Thought.   Father Brian D'Arcy  is no docile medieval Galileo as he hits back at the Catholic Church hierarchy and will continue to speak out about church issues, read all news updates below. Father Brian D'Arcy is one of Ireland's best known priests,  a celebrity in his own right, a regular contributor to TV and radio programmes.  The high-profile priest has been living with the censure for 14 months -- meaning all his articles must be submitted to the Vatican for approval.  So why was Cardinal Bernard Law not censured by the John Paul II the Great as he transferred from one parish to another 80 pedophile priests in Boston and why did John Paul II only papal farted at us Bostonians by elevating him as Archpriest of the St. Mary Magiorre in Rome after we forced him to resign in disgrace?  Why is Cardinal Maloney of Los Angeles not censured as he continues to protect the JP2 Army of Pedophile Priests in Los Angeles who are free to roam and continue to be sexual predators of young children?   The thousands of JP2 Pedophile Priests continue to be priests sorcerers today and they are more harmful than Fr. Tony Flannery and Father Brian D'Arcy  and other Irish priests who are now the target of the Vatican Totalitarian Regime worse than the communists who at least share their wealth with the poor while the Vatican Hierarchy led by the Pope only hoard wealth and not share them with the poor.  It is time the Catholics give their money to the Red Cross who are immediately in war zones regardless of the people's religion while Benedict XVI and his only GAY homosexual company in the Vatican Bank Tower wallow in luxury and Hitler-like Nazi power now silencing good Irish priests and American nuns, read our compilation on the Reign of Terror of Benedict XVI against USA nuns here, Vatican attacks American nuns: A compilation. USA nuns live Gospel, serve the poor and sick...while Benedict XVI lives in luxury out-of-touch-with-reality in Vatican Bank Tower http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2012/04/vatican-attacks-american-nuns.html

Irish PM blasts ‘narcissism’ of Vatican. The narcissism of John Paul II and the Vatican are one and the same http://jp2m.blogspot.com/2011/07/irish-pm-blasts-narcissism-of-vatican.html

Ireland appoints new ambassador to the Holy See...to do what exactly...with a few hundred GAY homosexual residents of the smallest country, Vatican? http://popecrimes.blogspot.com/2011/12/ireland-appoints-new-ambassador-to-holy.html

Ireland leads nations to close Vatican Embassy…beginning the end of the Holy See! Vatican Bank cannot buy souls of SECULAR government officials http://popecrimes.blogspot.com/2011/11/ireland-leads-nations-to-close-vatican.html

Updates June 17, 2012

Irish Law versus Canon Law on seal of Confession: A compilation. Sacrament of Confession protects criminals and ignores their victims http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2012/04/irish-law-versus-canon-law-on-seal-of.html



The Vatican, Fr. Flannery, The Hierarchical Clerical Culture, Joseph Goebbels

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One might look at the title of the above post and think, “What do all of these subjects have in common?”  Please allow me to explain:
As most know, who have been following the news out of Ireland, Father Flannery and Fr. Fagan have both met with enough Vatican disapproval that they have been “invited” to pray and consider why the Vatican is censoring them.  Just after the Pope finished his visit to Cuba, where he was encouraging the good, fine, upstanding Catholics, the Castro Brothers, to consider allowing more, “Free Speech,” the Vatican censors the above to priests, believing of course that the head of the CDF, Levada, had an anointed mandate from God to do so.  Unfortunately, many bets are on that the above two priests will meet the same fate as the much-beloved Bishop Morris of Toowoomba, Australia, who had the unmitigated veracity to suggest that women might be ordained, one day!  He was permanently removed from his bishopric after a Vatican Inquisition was led by Archbishop Chaput, formerly of Denver.  The official reason given for removing him was never really outlined, but we were officially told, “It was for the good of all concerned!”

With the above being said, I would like to move on to the topic of an outdated, Hierarchical Clerical Culture in the world.  In every country, these men parade around like Medieval monarchs, with retinues of priest, who possess the Shakespearian, “Lean and Hungry Look,” ready to jump at their ever beck and call.  Members of their retinues will even go as far as breaking the law for them by shredding sensitive documents regarding the rape, molestation and sodomy of young children and teens, as openly evidenced in the current trial of Monsignor Lynn, who was Cardinal Bevilacqua’s “Go to Man,” for shuffling Pedophile Priests from parish to parish.  Members of the Hierarchy are paid the undeserved deference given them, because of their out-dated roles in society.  After all, or supposedly at least, they are assumed to be “Men of God” and followers of Jesus Christ.  We have been told for centuries, “They are our present day apostles!”  Members of the Hierarchy are purposely unapproachable.  Can one imagine how the original apostles would have been accepted by the men, women and children of their day, had they paraded themselves around in the costly garments of kings and if they had worn three story crowns or miters (on their pointed heads)?  They would have been considered unapproachable and ridiculous in the first century, just as they should be considered comical or contemptable today!  Had the early apostles dressed like our current day bishops and arrogantly acted like our imperious, current day bishops, I posit that they wouldn’t have been able to Evangelize their way out of a proverbial “box!”

Why can’t the average, everyday man or women see them for the plastic sycophants that they are?  Well, I believe that we have been conditioned over the years by the Vatican’s Propaganda Machine, to believe our that members of the Hierarchy are actually “Men of God” rather than the over-paid Administrators and Vatican Puppets that they demonstrate themselves to be!

That being said, I’d like to refer to Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Mastermind and Minister of Propaganda!

Today, the United States Council of Catholic Bishops is totally out of touch with reality and with the Scriptural concept of “Godliness,” as evidenced by their behavior in the Priest Pedophilia Scandal, which they were directly responsible for allowing to continue, because they covered up for Pedophile Priests and shuffled them from parish to parish.

Their Propaganda Machines and their mouth-piece Bill Donohue bombard us daily about how the USCCB is trying to help “the little people,” or the “person in the pew,” and by doing so they try to distract the public from the Priest Pedophilia Scandal and from the current trials and the exposure of their criminal sins in the media!  By aligning themselves with the Republican Party, they hope to acquire some degree of respectability as Conservative Leaders of Society.  Politically, I am an Independent, but if I were a Republican, I wouldn’t want the USCCB to be a mouthpiece for the Republican Party!  How about you?

One of the biggest problems that I see for “Everyday Catholics” is the perception by other Christian denominations that most Catholics share the same moral values, or lack thereof, as their arrogant bishops, whose main goal is to protect themselves from lawsuits and “AVOID SCANDAL” being brought to the Roman Catholic Church.  I can personally attest to the fact that there are many, many many good Catholics, who do not share the lax morality of their bishops, and for them there is a “psychological disconnect,” between them and their bishops, but they are unwilling to speak up and “cause any waves.”  We need to pray that these Catholics will demand their voice and FORCE their bishops to reform and to be accountable under the Law.  Until they rise up in force, in righteous indignation, nothing is going to change.  They need to recognize that they have been victims of the USCCB’s Propaganda Machine.  The ball is in their court!

I would like to paraphrase a famous Goebbels quote:  ”Tell a BIG ENOUGH LIE long enough, and almost everyone will believe you!”  I believe that Goebbels was a pretty accurate observer of humanity, or at least the uneducated masses.  He capitalized on what made them tick and what would make them viscerally respond to zealous rhetoric.  I believe that he observed how much the bishops held sway over their Archdioceses.  For Goebbels and Hitler to be successful, they knew that they would need to manage the German and Austrian Bishops, but they weren’t the first to recognize this salient point in the Art of Propaganda.  Pope Pius XII recognized this before becoming Pope when he was the Papal Envoy to Germany.  Pope Pius XII, before becoming Pope had orchestrated Papal Concordats with EVERY Fascist Regime on the continent of Europe.  His crowning glory was the Papal Concordat signed with Germany in 1933!  It was known as the Reichskonkordat with Nazi Germany. There were several important features of this Concordat, which changed the course of history, particularly the history of WWII.  First of all, over 400, independent Catholic Presses were shut down.  The Vatican wanted “The Vatican Newspaper” to be the ONLY source of censored news for Catholics in Germany!  Secondly, Catholic Youth groups were ended and brought under the umbrella of Hitler’s Youth (smart move, right?)!

Next, and most importantly as it relates to the Church meddling in politics, today, the Pope agreed that the Catholic Centrist Party be banished from the political scene in Germany!  There is little doubt that the Catholic Centrist Party probably would have stopped Hitler, the Nazi Party and the Holocaust, if Pope Pius XII had had the intelligence to damn Hitler and the Nazi Party!  Instead, being the brilliant diplomat that Eugenio Pacelli was (as in a “Legend in his own mind”), Pacelli played right into Hitler’s and Goebbels hands!

Single-handedly, Eugenion Pacelli did all of their Propaganda Dirty Work for them: Pacelli ended independent Catholic Presses, he made Catholic Youth more vulnerable by serving them on a crystal platter to be propagandized into adulthood in the Hitler Youth, and he ended the Catholic Centrist Party!  Thank you Pope Pius XII!

Last of all, if the above-listed censorship were not enough, Eugenio Pacelli forbid the German Bishops from criticizing Hitler and the Nazi Party from the pulpit!  Pope Pius XII brought the Hierarchy in line, and no generation since has forgotten what every bishop knows:  They owe their high-hat to Rome, who can remove it whenever they step out of line or use their God-given gift of Free Speech!

In summation, I would like all to consider how the Vatican’s Propaganda Machine and the way in which we perceive the Church and her Bishops has changed the course of history, most often times for the worse!  The Vatican Propaganda Machine has not only taken away the voice of dissent from God’s People, but now, She is taking it away from priests and bishops who dare to disagree with the official teachings of the Pope and the Magisterium.

If anyone sees any corrections that should be made to my perception of historical facts, I invite them to write to me.  Hopefully, I am big enough to take constructive criticism.



International Alert: “The I was just a Note-taker Defense” for those who covered up for Pedophile Priests!

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We’ve all heard of the Nuremberg Defense:  ”It’s not my fault, I just did it because I was told to!”  Now, there is another lame defense being used on the witness stand and in the court of public opinion, but this time it is being used simultaneously, on both sides of the Atlantic, in the Priest Pedophilia Scandal in the Roman Catholic Church.
Currently up in the Philly area, there is a Landmark case, which will have repercussions all over the United States, in just about every archdiocese, if the defendant, Monsignor Lynn, is found guilty of participating in coverups of Priest Pedophilia within his archdiocese. He is currently using, the “I was just a Note-taker Defense!”  His Defense Team is pointing to the recently deceased Cardinal Bevilacqua as being the one responsible for the coverups and that Monsignor Lynn is completely innocent, because he was “Just a Note-taker.”   MMMmmmmmmmm………………..  Sounds like Nuremberg all over, to me!

Now, let’s take a leap to the other side of the Atlantic, to the land of our kissing cousins, Ireland!  Brace yourself, because it is going to take an Olympic level, “Leap of faith,” to believe this next defense.  Cardinal Brady has been facing calls that he step down as Chief Primate of ALL Ireland, by the faithful in both the North and the South.  Now, this is a miracle in itself, because Northern Ireland and its southern neighbor, the Republic of Ireland, rarely agree on anything, but on this one subject, alone, the majority of faithful Catholics, as well as many Protestants, are in total agreement.  They are calling for Cardinal Brady to step down from his lofty perch as Primate of All Ireland.
Let’s examine for a moment why Cardinal Brady is in hot water with most of the island, regardless of religious affiliation.  Years ago, there was a notorious Pedophile Priest by the name of Fr. Brendan Smyth. We’ve all heard countless stories of Pedophile Priests, ad nauseum, but this one is special!   He not only managed to molest, rape and sodomize boys and girls in Ireland, he also was given free reign to do so, when he was transferred to the States.  This man was a nightmare as a parish priest.  Here’s how Cardinal Brady plays into the picture:

When Cardinal Brady was a priest, around the age of 36, he was in on the Church’s Internal Investigation of a 14 year old boy, named Brendan Boland, who claimed to have been molested by Fr. Brendan Smyth.  The year was 1975.  In addition to Boland’s abuse, Boland gave the names and addresses of several children, who were also sexually abused by Fr. Brendan Smyth. Before Boland left his investigation he was coerced into signing a statement, basically saying that he wouldn’t reveal the contents of the investigation to anyone.  It should be noted that Boland was brought into this investigation alone and that his father was not able to accompany him while he was being grilled.

In the Internal Investigation, Boland was asked questions by Fr. Brady, which would have been considered highly inappropriate in any context, and I will not go into them in this blog, but I will say that there have been several internet articles over in Ireland on the content and the questions asked of Boland in Fr. Brady’s Investigation.  The way in which the investigation was handled is one of the main reasons why the Irish in the North and in the Republic of Ireland are calling for Cardinal Brady to step down.

After the Church’s 1975 Internal Investigation, there wasn’t any follow up on the names and addresses of Fr. Brendan Smyth’s other victims.  Their parents were not informed, nor were the police and the local parish of Smyth’s vicious, sexual assaults against children.  As public record now shows, Fr. Brendan Smyth went on to freely molest countless children over his criminal career of abuse, as a Pedophile Priest.  The Catholic Church consistently protected him and moved him around from parish to parish, as soon as other abuse allegations arose.  For his part, Fr. Brady, now Cardinal Brady, claims that he passed the information on to his superiors.  In several interviews Cardinal Brady, (like Monsignor Lynn up in Philly), claimed to be “Just a note-taker!”

When stories of unspeakable sexual abuse emerged in floods against Fr. Brendan Smyth, it brought down the the government of Fianna Fáil Labor Coalition, after it had been discovered that sloppy government investigations of Fr. Brendan Smyth’s crimes had been done!  (Finally, the government got into the picture, when it realized that the Catholic Church’s internal investigations of Fr. Brendan Smyth were entirely worthless!)  Constant revelations concerning the sexual abuse of thousands of children by priests and religious groups, like the Christian Brothers of Ireland, have had the effect on the ground like a tsunami tidal wave, in the relationship between the Vatican and the Republic of Ireland.   In an unprecedented break with tradition, Ireland closed its embassy with the Vatican, out of sheer outrage, at the revelations of the Church Coverups that thousands of children were abused by priests in Irish Catholic schools, work-houses, orphanages and the Magdalene Laundries.  Ireland, once called, “The jewel in the Papal Crown,” is causing the Vatican more grief and embarrassment than it was once, ever even imagined to be possible!

It is estimated that Fr. Brendan Smyth was responsible for the sexual assault of over 100 children in his career as a priest in the United States and in Ireland.  These assaults could have been stopped in the Church’s Internal Investigation in 1975, but they weren’t!  Father Brendan Smyth was allowed back into his full ministry, without any limitations being placed on his contact with children.  Many blame Cardinal Sean Brady for this oversight, who now claims to have been, “Just a note-taker” in this investigation. 

Within the last week, BBC World did an hour long documentary called, “The Shame of the Catholic Church.”  It covered the stories Brendan Smyth’s sexual escapades and Cardinal Sean Brady’s part in the internal Church investigation, as well as countless Church coverups, time and time again.  I strongly endorse it as one of the best documentaries that I’ve seen on the above topics.  It can be found on Youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niPV2SAXML4

I know that I have a suspicious mind, but I’ve wondered if the new Vatican Strategy is to have those, who covered up for Pedophile Priests, now claim that they were “Just Note-takers,” without any direct responsibility for encouraging the removal of Pedophile Priests.  With the indirect help of “Note-takers,” Pedophile Priests in both Philly and in Ireland were able to make careers out of their past-times of sexually abusing, raping and sodomizing children and teens.  Is it any coincidence that on both sides of the Atlantic, this defense is being used in a landmark, criminal trial up in Philly and also on the religious stage in Ireland, where Cardinal Brady is struggling to hold onto his little red biretta, his mansion and all of the other perks that come along with being the spiritual head of all Ireland?  I wonder which of the apostles Cardinal Brady is trying to emulate in his career?

Could it be that if Cardinal Brady resigns, he’ll lose his ticket to being a possible candidate for the Chair of Peter in the next Papal Conclave?  Or is he waiting for Cardinal Law to move out of his plush digs at the Cathedral of Santa Maria Majore in Rome?  Let’s see how his “I was just a Note-taker defense” keeps him in the good graces of the Vatican, who has too much to risk on the international scene if Cardinal Brady ever decides to “Get Religion,” and be honest about the level of his participation in the Fr. Brendan Smyth Affair!

Updates May 17

Some points of Clarification regarding the ACP

IRELAND
The Association of Catholic Priests

One of the disadvantages of media coverage of the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) is that it is inevitable – and this is not a knee-jerk criticism of the media – that the message we seek to communicate is pushed through the sieve of personal predilection and commercial need. Sometimes unintentionally our position can be compromised when what is peripheral is presented centre stage with a spotlight placed upon it. It is clear too, of course, that those who oppose us can use the ensuing confusion to sow seeds of doubt about our platform and our intentions. One of the advantages of a web-site like ours is that it is possible to communicate ideas clearly.

So allow me to clarify a few points.

(i) Church teaching

The ACP does not seek to overturn the defined teaching of the Catholic Church. Confusion between what the teaching of the Church is and what some present as the teaching of the Church has led to unwarranted assumptions. Confusion between the teaching of the Church and Church governance has resulted in some people suggesting that we do not accept fundamental Church teaching. Like all true Catholics, we know and fully accept the Creed.

(ii) Debate

The ACP wants to have a conversation about the realities of Irish Church life today and about issues we believe the Irish Church urgently needs to discuss. We believe closing down debate and dialogue is a recipe for disaster at both public and pastoral levels. Opening up a conversation not only makes great sense but has a theological basis in the rights and obligations of the baptised and an equally strong basis in church law and, we believe, will produce a pastoral dividend.

Unintended Consequences

IRELAND
The Association of Catholic Priests

Pádraig McCarthy

People in positions of responsibility in business and banking and construction and politics, whose decisions and actions contributed directly to the current economic difficulties in Ireland and elsewhere, had no intention of bringing about those difficulties, or of destroying their own businesses. They were carrying out their work and making money. Some may have had misgivings at times, or even moral qualms, but they went ahead; now we have the consequences. Unintended consequences may result from someone driving home following several alcoholic drinks. And from bishops and others who were concerned for the reputation of the church and of their priests. And from investigative journalists who go for a good story. All can be blinded by too narrow a focus on their own speciality, and in the process may wreak havoc. If we fail to consider the consequences of our actions, we are on dangerous ground.

I am seriously concerned at what may be unintended damaging consequences of the ways media have reported on child sexual abuse in Ireland. Those same media have been remarkably effective in bringing to light terrible violations of vulnerable people, both in the abuse and in the way those in authority failed when confronted with that abuse. Without taking from that, we need to examine other consequences. RTÉ, the National Service broadcaster, is currently undergoing investigation in relation to Prime Time Investigates and Frontline programmes.

catholic rebels v the vatican

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

HE certainly doesn't see himself as an apostate priest or a heretic, but Edinburgh's Father Mike Fallon is taking a quietly strong stand against the power of the Vatican by asking for a debate on two of the most dearly held principles in the Catholic Church: the vow of celibacy and the ban on ordaining women.
"My fundamental disagreement would be that there is no discussion allowed on either of the issues," says Fallon, whom some might see as being at the forefront of a simmering progressive rebellion against Rome within the priesthood. "Whether there is change or not is another matter, but there has to be debate."
Fallon is not alone in his views. Last week Fallon attended an unprecedented meeting of more than 1000 priests and churchgoers in Dublin to discuss the future of the Catholic Church. As revolutions go, it was a relatively sedate affair, but the gathering sent a spasm through the church after attendees called for debate on controversial topics such as married priests and the ordination of women.

Carol Hunt: Innate deference to Rome still continues even now

IRELAND
Irish Independent

We have a blind spot concerning the privileged position of the Roman Catholic Church, writes Carol Hunt
Last week's RTE documentary showed a bemused rather than embittered Edna O'Brien explain how an anonymous letter was sent -- presumably by a concerned citizen -- to her mother. It's moral mission?
To inform the woman that her daughter was living with a (ex) married man who was also a communist. No doubt the sender persuaded themselves they were performing a civic and moral duty.
It reminded me of those anonymous complaints we now know were sent to Rome about good clerics like Fr Tony Flannery and Fr Brian D'Arcy, who were deemed not to be toeing the Vatican line. The senders obviously believe they are acting in the best interests of the Catholic Church and its hierarchy.
On the other hand there are clerics such as Jesuit theologian Fr Gerry O'Hanlon, who previously said: "It will not do any more for priests, bishops, cardinals, the Pope to simply tell us what to think, what to do. People rightly want a say."

Irish College in Rome set to replace three of its four priests

ROME
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY
THREE OF the four priest staff members at the Irish College in Rome who deal with the formation of seminarians are to return to their dioceses in Ireland.
In a statement last night, the Catholic Communication Office said that the rector of the Irish College, Dublin priest Fr Ciaran O’Carroll, had announced that vice rector Fr Albert McDonnell, director of formation Fr Billy Swan, and college spiritual director Fr Chris Hayden were to return to their respective dioceses at the conclusion of this academic year.
Fr McDonnell returns to Killaloe diocese, Fr Swan and Fr Hayden to Ferns diocese. The four Irish archbishops, who are trustees of the Irish College, are expected to announce new appointments to each post after they meet later this month.
Rector Fr O’Carroll, who himself was only appointed last September said he wished “to acknowledge the contribution that Fr McDonnell, Fr Swan and Fr Hayden have made to the life of the college during their time of service here. I wish them every blessing and success in their new appointments and for the future.”
It is widely believed that the changes have been precipitated following the apostolic visitation to the Irish College by the Cardinal Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan, last year.

Priests rise up in quiet revolt against Rome

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Hundreds of priests gathered in Dublin this week in defiance of the Vatican. Might they be the Church's salvation, asks Malachi O'Doherty

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Priests can't have a trade union - and they know it. This week's meeting of the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) in Dublin represented a surprise re-emergence of protest among priests - just four years after their total humiliation.
Until 2008, Irish Catholic priests convened an annual Conference of Priests of Ireland (CPI). That fell apart, because the priests themselves were so demoralised and felt that no-one was listening to them.

They were over-worked and under-manned. They were also getting used to a new feeling that they were not only being ignored by most people, but were actively reviled.

In an effort to persuade priests that they were being heard by their bishops, the CPI invited the Irish bishops to come and meet them and hear their grievances. Only four turned up.



Updates May 2- 9


Ireland assembly of religious and laypeople calls for open church, re-evaluation

IRELAND
National Catholic Reporter

May. 08, 2012
By Michael Kelly

DUBLIN, Ireland -- An assembly of the entire church in Ireland took one step closer Monday with an overflow meeting that saw more than 1,000 priests, religious and laypeople gather to discuss the future of the church.

Organizers say they expected about 200 participants to attend the event, which the Association of Catholic Priests sponsored. However, Dublin's Regency Hotel was packed to capacity, with many at the event forced to stand.

Speaker after speaker pleaded for a more open church centered around a spirit of dialogue. Redemptorist Fr. Tony Flannery, who was recently forbidden to write by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, maintained a discreet presence and was greeted by many well-wishers.

The priests association now represents about 25 percent of Irish priests in active ministry and has called for a re-evaluation of the church's teaching on sexuality and a "redesigning" of ministry "to incorporate the gifts, wisdom and expertise of the entire faith community, male and female." The group also wants local involvement in the appointment of bishops.

Statement from Towards an Assembly of the Irish Catholic Church

IRELAND
The Association of Catholic Priests

Over 1000 people, representative of a broad range of opinions in the Catholic Church, gathered today at a meeting called by the Association of Catholic Priests. The meeting agreed on the need to recapture as a matter of urgency the reforming vision of the Second Vatican Council.
The meeting called for a organised dialogue in the Irish Church, a dialogue that would work towards establishing appropriate structures that would reflect the participation of all the baptised. This dialogue should take place at parish, diocesan and national levels, and should address all issues facing our people at this time of crisis. We call on all who are concerned with the future of our Church, including our Church leaders, to participate in this dialogue.

Irish priests demand changes

IRELAND
Radio New Zealand

A group representing about a quarter of Roman Catholic priests in Ireland has called for radical reforms in the church.

The Association of Catholic Priests meeting in Dublin, says the reforms are needed to stem the Church's decline in the wake of the long-running sexual abuse scandals.

A damning week for the Catholic Church in Ireland

IRELAND
Shropshire Star (United Kingdom0

Children across Ireland were raped and sexually abused by priests – some within the grounds of a church – yet it is those in charge today who remain the biggest threat to the Catholic faith, writes political correspondent Jason Lavan.

I was raised as a Catholic in Ireland and received Holy Communion and was Confirmed under the church. I also served as an altar boy. I no longer support the Catholic church.

For years in Ireland the horrifying details of children being raped have been revealed to the public by shocking accounts from victims – now suffering the devastating after effects of their terrifying ordeals.

Children were raped in churches, taken on trips by priests and sexually assaulted just hours after the victim’s parents waved them off from their front doors, believing them to be in the hands of god.

Voices from the conference

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Ronan McCoy Ardee, Co Louth
A Jesuit clerical student for two years Ronan is now an arts student in Galway.
“The Jesuits taught me to think for myself and reflect and made me realise I hadn’t been grown up enough to make it in an institution. I needed to step out of the establishment for a time.”
He had never thought of leaving the church until the last few weeks and the censuring of Fr Tony Flannery. He attended the conference because “even if I feel that nothing can change it’s important to come and see there are many people who are angry and want change”.
Carmel O'Connor Baldoyle, Dublin
Carmel attended the conference because “I want to support the people trying to bring about change, the people in the church trying to affect change.”
She believes “it’s absolutely wonderful that there are people prepared to speak out”.
Asked her view about Cardinal Seán Brady she said “I think for everyone’s sake Cardinal Brady would be better off standing down. That would be seen as a positive response to the situation.”

FG organiser 'given hope' by leadership

IRELAND
The Irish Times

MARIE O'HALLORAN
SPEAKERS: FINE Gael general secretary Tom Curran, who helped organise the conference for the Association of Catholic Priests, said the leadership of the organisation had given him hope.
Mr Curran, who chaired one of the conference sessions, told the conference “I am an ordinary member of the church” in Enfield, Co Meath. “Today has made me a very happy person. It has given me hope.”
Speaking afterwards, Mr Curran said he was at the conference purely in a personal capacity and “absolutely in a non-political role”.
He said “I am a committed member of the church in my own parish.

Catholic priests have now 'earned the right' to speak out

IRELAND
The Irish Times

MARIE O'HALLORAN
'VISION' SESSION: CATHOLIC priests have “earned the right” to speak out, having been through so much in the past number of years, the conference organised by the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) heard.
Fr Tony Butler SMA, Blackrock, Co Cork, said people speak out at times of crisis when they might not otherwise do, and Catholic priests were in a similar situation and could speak out and “say what we want”. He told the more than 1,000 people at the conference: “We have earned the right.”
Fr Butler said “no word of God is God’s last word” but because of fear that “non-conforming thought” was growing internationally, the church had reacted with a “colonial instinct for retribution” that was “well oiled”.
During a session at the conference entitled Vision, he said “believing that all things worth knowing are already known in life, church and society, creates a cultured ignorance which guarantees that mediocrity becomes a virtue”.

Older church members behind desire for change

IRELAND
The Irish Times

ANALYSIS: Speakers showed the spirit of compassion unleashed by Vatican 11 remains alive, writes PATSY McGARRY
TWO OUTSTANDING characteristics were immediately evident at the “Toward an Assembly of the Catholic Church” event in Dublin yesterday morning.
One was the unexpectedly large number there. The other was their age profile. One of the organisers, Fr Brendan Hoban, parish priest in Moygownagh, Co Mayo, and a member of the Association of Catholic Priests leadership team, seemed taken aback. They had expected 200, he said, but “there are in excess of 900”.
The number increased to well over 1,000 and, unusually for a day-long conference, continued to grow as the day progressed. The attendance was, Fr Hoban felt, “a huge statement” of the desire of Catholics for change.

900 expected at conference on the future of the Catholic Church

IRELAND
RTE News

At least 900 people are expected to attend a conference in Dublin today which aims to plot a way forward for the Catholic Church here.
The event's main organiser is the Association of Catholic Priests, which has been at the centre of controversy in recent weeks
Its principal organiser, the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland, has been at the centre of controversy since it became known that the Vatican has been censoring at least five of its members.

The principal organiser, Fr Tony Flannery, will not be speaking because he has been silenced by the Vatican and ordered to spend six weeks praying and reflecting on some of his writings, which Rome consider unorthodox.

Association of Catholic Priests discuss Church's future

IRELAND
BBC News

An organisation which represents more than 850 priests in Ireland will hold a meeting on Monday to discuss the future direction of the Catholic Church.
The Vatican has recently criticised leading members of the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) for expressing views which contradict Church teaching.
The ACP meeting comes at a turbulent time for the Church in Ireland.
Its leader, Cardinal Sean Brady, is facing calls to resign over his handling of a clerical sex abuse case.

Hundreds of priests and laity gather to discuss future of church

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent
THE CONFERENCE room at the Regency Hotel on Dublin’s Swords Road has a capacity of 735. It is where an event the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) entitles “Towards an Assembly of the Irish Catholic Church” is to take place from today.
The room may not be big enough this morning. Aimed at laity and clergy alike, it is expected to be “a sellout”, as one priest said at the weekend. Bishops, too, have been invited.
There are 815 priest members of the association alone. But, following recent disclosures of the censuring of Irish priests by Rome in the BBC This World documentary last week, which detailed Cardinal Seán Brady’s inquiries into serial paedophile Fr Brendan Smyth, what was expected to be a well-attended event now looks like being overcrowded.
That one of those priests censured by Rome is Fr Tony Flannery of the ACP leadership team will serve as just another incentive for restive Catholics to attend this gathering on what is also a bank holiday Monday.

'I am a daily Mass-goer and all this hurts like hell'

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Irish Times

GERRY MORIARTY Northern Editor, in Armagh
“THERE IS too much Churchianity in the Catholic Church and not enough Christianity,” said Mary O Vallely outside St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh as Mass-goers left 11.30am Mass yesterday.
There was no sign of Catholic Primate of All Ireland Cardinal Seán Brady at either of the two morning Masses in the cathedral, 9am or 11.30am. The chief celebrant for the later Mass was the cathedral’s administrator, Fr Eugene Sweeney.
A spokesman for the cardinal said he was in the diocese and had celebrated Mass yesterday, although he did not know where.
Fr Sweeney made no reference to the controversy surrounding Cardinal Brady to the hundreds of people in the cathedral, except obliquely during the prayers of the faithful when he prayed for all those who were anxious and hurt at the “legacy” of the clerical child sex abuse scandals.
There were mixed views among the faithful outside the cathedral. Some would not offer any comments apart from criticising the media for covering the issue. Others felt he had failed children who were abused by paedophile priest Brendan Smyth, while others again felt fault lay not with him but with superiors to whom he reported the abuse in 1975.

May 5, 2012

‘Is the cappa magna making a comeback?’, asks Declan Kelly

IRELAND
The Association of Catholic Priests

In recent weeks I have found myself thinking of and praying for Fr John Dermody. Born in the parish of Cappatagle in the diocese of Clonfert some 160 years ago, stories about him are still legion within the parishes he served. Older people will swear he was born with a “cross on his back” made of hair, which they firmly believe presaged his “powers.”

On one occasion, having been summoned by a displeased Bishop John Healy to give an account of himself, Dermody reportedly grew so irate that he created from thin air a hive of angry, swarming wasps which chased the bishop and his terror-stricken aides from the room. Such stories are, of course, the stuff of nonsense.

One of the real reasons people recall his memory so vividly is because he was `silenced.` A tendency to speak too plainly and, sadly, a fondness for `the jar` conspired against him.

One would imagine that things have changed radically in the Church since then but have they? I find it disturbing that clerical students are to be virtually sequestered within St Patrick`s College, Maynooth, and consider it a regressive move. How does one live a semi-cloistered existence for seven years and then face into the hurly-burly of an urban parish?

An open letter to the CDF from Des Wilson

IRELAND
The Association of Catholic Priests

Dear Friends in The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,

You may be aware that we in Ireland have a special reverence for our Saint Columbanus. He was one of our saints who disagreed with a Pope and said so. You may be more acquainted with Saint Catherine of Siena who did the same, although she had the disadvantage of having to disagree with three possible popes at one time.

Some of us view with dismay then, but no great alarm, your decision to censor some of our fellow citizens and fellow members of the Catholic Church who have done nothing at all so serious.

We are puzzled – naturally and supernaturally - by the fact that you and we preach the presence and inspiration of the Holy Spirit and then you tell us, so inspired, to stop talking - as if we had nothing important to say. This is not a matter of doctrine, it is one of logic and we in Ireland are inclined to judge these things by logic as well as doctrine and not too often by emotion. We remember the Gamaliel principle – you remember it too, when forced to make a decision, he told his colleagues, If this be of God it’s useless to oppose it, if it be of human planning it will fade away in any case, so we should not take extraordinary measures for ordinary happenings.

'Censuring' D'Arcy might be for good reason

IRELAND
The Irish Times

JOHN WATERS
I HAVE followed the Fr Brian D’Arcy saga for days in a vain attempt to learn what precise heresies the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith objected to.
But no one seemed much interested in discovering what these were, and Fr Brian was being intriguingly vague. The sense was of a fearless and scholarly dissident whose robust and scorching critiques of Vatican thinking have been cruelly suppressed by forces living in fear of his outspokenness.
We understand from reports that the objections relate to his Sunday World column in 2010. We know from Fr D’Arcy’s account that the letter of “censure” from the CDF incorporated some cuttings of his columns, although he did not say which ones.
On radio last weekend, he said that, when his superior first told him of the CDF’s difficulties, in March 2011, he gathered that the issues were his “attitude about the Vatican’s way of dealing with child sexual abuse” and that the CDF didn’t like “what they called my liberal views on contraception”.

Why the Vatican’s censure of popular priest is wrong

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Lindy McDowell
Wednesday, 2 May 2012

I wouldn’t presume to tell the Pope how he should go about his business or to advise the Vatican on matters theological.

But I do know that the censuring of Fr Brian D’Arcy the latest Irish priest to be disciplined by Rome (there are now six in total) is not the Church’s savviest move.

And that’s because I know Brian D’Arcy to be one of the finest, most honourable men to walk the planet.

He is a priest who totally, utterly connects with the people he serves. He understands life as it really is — not how church leaders might like it to be.

The Taliban in Rome

MALAYA
Malaya Business Insight

Published on Wednesday, 02 May 2012
Written by ALBERTO G. ROMUALDEZ .
‘Debates in Congress are generally informed by myths. For example, the reproductive health myth is that all “morning-after” pills are abortifacient.’
THE Talibanic tendencies of conservative Catholic bishops were recently affirmed by the Vatican when it effectively placed the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) under the supervision and control of an “Archbishop Delegate” assisted by two other bishops representing the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The LCWR is the largest organization of women religious leaders in the United States with members comprising the representatives of over 80 percent of American Catholic nuns. Just like their Islamic Afghan counterparts, the American bishops are out to suppress the rights of women religious leaders to participate in serious religious discussions.

The Vatican action was taken after years of, sometimes acrimonious, disputes between bishops and the LCWR concerning administrative, doctrinal, and spiritual issues specially the distinction between social involvement and the need to preach correct doctrine. It came on the recommendation of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in its “Doctrinal Assessment of the LCWR”, submitted to the Pope (himself a former head of the Congregation) early this year.



Updates May 2, 2012


Irish clergy not alone in running gauntlet of Vatican censure in Rome

ROME
The Irish Times

PADDY AGNEW
POPE BENEDICT XVI has long made it clear he believes Europe’s traditionally Christian countries need a major spiritual “dig-out” to ward off both growing secularisation and the “eclipse of the sense of God”. Two years after he created the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelisation, however, one is tempted to ask whether he means new evangelisation or new inquisition.
Irish public opinion is much concerned by revelations that Irish priests such as Fr Tony Flannery and Fr Brian D’Arcy have been “silenced” by the Holy See over the last two years. Yet, there a lot of people getting their knuckles rapped by the Holy See – from US nuns to Austrian priests to teachers at Catholic schools and even Holy See functionaries.
Earlier this month, Emily Herx, a literature teacher at the St Vincent De Paul Catholic School in Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, claimed she had been sacked from the school last year because she had undergone in vitro fertilisation (IVF). She claimed, in a lawsuit, that the school’s church leader, Fr John Kuzmich, had told her she was a “grave, immoral sinner” who would cause a “scandal” if people learned she had undergone IVF, while local bishop Kevin Rhoades had told her “IVF is an intrinsic evil”.
In a statement that stirs echoes of the Eileen Flynn affair in New Ross in the late 1980s, the Fort Wayne diocese publicly asserted its right as a religious employer “to make religious-based decisions consistent with its religious standards”.
Closer to home, Pope Benedict, during his traditional Maunday Thursday “Chrism” Mass at Easter, sharply rebuked more than 300 Austrian priests who had issued a “call to disobedience” on key tenets in church teaching, including regarding women’s ordination.


IRELAND
The Irish Times
PATSY McGARRY
Fine Gael general secretary Tom Curran is to chair a session of a day-long conference in Dublin next Monday organised by the Association of Catholic Priests.
Redemptorist priest Fr Tony Flannery, a member of the association’s leadership team and brother of Fine Gael strategist Frank Flannery, was censured last March by the Vatican because of his views on contraception, celibacy and the ordination of women.
He was also advised to withdraw from the association. Fr Flannery was advised by Rome to spend six weeks in a monastery, and while there to “pray and reflect” on his situation and begin “to think with the church” (sentire com ecclesia).
He and colleague Fr Gerard Moloney, who is editor of the Redemptorists’ Reality magazine, have been banned by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on account of their liberal views.



Updated April 22, 2012

The Irish Catholic Church is in deep crisis, read news updates below

Updated April 17, 2012  A second Irish priest is silenced.  More articles starting from the latest.  click on the title and it will lead to the entire article

Updated April 15, 2012 Here all the articles about Fr. Tony with the The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) in Ireland protesting in an uproar against Benedict XVI's silencing of Fr. Tony... and read our latest article on another of Ireland's legacy.."Titanic = 1,500 victims. Vatican Titanic = 15,736 American victims of Captain John Paul II & Benedict Ratzinger. Titanic anniversary = Divine Mercy Sunday"  http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2012/04/titanic-1500-victims-vatican-titanic.html

Updated April 8, 2012 We are learning more now why the Vatican has silenced Fr. Flannery, he is being accused of having ghost-written the famous speech of the Prime Minister of Ireland about the "dysfunction, elitism, disconnect...and narcissism of the Vatican...to this day" read the speech here http://jp2m.blogspot.ca/2011/07/irish-pm-blasts-narcissism-of-vatican.html

Watch the video of the 12 minutes speech here http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2011/07/irish-pm-enda-kenny-speech-on-cloyne.html -- The Irish Prime Minister's speech is better than the Academy Award King's Speech.  Way to go, Fr. Tony Flannery!  You are a genius!  Ireland's closing of its Vatican Embassy in Rome is one of the biggest iceberg to have hit the Vatican Titanic Ship sinking in moral bankruptcy.   Every nation on earth should listen to the Prime Minister of Ireland's Speech on the Vatican culture as of today and then close all their embassies in Rome.  The United Nations should listen to this speech and annul the membership of the Vatican as a "country" in the UN.

April 7, 2012

This is one of the reasons why the United Nations must end the status of the Vatican as a “country” because of the totalitarian regime of the Pope.  He preaches one thing and does the contrary like in his recent visit to Cuba, Benedict asked Fidel Castro to allow more freedom of speech and soon as he gets home into his out-of-touch-with-reality Vatican Palace, he silences an outspoken priest Fr Tony Flannery, for his liberal views.  Fr Tony Flannery is a founder of the Association of Catholic Priests and has had his monthly column and written his opinions with Reality, the Redemptorists’ monthly magazine for the past 14 years, but now it has been discontinued.  It is quite timely that during this Holy Week, Benedict XVI the criminal head of the Mystical Body of Christ is showing his true hypocritical colors as the pathological liar “Holy Father” of 1.2 billion Catholics, read our related article Benedict Ratzinger & Marcial Maciel are 2 criminal heads of the Mystical Body and Legion of Christ http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2012/03/benedict-ratzinger-marcial-maciel-are-2.html. and that the trial of William Lynn in Philadelphia started and Kansas court has decided that trial of Bishop Finn will proceed, read our related article, insane KC STAR CAMPAIGN HITS by Catholic League fanatic Bill Donohue propagating... Bishop Finn make Devil's Bowels smell like roses in KC, Missouri  http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2011/11/bishop-finn-makes-devils-bowels-smell.html , what a truly Holy Week when the crimes against humanity of Benedict XVI and the Vatican titanic Ship is sinking in moral bankruptcy.  Quite coincidentally it is the 100th anniversary of the Titanic and the 10th anniversary of the Vatican Titanic when the first JP2 Army was exposed in Boston, read our related article, Boston 10th anniversary and Bernie Law is still cloning Jesus in the Eucharist http://popecrimes.blogspot.ca/2012/01/boston-10th-anniversary-and-bernie-law.html
 
Fr Flannery wrote after the Taoiseach's address: "I was happy with the Taoiseach's statement . . . Many of us priests are frustrated with the way the Vatican conducts its business."

Comment

  • I am neither European nor live in Europe, but still I want to thank Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny for having the courage to confront the Catholic Church, which is busy protecting pedophile priests. As politicians in my country do not have the same courage of the Irish Prime Minister I am considering sending my complaints to him.
Mr Enda Kenny, your speech will become a must-see at Political Science Faculties around the world to show how to deal with protectors of pedophile priests.

=============================================

April 30, 2012 updates

The Shame of the Catholic Church

IRELAND
BBC
Duration: 1 hour
Decades of clerical abuse and cover up have left the Catholic church in Ireland at breaking point. Now Darragh MacIntyre reveals new evidence of a scandal that goes to the very top of the Irish church.

Tue 1 May 2012
22:35
BBC One
only on Northern Ireland

BBC HD
Wed 2 May 2012
21:00

BBC HD
BBC TwoWed 2 May 2012
21:00

BBC Two
except Northern Ireland (Analogue), Wales (Analogue)

Documentary to shine spotlight on abuse

IRELAND
Donegal Democrat
By Michelle Nic Phaidin
Published on Monday 30 April 2012
Donegal will be the backdrop for a new hard hitting documentary that promises to reveal more startling facts about clerical abuse in Ireland. “The Shame of the Catholic Church” which is to be broadcast this Tuesday night outlines how decades of clerical abuse and cover up have left the Catholic Church in Ireland at breaking point.
In this programme, journalist Darragh Mac Intyre, a BBC journalist whose investigations into the Father Eugene Greene case rocked the Catholic Church, once again, unearths more truths about the manner in which clerical sexual abuse was dealt with in this country.
Paul Breslin, a native of Bealtaine who has been living in London for many years, first went public with his harrowing story of clerical abuse after he was approached MacIntyre for a 2002 BBC Northern Ireland Spotlight programme. By that point, Father Greene was already in jail. He had been sentenced in 2000 for abusing boys in west Donegal from 1962 to 1985. The former priest has since been released from jail and has escaped the attention of the press.
This documentary, promises revelations that will stun the Irish public. Mac Intyre is understood to have spent a period of time interviewing victims and those related to the subject in Donegal ahead of the Raphoe Diocese Report’s press launch last year. It is speculated that the show was broadcast to a select audience in recent weeks. However, the makers of the programme are remaining tight lipped as to the content of their Tuesday night programme.


Programme for gathering on Monday 7 May is published

IRELAND
The Association of Catholic Priests
Towards an Assembly of the Irish Catholic Church.
10.15: First Session: Naming the Reality
Opening words by Brendan Hoban.
Chairperson: Gerry O’Hanlon
Prayer/Reflection: Brendan Butler

Speakers: (In the following order): Joe Mulvanney; Emer Dolphin; Garry Keogh; Phil Dunne (five to six minutes each).

Open discussion.


A False Claim to Divine Morality: Sex, Lies and Pedophiles
UNITED STATES
Huffington Post
Jeff Schweitzer
Over dinner with a group of good friends awhile ago, I was taken aback when during one of the many lively discussions someone offered a defense of the Catholic Church in the now-old-news sex abuse scandal. I had previously operated under the assumption that even the biggest Church apologist would hesitate to venture in that direction in any public debate in a mixed crowd no matter what justifications one might conjure up in private. Yes, my friend is a practicing Catholic who attends church every week, but I had assumed that her association would increase rather than diminish her outrage. Not so.
Her defense did not attempt to dismiss the facts of the case or diminish the horror of the crimes. Rather my friend offered a defense of relativity: the Church is a human institution and the number of sex abusers is no greater proportionally than in the general population. There was the tangential argument that the media unfairly targeted the Church and so gave the impression of a larger problem than really exists. Finally, coming soon after the Sandusky scandal at Penn State, she argued that the problem of pedophilia is perhaps even more prevalent in the world of sports, or at a minimum at least as bad. She posited that, as with the Church, in the case of Penn State plenty of people in a position of authority chose to turn a blind eye.
I had largely forgotten the discussion until yesterday. I was talking to the owner of an Indian restaurant who was lamenting her problems with vendors. She then made a comment that caught my attention: "I now try to deal mainly with Christian sellers." She herself is Buddhist. The implication clearly is that Christians bring to the table a higher degree of morality and therefore honesty. This assumption is so deeply embedded that no further explanation was offered in the statement -- it was considered self-evident.
My first reaction to that unquestioned assumption was to think of the more than 10,000 children alleged to have been violated by Catholic priests, and in contrast to that ugly reality, the dissonant claim to a higher morality. In that grating contradiction lays a central problem with the Church, and more generally, with religion: any embarrassing challenges to divine claims can be dismissed as the consequence of human frailties. The Church can claim simultaneously to be the arbiter of a morality inspired by god while offering the excuse that they can be expected to be no better than the general population when it comes to abusing children because it is a "human institution."

Dublin, hundreds participate in vigil outside Holy See's Nunciature

IRELAND
Vatican Insider
Over 200 Catholics, including priests and nuns, protested in silence outside the residence of the papal nuncio in Dublin at the silencing of several Irish priests, and called for the lifting of this disciplinary measure and the opening of dialogue
Gerard O'Connell
Rome
More than 200 people participated in a silent vigil outside the Holy See’s Nunciature in Dublin on April 29 to protest the silencing or censuring of several Irish priests by the Vatican and to ask for the revocation of these disciplinary measures and their replacement by dialogue.
This large crowd of committed Catholics, which included several priests and many nuns, braved icy-cold weather conditions to publicly protest their strong feelings against the silencing of five Irish priests whose names have been made public and others whose names are still being kept secret.
Brendan Butler, a spokesman for the Catholic lay group We are Church Ireland which organized the vigil said, "So many Irish Catholics are expressing their anger at this heavy-handedness by the Vatican against Seán Fagan, Tony Flannery, Gerry Moloney, Owen O’Sullivan and Brian D’Arcy — all outstanding priests of the Irish Church."


Nuns and priests wear gags as they protest against Vatican censorship

IRELAND
Irish Central
By
PATRICK COUNIHAN,
IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

Published Monday, April 30, 2012
Nuns and priests wore gags in the Vatican colors as they protested in Dublin against the Catholic church’s latest censorship moves.
A silent vigil outside the Papal Nunciature was held to oppose recent Vatican attempts to silence five high profile clerics.
The move came after celebrity priest Fr Brian D’Arcy confirmed that he had been censored for his Sunday World newspaper column.
Redemptorist priests Fr Tony Flannery and Fr Gerard Moloney, Marist priest Fr Seán Fagan and Capuchin priest Fr Owen O’Sullivan have also been the subject of Vatican censorship in recent weeks.
The Dublin protest attracted more than 200 lay Catholics and religious.





April 29, 2012 more news article

Vatican's gag on Fr D'Arcy breaks BBC's guidelines

IRELAND
Irish Independent
By JEROME REILLY
Sunday April 29 2012
The BBC has become embroiled in the controversy over the Vatican's gagging of Father Brian D'Arcy.
The censuring of the 64-year-old, Fermanagh-born cleric by the Vatican led to a direct order from Rome 14 months ago that he submit his writings to a religious superior for clearance.
Fr D'Arcy has been a regular contributor to BBC radio's Pause for Thought for more than 20 years, sharing a studio with presenters including Terry Wogan, Derek Jameson and Chris Evans.
However, the revelation that he has submitted his writings to higher authorities for vetting for more than a year appears to breach BBC editorial rules though Fr D'Arcy said yesterday he had told both the BBC and the Sunday World of his problems with the Vatican 14 months ago.

Break with Rome isn't end of world

IRELAND
Irish Independent
Sunday April 29 2012

The Vatican's silencing of highly respected Irish priests can only distress many believers, writes Ulick O'Connor

Recently two Irish priests were silenced by the Vatican for their views on priests marrying and opening up the church to the laity. On Thursday it emerged that the Vatican had also censured Fr Brian D'Arcy, the highly respected broadcaster.

The sense of rebellion among clergy here had already reached the grass roots. The Association of Catholic Priests, which has 800 members here, had previously issued a statement reproving the Vatican for its stance towards the Irish clergy, and asked them "to go up and treat people with dignity and due process. We are not a small cohort of Catholic priests; we are at the heart of the church committed to putting in place the reforms of the Second Vatican Council".

An essential factor in enabling Irish clergy to make such a statement was the Taoiseach's remarkable speech in the Dail in November when he threw down the gauntlet to the Vatican on the subject of the clerical abuse revealed by the Cloyne Report.

Censured priest warns over secrecy

IRELAND
The Irish Times
A high-profile Catholic priest censured by the Vatican for his writings has warned that the creation of a "veil of secrecy" worked against efforts to prevent clerical child abuse.
Fr Brian D'Arcy, a broadcaster and newspaper columnist, said he had not challenged church doctrine but was censured for articles on a number of issues, including criticism of the church response to sex abuse scandals.
The priest, from Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, who is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 2 and Radio Ulster and writes a religious column for the Sunday World newspaper, was censured by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).
The four articles by Fr D'Arcy concerned how the Vatican dealt with the issue of women priests; why US Catholics were leaving the church; why the church must take responsibility for clerical child sex abuse; and homosexuality.

200 attend vigil at Papal Nuncio's residence in support of censured priests

IRELAND
RTE News
At least 200 people are taking part in a silent vigil in support of priests who have been censured by the Vatican.
Those taking part say they are committed Catholics who wish to show their solidarity with the priests, who they say are articulating the views of the majority of Irish Catholics.

The vigil, taking place outside the residence of the Papal Nuncio in Dublin, has been organised by We Are Church Ireland, an organisation which is pressing for reform in the Catholic Church.

The group has handed in a letter to the Nuncio calling for the revocation of the silencing of the priests by the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, which they say "punished these men without due process and through secretive procedures with no right to appeal".

Silent Vigil outside Papal Nuncio’s Residence

IRELAND
The Association of Catholic Priests
The Silent Vigil outside the Papal Nuncio’s Residence will take place tomorrow, Sunday, April 29th, beginning at 3.30pm sharp. It would be good if as many as possible would attend.

Jimmy McPhillips on the censoring of Brian Darcy.

IRELAND
The Association of Catholic Priests
Good Shepherd Sunday has Jesus show us a leader’s true character, for a true leader is concerned for those in their care, and not in their own self-interest.

Sadly, for the second time in a few short weeks, I find it necessary to pen these words in support of a fellow priest, who finds himself censored for expressing his views on Church discipline.

Fr. Brian Darcy is a fellow Fermanagh man, a colleague and member of our Diocesan Branch of the ACP. Brian is a much loved and respected priest, who always comes across as warm, caring, honest, and courageous. Brian’s unique ministry has touched many Catholics and priests down the years, meaningfully and successfully evangelising where very few others has ventured.

Many Catholics comment on what a different Church we could have in Ireland, if priests, freed from fears and jealousies, would strive to emulate Fr. Brian. Then the Gospel would take precedence over the institution, and compassion would come before regulations and man made rules.

Issues for discussion at U.S. Bishop’s Conference 1995

IRELAND
The Association of Catholic Priests
With the disciplining of Fr. Brian D’Arcy (The Tablet 28th April) Ireland now has six priests asked to be silent on several issues. Early in 1995, a group of U.S. bishops submitted a document to the Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Mission and Structure. It appeared in ORIGINS (19/6/1995), a publication of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference.

‘The need to find ways to have more open discussion in a climate of trust is best illustrated by considering current issues in the church that seem not to be addressed openly. These include the priest shortage, priest morale, ecumenical issues, school funding, women and equality in the church, the relationships of youth, Hispanics in the church, better preaching, better liturgy, better relationships with the poor, the relationship of the conference with Rome, the public face of the church on abortion, the annulment process, the loss of Eucharist, alliance of the right wing with some fundamentalist leaders, contraception, sexual ethics, the kind of candidates being attracted to priesthood, anticatholic feeling surfacing in the United States, the ordination of married men, rumours of a high percentage of homosexual men in the seminaries and in the priesthood. In particular, the issue of paedophilia among priests continues to create a very serious credibility problem for the U.S. bishops because of our perceived unwillingness to fully address and explore the reasons for this terrible tragedy.’

Censured priest warns over secrecy

IRELAND
The Press Association
A high-profile Irish priest censured by the Vatican for his writings has warned that the creation of a "veil of secrecy" worked against efforts to prevent clerical child abuse.
Father Brian D'Arcy, a broadcaster and newspaper columnist, said he had not challenged church doctrine but was censured for articles on a number of issues, including criticism of the church response to sex abuse scandals.
The priest, from Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, who is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 2 and Radio Ulster and writes a religious column for the Dublin-based Sunday World newspaper, was censured by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Why Fr Brian D'Arcy is still his own man

IRELAND
Herald
Saturday April 28 2012
Fr Brian D'arcy is the fifth Irish priest to be told that he must submit his writings and broadcasts to the Vatican for vetting and censorship. A certain generation will react to that news with a 'Brian who?' But for those who know something of Brian D'Arcy, it will be seen as a stunning leap back to the 1950s.
D'Arcy was of a new generation of Catholic priests in Ireland in the early 1970s. Then as now, it was anachronistic to find a priest possessed of a love of, expertise in, and willingness to talk about youth culture.

At that historical nexus of rock, country and jive, Brian D'Arcy lived as chaplain to the stars. The music is now old-fashioned. Then it was cutting-edge. It was then as Bressie and LMFAO and Jessie J and One Direction are now. And D'Arcy was at the heart of it.

Fr Brian D'Arcy denies questioning Catholic doctrine

IRELAND
RTE News
Fr Brian D'Arcy, the popular journalist who is being censured by the Vatican, has said he has never questioned the defined doctrine of the Catholic Church.
Fr D'Arcy claimed he had been told by his provincial in Ireland that the move by the Vatican 14 months ago was prompted by a headline on an article he had written for the Sunday World, a letter on homosexuality which he had published in his column and criticisms of the Catholic Church's response to clerical child sex abuse scandals.

Asked about the Vatican ban on the ordination of women priests, he dismissed Rome's argument that Jesus had never ordained a woman.

Fr D’Arcy pointed out that Jesus had not ordained a black man either, but that black men are allowed to be priests.

Fr Brian D’Arcy: Vatican must take some blame for abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent
Saturday April 28 2012

Journalist and broadcaster Fr Brian D’Arcy, who has been living under Vatican censure for the past 14 months, said today that Rome must take some of the blame for the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests.
In an emotional interview on RTE’s Marian Finucane Show this morning, sixty-seven-year-old Fr D’Arcy said that if there is secrecy, and no questioning mind within the Catholic Church, then no child will be protected.
Fr D’Arcy also denied ever questioning the defined doctrine of the Church.
“I have been extraordinarily careful throughout my life to never, ever, ever contradict what is a defined doctrine of faith in the church and never even question it. That’s the way I worked. I would be very careful, even to this day, not to talk about that.”

Dublin, vigil outside Nunciature to protest silencing of Irish protest

IRELAND
Vatican Insider
An Irish Catholic lay group will hold a silent vigil in front of the Holy See’s Nunciature in Dublin on April 29 to express solidarity with Irish priests who have been “silenced” by the Vatican, and to ask for a revocation of these disciplinary measures and their replacement by dialogue
Gerard O'Connell
Rome
An Irish Catholic lay group, We are Church Ireland, is organizing a silent vigil outside the Holy See’s Nunciature in Dublin on Sunday afternoon, April 29, to protest against the silencing of several Irish priests by the Vatican over the past two years. It is calling for the revoking of the disciplinary measures against them and the opening of a proper dialogue.

“We are very, very angry, indeed shocked, at the way the priests have been treated, and we want to express solidarity with our silenced priests”, Brendan Butler, the group’s spokesperson, told Vatican Insider. He said many religious women in Ireland are supporting their initiative.

Alison O’Connor: Fr D'Arcy is victim of mafioso treatment by Vatican bullyboys

IRELAND
Irish Independent
By Alison O’Connor
Saturday April 28 2012
Pope Benedict is a Catholic, but is the man a Christian? That's the question going around in my head as I sit here in a rage after hearing the news that Fr Brian D'Arcy is the latest Irish priest to get the mafioso treatment by the Vatican.
These bullyboys certainly have ways of making you not talk. Brian D'Arcy is the fifth Irish Catholic priest to have been censured recently. For well over a year now, his writings and broadcasts have had to be submitted in advance to a Vatican-appointed censor.
Where, you have to wonder, do the Pope and his henchmen in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith get off? Here they are silencing good, decent men who are excellent representatives of the Roman Catholic Church, or at least the kind of church you would wish it to be.
These are priests who are intelligent and questioning and who genuinely appear to have the best interests of their church at heart.

Gagged priest speaks out over Vatican censor

IRELAND
Irish Independent
By Greg Harkin
Saturday April 28 2012

CENSORED priest Father Brian D'Arcy hit back at the Catholic Church hierarchy yesterday, as he was inundated with messages of support from around the world.
At the St Gabriel's Retreat centre, at the Passionist Monastery in Co Fermanagh where the celebrity priest is based, there has been a huge outpouring of support.
And it's being matched by support from around the globe, his supporters said.
Fr D'Arcy (67) was in Belfast yesterday pre-recording his Sunday music programme for BBC Radio Ulster following confirmation he has been censored by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).


April 28, 2012 Update news articles

Fr D'Arcy fifth priest censured by Vatican

IRELAND
The Irish Times
PATSY McGARRY Religious Affairs Correspondent
ONE OF Ireland’s best known priests Fr Brian D’Arcy has been censured by the Vatican over four articles he wrote for the Sunday World newspaper in 2010.
Fr D’Arcy is the fifth Irish Catholic priest known to have been censured by the Vatican recently. The others are Redemptorist priests Fr Tony Flannery and Fr Gerard Moloney, Marist priest Fr Sean Fagan and Capuchin priest Fr Owen O’Sullivan.
The four articles by Fr D’Arcy concerned how the Vatican dealt with the issue of women priests; why US Catholics were leaving the church; why the church must take responsibility for clerical child sex abuse; and homosexuality.
The Vatican is also understood to have complained about headlines on some of the articles, which would have been written by editorial staff at the Sunday World.

Celebrity priest Fr Brian D’Arcy is latest to be censored by the Vatican

IRELAND
Irish Central
By
PATRICK COUNIHAN,
IrishCentral Staff Writer

Published Friday, April 27, 2012
Celebrity priest Fr Brian D’Arcy is the latest member of the Catholic clergy in Ireland to be censored by the Vatican.
Reports on the BBC website, and in the Tablet news magazine, claim that D’Arcy’s Sunday World newspaper columns are vetted by a church censor on a weekly basis.
D’Arcy has a huge following among young people and was portrayed in the past as “Father Brian Trendy” by famed comedian Dermot Morgan.
The reports state that D’Arcy sometime outspoken views on the Catholic church have been the target of the Holy See’s main theological watchdog.

Fr Brian D'Arcy censured by Vatican

IRELAND
The Irish Catholic
Father Brian D'Arcy, one of Ireland's best known priests, has been censured by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in the Vatican.

It is understood that his column must now run past a Church censor.

According to The Tablet, which reported the story, the action against Fr D’Arcy was taken by the CDF last year after an anonymous complaint.

The disciplining of Fr D'Arcy brings the number of Irish priests silenced by Rome to five.


Alison O’Connor: Fr D'Arcy is victim of mafioso treatment by Vatican bullyboys

IRELAND
Irish Independent
By Alison O’Connor
Saturday April 28 2012
Pope Benedict is a Catholic, but is the man a Christian? That's the question going around in my head as I sit here in a rage after hearing the news that Fr Brian D'Arcy is the latest Irish priest to get the mafioso treatment by the Vatican.
These bullyboys certainly have ways of making you not talk. Brian D'Arcy is the fifth Irish Catholic priest to have been censured recently. For well over a year now, his writings and broadcasts have had to be submitted in advance to a Vatican-appointed censor.
Where, you have to wonder, do the Pope and his henchmen in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith get off? Here they are silencing good, decent men who are excellent representatives of the Roman Catholic Church, or at least the kind of church you would wish it to be.
These are priests who are intelligent and questioning and who genuinely appear to have the best interests of their church at heart.

Gagged priest speaks out over Vatican censor

IRELAND
Irish Independent
By Greg Harkin
Saturday April 28 2012
CENSORED priest Father Brian D'Arcy hit back at the Catholic Church hierarchy yesterday, as he was inundated with messages of support from around the world.
At the St Gabriel's Retreat centre, at the Passionist Monastery in Co Fermanagh where the celebrity priest is based, there has been a huge outpouring of support.
And it's being matched by support from around the globe, his supporters said.
Fr D'Arcy (67) was in Belfast yesterday pre-recording his Sunday music programme for BBC Radio Ulster following confirmation he has been censored by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

Fr D'Arcy will continue to speak out on church issues

IRELAND
BBC News
Father Brian D'Arcy has said he will continue to speak out on controversial issues affecting the Catholic Church despite being rebuked by the Vatican.
As a newspaper columnist and a broadcaster, Fr D'Arcy has been a vocal critic of church policy on clerical sex abuse, celibacy and contraception.
As part of the disciplinary action, he must now get prior approval to cover topics dealing with church doctrine.
But he said the church has not ordered him to change any of his work since.

Fr D'Arcy hits back over year of Vatican censure

IRELAND
Herald
By Niall O'Connor
Friday April 27 2012
OUTSPOKEN Fr Brian D'Arcy has spoken of his "disappointment" after being censured by the Vatican for more than a year.
It has emerged that the popular newspaper columnist has been disciplined by Catholic bosses over the contents of a number of his articles.

The high-profile priest has admitted that he has been living with the censure for 14 months -- meaning all his articles must be submitted to the Vatican for approval.

Fr D'Arcy, who has previously revealed that he was abused by a priest, has been vocal in his criticism of the Catholic Church and its handling of the child sex-abuse scandal.


Fr Brian represents us better than the Vatican

IRELAND
Herald
Friday April 27 2012
Bono once told Father Brian D'Arcy: "You're the last one standing."
Now Pope Benedict is trying to cut him off at the knees.
After everything the Catholic Church has been found guilty of, you'd have thought it would be open to a bit of self-criticism -- but instead it has been revealed that the Vatican is censoring Fr D'Arcy's writings as if they were some 21st Century version of the Da Vinci Code.
Measured
Earlier this week, DJ Ray D'Arcy caused a stir by declaring that the Church has "in many ways, f**ked up this country".

His namesake uses much more measured language, but the authorities in Rome seem to think that Fr Brian's message is basically the same.

He has used his newspaper columns to insist that the Church should allow married priests, accept homosexuality and too confess that it broke most of the Ten Commandments by protecting so many paedophiles in dog collars.


IRELAND
Irish Independent
Friday April 27 2012
FATHER Brian D'Arcy was the inspiration for the character that would eventually become comedian Dermot Morgan's Fr Trendy, which later morphed into Fr Ted.
The recent clampdowns on him and other Irish liberal priests can only be described as 'Ted-esque' such is their bizarre nature and timing.
But there is nothing 'Ted-esque' about Fr D'Arcy, perhaps Ireland's best-known priest, a celebrity in his own right.
Fr D'Arcy is an intelligent, articulate man and priest, who knows his people and whom his flock know as a warm, caring, loving and, above all, honest and courageous figure.
This is a priest who physically got sick when he read the Murphy Report on abuse.

"Silencing" our way out of trouble: Shutting down reform by shutting up an Irish priest and American sisters

UNITED STATES
U.S. Catholic

Thursday, April 26, 2012
By Bryan Cones
It's deja vu all over again: About 150 years ago the Vatican's first response to the "modern world" of democratic reform and theological renewal was to silence and shame any Catholic who spoke positively about either. So we got the Syllabus of Errors in its various incarnations and the condemnation of "modernism" and anyone who espoused modern approaches to scriptural interpretation or the "new theology" of the early and mid 20th century. Big names there: Congar, DeLubac, Jungmann, Murray--all ordered to silence on this topic or that.
Until, of course, the Second Vatican Council undid all that nonsense and brought the church--at least theologically--into the late 19th century (still 100 years behind the rest of the world). All those silenced became heroes, the bright lights of the renewal.
Now here we are at the beginning of the 21st, and once again the Vatican (and presumably the pope) is choosing the former path: condemnation and silencing, first of American women religious, and now of the Redemptorist leader of the Irish Association of Catholic Priests, Father Tony Flannery. His crime? Raising questions and organizing pastors around issues of concern, including the church's sexual teaching and the new English translations of the Mass, and lining up with victims of abuse in the ravaged Irish church.
To be honest, this smells a bit of desperation on the part of the Vatican. The Association of Catholic Priests counts 20 percent of Irish clergy on its roster; an American counterpart is now in the works. Irish Catholics are voting with their feet, with Sunday Mass attendance having plummetted to levels seen in the rest of Europe. On this side of the Atlantic, four Catholics leave the church for every one who joins, even as the U.S. bishops double down on deeply partisan political involvement in this year's presidential election.


IRELAND
The Irish Catholic
Father Brian D'Arcy, one of Ireland's best known priests, has been censured by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in the Vatican.

It is understood that his column must now run past a Church censor.

According to The Tablet, which reported the story, the action against Fr D’Arcy was taken by the CDF last year after an anonymous complaint.

The disciplining of Fr D'Arcy brings the number of Irish priests silenced by Rome to five.

Fr D'Arcy censured by Vatican

IRELAND
The Irish Times
PATSY McGARRY and SARAH McDONALD
The Passionist congregation has confirmed that 14 months ago the Vatican acted against Fr Brian D’Arcy on articles he had written.
Fr Pat Duffy, provincial superior of the Passionist congregation in Ireland said in a statement this afternoon that “last year concerns were expressed to Fr Ottaviano D’Egidio, C.P. – the Passionist Superior General (in Rome) – by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) about some aspects of Fr Brian D’Arcy’s writings”
He continued that “since then Fr Brian has been co-operating to ensure he can make a contribution to journalism in Ireland. Fr Brian remains a priest in good standing.”
Fr Duffy's statement follows an article in the current issue of the UK Catholic weekly the Tablet, which reported that Fr D’Arcy, a columnist with a popular Irish tabloid The Sunday World, a regular contributor to BBC Radio 2’s Pause for Thought, as well as to RTE and a best selling author “has been told he must submit his writings and broadcasts to an approved church censor.”


IRELAND
Breaking News
27/04/2012
A Catholic priest is calling the censure of Father Brian D'Arcy by the Vatican "completely unacceptable".
Father D'Arcy is well known for expressing views contrary to the Church's teachings and is a regular contributor to TV and radio programmes.
In a statement yesterday, Father D'Arcy confirmed that his writings on morality have been screened for over a year now by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which oversees Catholic Church doctrine.
Father Peter McVerry - who has worked with Dublin's homeless for the past 30 years - said that unfortunately, such measures are becoming commonplace.

The silencing of Fr Brian D'Arcy

IRELAND
Irish Independent
Friday April 27 2012
Editorial
The news that Father Brian D'Arcy, one of the best-known and most popular priests in the country, has been censured by the Vatican and that his newspaper and magazine articles are now effectively censored in advance of publication by the church authorities will come as a shock to many lay Catholics.
For the past two decades, as the Catholic Church suffered one hammer blow after another as the full extent of the clerical child sex abuse scandal gradually emerged, Fr D'Arcy held out hope for many ordinary believers that the church would one day emerge strengthened from its ordeal.
That is why the action that has been taken against Fr D'Arcy will be so disheartening for so many. They will wonder why the Vatican apparently found it impossible to accommodate a priest who patently had the church's best interests at heart and who pointed the way toward a possible future.


IRELAND
Irish Independent
By Deric Henderson
Friday April 27 2012
WELL known priest and journalist Fr Brian D’Arcy, who has been censured by the Vatican, today broke his silence to reveal his distress over the disciplinary action.
The broadcaster and newspaper columnist, declared: "Personally I've been living with the pain of censure for 14 months and will have to live with it for the rest of my priestly life.
"In these difficult times, it is the price one has to pay when one is committed to the truth, which is the duty of both the priest and the journalist."
The priest, from Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 2 and Radio Ulster and who writes a religious column for Sunday World newspaper, was censured by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).
IRELAND
Irish Independent
By Garry O'Sullivan and Mark Hilliard
Friday April 27 2012
ONE of the country's most-popular priests has been censored for the last 14 months, it emerged last night.
Fr Brian D'Arcy, a regular broadcaster who has written a popular column in a Sunday newspaper for more than 30 years, has had to submit his writings for clearance for more than a year.
The Passionist priest said last night he was "disappointed" that there wasn't more respect for freedom of speech in the church. However, Vatican sources insist Irish clerics are not being targeted.
Earlier this month, Fr Tony Flannery had to stop contributing to the Redemptorist Order magazine 'Reality' after his column was cancelled on orders from Rome.

Fr Brian D’Arcy latest priest to be censured by Vatican

IRELAND
Irish Independent
By Independent.ie reporters
Thursday April 26 2012
HIGH-PROFILE priest and broadcaster Brian D'Arcy has become the latest Irish cleric to be censured by the Vatican.
The popular BBC Radio Two contributor, author and Sunday World columnist was disciplined after concerns were raised about some of his published work.
It is understood the action by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) means the Co Fermanagh priest, regarded as liberal within the Catholic church, must now submit his writings and broadcasts to an official censor.


IRELAND
Larne Times
Published on Wednesday 25 April 2012
High-profile priest and broadcaster Brian D'Arcy has become the latest Irish cleric to be censured by the Vatican.
The popular BBC Radio Two contributor, author and newspaper columnist was disciplined after concerns were raised about some of his published work.
It is understood the action by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) means the Co Fermanagh priest, regarded as liberal within the Catholic church, must now submit his writings and broadcasts to an official censor.
The 67-year-old member of the Passionist Order has spoken out against mandatory celibacy for priests and has been a fierce critic of the church's handling of child abuse scandals in Ireland.

IRELAND
Inside Ireland
By Ciarán Hanna
A British Catholic weekly journal has reported that six Irish Catholic priests are being silenced by the Vatican.

The Tablet newspaper, which has been published since 1840, is reporting that five Priests have been censured from speaking to the Press.

The Vatican based Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, CDF, has warned Fr Tony Flannery, one of the leaders of the Association of Catholic Press,to stop writing for a magazine while the paper’s editor, Fr Gerard Moloney, is being investigated by the CDF.

The other priests include Fr Sean Fagan.

A supporter of Fr. Fagan wrote in a blog:

“ The silencing of Sean, after a lifetime of service to the Church, was even more painful because if any word of this action demanded by the CDF got into the media, he would be immediately be prohibited from exercising his priestly faculties.”

Vatican laments Irish dissent, silences priests

IRELAND
National Catholic Reporter
Apr. 26, 2012
By Michael Kelly

DUBLIN, IRELAND -- Just weeks after a report from a Vatican inquiry into the Irish church lamented what it described as “fairly widespread” dissent from church teaching, it was revealed that the Vatican has “silenced” Redemptorist Fr. Tony Flannery.

The Holy See’s move provoked fury among the members of the 800-strong Association of Catholic Priests, which has accused the Vatican of issuing a fatwa against liberal clerics.

It’s not exactly clear why Flannery, a popular author and retreat director, has come under Vatican suspicion. He has voiced support in the past for opening up debates around the ordination of women, a change to the church’s ban on artificial birth control and an end to mandatory celibacy. He also provoked dismay among senior Irish bishops when he publicly backed Prime Minister Enda Kenny’s 2011 attack on the Vatican in the wake of the report into the mishandling of clerical abuse in the Cloyne diocese. Kenny accused the Vatican of “dysfunction,” “disconnection,” “elitism” and “narcissism.” Flannery described the speech as “wonderful.”

By acting against Flannery now, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith may well have scored an own goal by provoking the ire of the priests’ association. As well as his retreat work, Flannery is a founder of the association, which now represents some 20 percent of Ireland’s clergy.


Fr Brian D'Arcy censured by Vatican

IRELAND
BBC News
Father Brian D'Arcy, one of Ireland's best known priests, has been censured by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Vatican, according to the Tablet newspaper.
The Graan in Enniskillen, where Fr D'Arcy serves as rector of St Gabriel's Retreat, confirmed the report.
Fr D'Arcy, a Passionist priest, is a broadcaster and regular contributor to newspapers.
He recently wrote a column in favour of a married priesthood.

==========================

April 22, 2012


IRELAND
The Association of Catholic Priests
The Catholic Church is in deep crisis. We are all familiar with most of the contributory factors and manifestations: recent revelations regarding abuse of children by clergy and the subsequent handling of same by church authorities; growing alienation among Catholics in respect of the position adopted by Rome relating to celibacy, women, contraception; the perceived irrelevance of the church for an increasing number of people, particularly young people; the authoritarian nature of the church, as practiced by the Pope and Curia.

Furthermore, recent decades have seen serious efforts made by Rome to reverse many of the changes introduced following Vatican 2. The latter envisaged a more collegiate church where the Pope would be primus inter pares; where the local church would have more autonomy with an increased role for lay people; serious and sustained dialogue would be held with other Christian Churches, in a spirit of mutual respect; a proper respect for scriptural scholarship and for dialogue with the sciences would be shown. Sadly we have witnessed a more centralised and authoritarian church; emasculation of the local church; the elevation of non-essential teachings (celibacy, ban on women priests, for example) to articles of faith.

IRELAND
Daily Mail (United Kingdom)
By Ken Foxe
It may have the country’s largest private property portfolio but despite owning thousands of houses, the Catholic Church does not have to pay a cent in household charges.
The Church, which at one point owned or occupied at least 10,700 houses, schools, halls, churches and shops around the country, has an exemption from all property taxes because it is a charity.
With 1,368 parishes in Ireland – many containing several parochial homes and other properties – the Church may be getting off the hook for up to €500,000 a year in Environment Minister Phil Hogan’s new tax, despite its massive wealth and land interests.

April 17, 2012

Second Irish priest silenced by Church as anger grows over gagging attempts

IRELAND
IrishCentral

By
PATRICK COUNIHAN,
IrishCentral Staff Writer
Published Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 8:34 AM

Irish priests are at war with the Vatican again after attempts to silence a second rebel cleric.

Veteran Marist priest Fr Sean Fagan has been ordered to stop writing and commentating in public.

The 84-year-old has been reprimanded by the church after he had called for an inquiry into clerical sexual abuse in all Irish dioceses.

His order has also bought all remaining copies of a theological book written by Fr Fagan who was required to give an undertaking not to write again.

The latest move came after Fr Fagan publicly advocated allowing women and married men to be ordained as priests.

The Association of Catholic Priests has condemned the moves to silence Fr Fagan, just days after another rebel priest was ordered to return to his monastery after his newspaper column was pulled by the Church.
ACP spokesman Fr Sean McDonagh told the Irish Independent that the silencing of Fr Fagan is ‘just outrageous’
.
Fr McDonagh added: “The church is throwing a fatwa at the priest. Some of the church’s recent actions are like a return to the Inquisition.

“This isn’t the time for heresy hunting. Fr Fagan’s writings were clear, well written and interesting. He wants to start a conversation about the church’s views on sexuality.

“I believe that the silencing of priests by the Vatican is out of a desire for control rather than because of sincerely held belief or intelligent argument.”

The Irish Bishops have refused to comment to the Irish Independent on the story.
 
http://www.independent.ie/national-news/priests-group-rallies-behind-cleric-silenced-by-hierarchy-3081567.html
 http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Second-Irish-priest-silenced-by-Church-as-anger-grows-over-gagging-attempts-147729715.html#ixzz1sKjcNKp1

A Redemptorist writes from Brazil to support Tony

IRELAND
The Association of Catholic Priests

Tony, It can hardly be true that they´re building a hermitage for you in Esker! I just wanted to offer prayerful support at this difficult time for you and Gerry and the ACP. I´m sure the many fine tributes pouring in from people you´ve deeply touched in your priestly ministry is very heartening. I feel privileged to be part of that immense group of people who have contributed their opinions on this site over the past while. The richness, profundity, and diversity of opinions expressed, surely shows how important and beneficial it is to be promoting a process of dialogue on all the burning issues of the day for our church and society. I get a feeling that there is something bigger than all of us going on here. What a pity to see fear taking over and trying to artificially hinder this effort.


Sean Fagan — a friend speaks out

IRELAND
The Association of Catholic Priests

Among the comments on the posting ‘A Tuam priest reacts to the treatment of Tony Flannery’, Joan Molloy writes that she is deeply troubled by the Vatican threat to Fr. Sean Fagan, and wonders if it can possibly be true? Yes Joan, sadly it is true. The silencing of Sean, after a lifetime of service to the Church, was even more painful because if any word of this action demanded by the CDF got into the media, he would be immediately be prohibited from exercising his priestly faculties.

Sean, whom I am privileged to call my friend, loves our Catholic Church. In his own words: “I am passionately in love with the Church which brings me so much of the endless compassion of Christ; the kind strong gentleness of Mary the Mother of Jesus; the consolation of God himself to help us through the many dark nights of the soul.” ‘Does Morality Change? (2003; 230-231).


Support for priest on Vatican censure

IRELAND
The Irish Times
PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

THE MARIST priest and theologian Fr Seán Fagan has been advised by Rome that if any word of their latest action against him reached the media he would be stripped of his priesthood.

According to Mary Cunningham, a friend of Fr Fagan’s, “the silencing of Seán, after a lifetime of service to the church, was even more painful because if any word of this action demanded by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith got into the media, he would immediately be prohibited from exercising his priestly faculties.”

Writing on the Association of Catholic Priests website, and confirmed to The Irish Times last night, Ms Cunningham continued: “Seán, whom I am privileged to call my friend, loves our Catholic Church.”
Fr Brendan Hoban of the priest’s association, described the Vatican’s treatment of Fr Fagan as “very disturbing” and “so extreme it highlights the inadequacy of the approach of closing down debate”.




Radical Disobedience: Why Roman Catholics Won't Heed the Pontiff's Call for Radical Obedience

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post
Michelle Somerville

"God's Rottweiler" seized an opportunity during Holy Week to growl, whimper and call upon Roman Catholic dissidents to choose "radical obedience" to the Magisterium over fidelity to such causes as women's ordination, compulsory celibacy for priests and divorce. Two years ago Joseph Ratzinger declared the discussion of women's ordination over. Is the pontiff changing his tune? According to the The New York Times the group at whom Ratzinger's snapping is aimed is an Austrian group called Preachers' Initiative.

The initiative was started in 2006 by the Rev. Helmut Schüller, the former director of a Catholic aid agency, Caritas Austria, to combat a shortage of priests. Since then, more than 400 Austrian priests have endorsed him, according to news media reports, as well as priests in the United States and across Europe.

The Vatican fears that the initiative could cause a schism in the church. Father Schüller has called the Vatican an "absolutist monarchy" and said that the church's resistance to change might lead to rupture anyway.

Does Ratzinger really fear a schism? It is hard to know. An old man fighting a losing battle, Don Quixote-style, Ratzinger may be too out of touch to genuinely fear a schism. Even so, he must be quaking even if just a little in those scarlet shoes because when it comes to selling "radical obedience" (to the Magisterium) to most Roman Catholics, Ratzinger hasn't a prayer! "Radical disobedience" is fast becoming the norm in the church Ratzinger is said to lead. Whole religious orders and individual priests are thumbing their noses at this pontificate in increasing numbers.

             

April 15, 2012-04-15

Priest says Vatican control of Irish Catholic Church is crushing

IRELAND
Irish Central

By
IrishCentral Contributer

Published Sunday, April 15, 2012
The following was supplied by an Irish Catholic priest known to the Irish Central editors who did not want his name used for fear of retribution
Fr Tony Flannery, a founder member of the Association of Catholic Priests, has been "invited" by Rome to take some time out to consider his position.
He has been one of those who have been calling for reform in the Catholic Church in such areas as the role of women, ecumenism etc. It is not possible to speak about "reform" in the Church , be it in Ireland or elsewhere, without bearing in mind the ever present elephant in the room, namely the roman Curia and the Papacy.
The need for reform here has been and remains paramount. No question in contemporary Catholicism, however, is proving more intractable and more acutely sensitive.
Roman control of the Church is now more centralised and rigid than ever before. It would seem that they now demand total conformity with papal ideas and ideals in all things and not merely in those which are essential to the unity of the Catholic and Christian faith. Those who hold this position seek to derive their theological, political, and even cultural ideals from the Pope and Curia of their time.

Colum Kenny: Christ himself preached that the truth will set us free

IRELAND
Sunday Independent

Sunday April 15 2012
A SURVEY released last week shows that the majority of Irish Catholics find teachings of the Catholic Church on some matters, such as sex and women priests, irrelevant or wrong.
Yet the Vatican has taken action to silence a couple of Irish priests who expressed opinions that are shared in Ireland among lay Catholics. One of them, Fr Tony Flannery, is a founder of the Association of Catholic Priests, which commissioned the revealing survey.
Rome's clampdown is a reminder of the bad old days of hysterical Irish censorship, when the self-appointed guardians of public morality scoured bookshops and libraries with coloured pencils. They underlined bits of books that they wanted banned and removed from shelves, then sent those books to censors.
Last week Fr Adrian Egan, head of the Irish Redemptorists, expressed concern that there were "people sitting in churches on a daily basis that are almost listening to hear you express an opinion that might be seen as dissenting and they will report you".

April 13

Association seeking more dialogue in church 'not dissenting priests'

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY
THE ONLY one of the four-member leadership team of the Association of Catholic Priests absent from yesterday’s press conference was Fr Tony Flannery. He has been advised by Rome to go to a monastery where he might “pray and reflect” on his liberal views and his role with the association.
None of his three colleagues has been spoken to by a superior or advised go to a monastery because of their liberal views or their role with the association. This was confirmed yesterday by Columban priest Fr Seán McDonagh; Fr Brendan Hoban, parish priest at Ballina Co Mayo; and Fr PJ Madden who serves in Graigcullen, Co Carlow.
Members of the association were “not dissenting priests”, Fr Hoban said. “We are reflecting what we have been hearing in parishes for years . . . we have to give voice to the people. The idea of handing down is not going to work. Laity are now far more educated than ever before and have to be given a voice.”

‘We will be an endangered species’

IRELAND
The Cork News

Priests will be as “rare as hens' teeth” in 30 years if a number of issues are not addressed, according to a Youghal chaplain.

Fr Joseph McGuane was speaking following a new survey that shows the majority of Irish Catholics believe priests should be allowed to marry and female priests should be introduced. The survey commissioned by the Association of Catholic Priests revealed that 87% of Catholics believe priests should marry and 77% thought that women should be allowed to be ordained into the priesthood.

Additional information showed that 72% felt mature men should be allowed to be ordained and 60% thought that clustering of parishes might overcome the priest shortage.

Fr McGuane told the Cork News that he was “not surprised” by the findings, agreeing that it was the public view that equality should exist within the Church. He added that he could foresee changes happening “eventually” in the coming years, albeit only after major restructuring occurred. “In 1960, there were 80 ordinations in Maynooth, while in 1970, there were 38. In 2007, there were only four,” he said. “I’m 66 now, and was ordained in 1970. This shortage of priests has been an issue since then. If it’s to continue on this path, priests will be as rare as hens' teeth and I’d say we will be an endangered species."

Orthodoxy challenged - Rome facing a turbulent congregation

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Friday, April 13, 2012

In recent days, we have again seen how an authoritarian Vatican responds to those who question the assertions it regards as absolute truths.

We have seen how it neutralises those who belive that institutions, even the Catholic Church, must evolve if they are to remain relevant in a quickly changing world.

Redemptorist Fr Tony Flannery has been silenced and censured for expressing views at variance with those endorsed as orthodox by Rome’s ruling executive.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — charged with policing Catholic teaching and doctrine as well censuring theological challenge — has intervened to stop Fr Flannery writing on various subjects — contraception, priests’ vow of celibacy and the ordination of women to the priesthood. It has also suggested that he quit the Association of Catholic Priests which he helped establish in 2009 to represent priests and promote Vatican II reforms.

April 12, 2012 Update news articles

Priests 'treated like imbeciles'

IRELAND
Kerryman

Thursday April 12 2012

Catholic priests in Ireland were treated like imbeciles during a Vatican probe into the clerical child abuse crisis that rocked the country, it has been claimed.
Father Sean McDonagh criticised the investigation and maintained processes used by Rome when examining complaints about clergy were appalling.
The Columban Father, a founding member of the liberal Association of Catholic Priests (ACP), described the publishing of a seven-page summary of a report from the unprecedented Vatican probe - known as an apostolic visitation - as incompetent.
Four senior churchmen, cardinals and archbishops from England, America and Canada were sent by Pope Benedict to examine child protection measures in archdiocese, seminaries and religious institutes across Ireland in response to the catalogue of abuse outlined in the shocking Murphy and Ryan reports.

Priests defend rebel silenced by Vatican

IRELAND
Herald

By Michael Lavery
Thursday April 12 2012
IRISH clerics have rallied around a priest advised by the Vatican to take six weeks to "reflect" on his open-minded beliefs.
The Vatican's attitude to Fr Tony Flannery is causing conflict between priests here and the Church hierarchy.

Well-known Dublin priest Fr Peter McVerry said he was "saddened but not surprised" by the Church's actions in ending Fr Flannery's monthly column for the Redemptorist magazine Reality. Senior clergy in Rome are understood to be annoyed by Galway priest's views on contraception, celibacy and women's ordination.

And today a senior Irish priest hit out at the "diktat culture of obedience to authority", accusing the Pope and his advisers of attempting to row back on Catholic Church reforms initiated in the 1960s by Vatican II.

Fr Tony Flannery’s silencing by Vatican causes new damage to Catholic Church

IRELAND
Irish Central

By
Irish Voice Editorial

Published Thursday, April 12, 2012
The silencing of an Irish priest, Father Kevin Flannery, by the Vatican because of his liberal views has once again damaged the church in Ireland and worldwide.
The fact that the Association of Irish Priests, 800 strong, has come out in opposition to the Vatican move underlines once again how ordinary priests are becoming increasingly angry at the heavy hand that rules from the Holy See.
Flannery made plain his opposition to how the church handled the child sexual abuse issue, stated he was in favor of women priests and offered other liberal opinions.
He was silenced by the church, whose rapid actions on this issue contrast sharply with the foot dragging everywhere over the horrific abuse scandals which continue to bedevil the church.

Galway priest ‘silenced’

IRELAND
Galway Independent

Posted on 11/04/2012
by Marie Madden
@galwayindo

A group representing over 800 Irish priests has spoken out in support of Galway native Fr Tony Flannery, after he was ‘silenced’ by the Vatican as a result of his liberal views.

Fr Flannery, who is based in the Redemptorist Church Esker, had his regular column in religious magazine ‘Reality’ withdrawn recently after intervention from the Vatican.

It is understood that the move was taken as a result of Fr Flannery’s previous discussions on the ending of celibacy, opening up the Church to lay people and women and other frustrations he had experienced within the Catholic Church. Further action was also taken against a second priest, Fr Gerard Moloney, banning him from writing on various topics.

Vatican upbraided Irish priest for reformist views: Report

VATICAN CITY
Straits Times (Singapore)

VATICAN CITY (AFP) - An Irish priest was summoned to Rome and asked to retire to a monastery in March after he voiced views in favour of liberal reforms for the Catholic Church, a website reported on Wednesday.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the main guardian of the Church's dogma, did not reportedly take kindly to Father Tony Flannery's pronouncements on contraception, the marriage of priests and women's ordination.
The Vatican Insider website, citing informed sources, said the 65-year-old priest, one of the founders of the Association of Irish Priests, was called back to Rome by the superior general of his Redemptorist order, Father Michael Brehl.

Priests' body 'disturbed' about Vatican censure of Flannery

IRELAND
The Irish Times

The Association of Catholic Priests, which claims to represent more than 800 clergy, has strongly defended Fr Tony Flannery, recently silenced by the Vatican. It described the move as “extremely ill-advised”.
Fr Flannery, a member of the association’s leadership team, has had his monthly column with Redemptorist magazine Reality discontinued at Vatican direction, while Fr Gerard Moloney, the magazine’s editor, can no longer write on certain issues.

Vatican gag order under fire from 800 priests

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Colm Kelpie
Tuesday April 10 2012
A GROUP representing more than 800 priests has branded the silencing of a Redemptorist cleric over his liberal views as unfair.
The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) said the intervention by the Vatican against Fr Tony Flannery was ill-advised and said it could exacerbate the perceived "disconnect" between the Irish church and Rome.
Fr Flannery, a founding member of the association established less than two years ago, has had his column with the religious magazine 'Reality' discontinued after the Vatican stepped in. In its statement, the ACP said it was "disturbed" Fr Flannery was "being silenced".
"We affirm in the strongest possible terms our . . . solidarity with Fr Flannery and wish to make clear our view that this intervention is unfair, unwarranted and unwise."

Priests ‘disturbed’ by Vatican silencing

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Stephen Rogers

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Association of Catholic Priests has accused the Vatican of trying to silence its founding member Fr Tony Flannery and warned the move will exacerbate the perceived "disconnect" between the Irish Church and Rome.

In a statement, three other leaders of the 800-strong association, Fr Brendan Hoban, Fr Sean McDonagh, and Fr PJ Madden, said they were disturbed by the fact that Fr Flannery was being silenced.
It emerged last weekthat the priest’s monthly column with Reality, the Redemptorists’ monthly magazine, had been discontinued on the orders of the Vatican.
The magazine’s editor, Fr Gerard Moloney, is also banned from writing on certain, controversial issues.

Vatican sent no diktat on “rebel” parish priests, Schönborn ‘s spokesman says

According to Cardinal Schönborn’s spokesman, the Vatican did not ask for measures to be taken against dissident Austrian priests. Stangl says theological reflection is needed
Alessandro Speciale
Vatican City

Austrian bishops received no diktat from the Vatican ordering them to intervene against priests who form part of the Pfarrer Initiative. Confirmation of this was given to Vatican Insider by Michael Prüller, spokesman to the Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn.
Reports about the “explosive” letter which asked for “something to be done” against Austrian parish priests who launched an “Appeal to Disobedience” which Pope Benedict XVI openly discussed in his Holy Thursday homily, appeared on Austrian Catholic website Kath.net on Holy Saturday.
According to Prüller, the letter sent in recent weeks by the Holy See mentioned nothing new about the meeting held with Austrian bishops in the Vatican, last January, on the question of “rebel” priests - which Vatican Insider reported on at the time.

Silenced priest told to reflect on situation

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY and PADDY AGNEW
REDEMPTORIST PRIEST Fr Tony Flannery, who was silenced by the Vatican because of his views on contraception, celibacy and women’s ordination, has been advised by Rome to go to a monastery for a period where he would “pray and reflect” on his situation.
Then, it was hoped, he would return “to think with the church” (sentire com ecclesia), according to the Rome-based website Vatican Insider.
Senior Vaticanologist Gerry O’Connell reported that Fr Flannery was summoned to Rome in mid-March for a meeting with Fr Michael Brehl, the Canadian Superior General of the Redemptorists.
Fr Brehl himself had been summoned to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) by the prefect, US Cardinal William Levada, who expressed his concern about the “orthodoxy” of views expressed by Fr Flannery in articles in the Redemptorist magazine Reality.

Is Ireland still catholic?

IRELAND
Vatican Insider

[the survey - The Association of Catholic Priests]
A major survey of the views of Irish Catholics reveals a strong divergence from Roman Catholic teaching on such issues as sexual morality, celibacy, women’s ordination, and homosexuality
Gerard O'Connell
Is Ireland still Catholic? That question is being asked following the publication in Dublin, April 12, of a major survey of the views of contemporary Irish Catholics.
The survey reveals that a majority hold views on sexual morality, celibacy, the ordination of women, homosexuality and several other issues that are in contrast with current Catholic Church teaching.
In response to the shortage of priests, 87% of Irish Catholics say priests should be allowed to marry, 77% support women’s ordination, 72% favor the ordination of mature married men. Even more significantly, 75% say the Catholic Church’s teaching on sexuality is not relevant to their own lives or to their families. The 25% that find such teachings relevant are frequent church -goers or people over 55.

'Catholic Spring' uprising prediction for Ireland over dissenting priest Father Flannery

IRELAND
Irish Central

By
JAMES O'SHEA,
IrishCentral Staff Writer

Published Thursday, April 12, 2012
Several leading priests in Ireland are predicting a “Catholic Spring” as dissent against the Vatican decision to ban Father Tony Flannery grows.
The Daily Beast website has reported that leading priests now believe that the Vatican has gone too far in silencing Father Flannery who has been sent to a monastery to reflect on his actions.The Association of Catholic Priests which has 800 members has already come out strongly against the silencing.
Another leading priest Father Sean MacDonagh a founder of the ACP has now strongly criticised the Vatican move.
"It is a bit like Walmart, where you have the CEO in Rome and his people there decide on policy and then insist that the bishops, as branch managers, implement that policy,” he told the Irish Examiner.

Fellow priests support Galway Redemptorist silenced over stance on sex abuse scandal

IRELAND
The Connacht Tribune

April 12, 2012
by Bernie Ní Fhlatharta
Fellow members of the Association of Catholic Priests have voiced their solidarity with the Galway priest who has been silenced by the Vatican over his backing for the Taoiseach’s condemnation of the Church’s response to clerical sex abuse in Ireland.

Fr Tony Flannery, who is based in the Redemptorist Monastery in Esker, was silenced following his public support of Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s attack on rhe Vatican’s handling child sex abuse allegations. An Taoiseach, speaking in the Dáil earlier this year, called on the Catholic Church to apologise.

Fr Flannery who was also one of the founders of the Association of Catholic Priests, visited Rome two months ago to argue his case after he was censured by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, which ordered that he stop writing in the Redemptorist Order’s own magazine, Reality or on the Association’s website.

Vatican Silences Outspoken Irish Priest

IRELAND
Newser

By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2012
(Newser) – A popular Irish priest known for his liberal views has been told to shut up by church authorities, reports the Daily Beast. Father Tony Flannery, who has questioned the doctrine of celibacy, and said the priesthood should be opened up to women, has been told to stop writing about controversial subjects, and to spend the next six weeks in prayer and reflection at a monastery. His monthly column in a Catholic magazine has been axed on orders from the
April 11, 2012

Vatican Silences Father Flannery

IRELAND
The Daily Best

Barbie Latza Nadeau
The Vatican has cracked down on a popular and outspoken Irish Catholic priest. Barbie Latza Nadeau reports on the Catholic Spring
The Vatican has been watching Father Tony Flannery for a long time. The popular Irish Catholic priest has candidly voiced his liberal – and critical - views on the Church, becoming a beacon of reason to his many of his loyal readers.
He questioned celibacy and was an advocate of ordaining women into the priesthood, frequently writing about how women priests could help the church bring more Catholics to mass. To many, Flannery channeled the pop vox of today’s Catholics who wanted to keep the faith, but couldn’t easily navigate the Church’s tough stance on issues like contraception and divorce.
But to his critics, his writing bordered on heresy.
The Vatican clearly had enough of Flannery and last week silenced the 65-year-old priest. Just days before Easter, Flannery, a prolific and long-time columnist for the Redemptorist Order’s monthly magazine “Reality”, was told he can no longer write on any of the church doctrine issues.

Priest group brands Vatican silencing of Athenry cleric as ‘unfair

IRELAND
Galway Advertiser

By Martina Nee
The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) has expressed its support of Fr Tony Flannery, branding the intervention of the Vatican to effectively silence the Athenry-based Redemptorist cleric as “ill-advised” and “unfair”.
The group, which represents more than 800 priests, issued its statement of solidarity this week following events which saw Fr Flannery, a founding member of the association established less than two years ago, placed under investigation by the Vatican following his outspoken views on issues such as the ending of celibacy, opening up the Church to lay people, the ordination of women, the Church’s ban on contraception, as well as his frustration with the way the Church hierarchy operates. The Vatican has also ordered the discontinuation of Fr Flannery’s column in the religious magazine Reality, a column which he has written for the past 14 years. It is understood that a second priest, Fr Gerard Maloney, the magazine’s editor has also been banned from writing on various topics.
Pope Benedict, in the Holy Thursday homily at St Peter’s Basilica, denounced disobedience warning that the Church will not tolerate priests speaking out against Catholic teaching and chastised any priests who sought the ordination of women or the abolition of priest celibacy.

Disciplining dissent

IRELAND
The Irish Times

HAMLET ORDERED Ophelia to “Get thee to a nunn’ry” to avoid the temptations of a sinful world. The Vatican has suggested that Fr Tony Flannery take himself to a monastery for six weeks to pray and to reflect on his liberal views. Fr Flannery, a Redemptorist priest, has upset the Vatican authorities. They have questioned the “orthodoxy” of some of his theological opinions. They have also censured and – for now – silenced him.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) – which upholds the teaching and doctrine of the Catholic Church and disciplines theological dissenters – has stopped Fr Flannery writing further articles on a number of issues: contraception, celibacy of priests, and the ordination of women priests. And the CDF has asked him to withdraw from the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP), of which he is a founding member. The organisation was set up in 2010 to provide Irish priests with a forum for debate and to give them an independent voice. Today about one in five priests are members.
The harsh disciplinary measures taken against Fr Flannery have come shortly after publication of the summary findings of the Vatican’s apostolic visitation to Ireland. Pope Benedict sent the group to examine the condition of the Irish church in the wake of the clerical child sex abuse scandal. In its report, the delegation of senior bishops was critical of what it described as a “fairly widespread” tendency among priests, religious, and laity to hold theological opinions “at variance” with the teachings of the church. This criticism of some Irish clergy may well have informed the CDF’s decision in Fr Flannery’s case. Last week, Pope Benedict once again warned that he will not tolerate priests who disobey the essential teachings of the church.

Galway priest ‘silenced’

IRELAND
Galway Independent

Posted on 11/04/2012
by Marie Madden
@galwayindo

A group representing over 800 Irish priests has spoken out in support of Galway native Fr Tony Flannery, after he was ‘silenced’ by the Vatican as a result of his liberal views.

Fr Flannery, who is based in the Redemptorist Church Esker, had his regular column in religious magazine ‘Reality’ withdrawn recently after intervention from the Vatican.

It is understood that the move was taken as a result of Fr Flannery’s previous discussions on the ending of celibacy, opening up the Church to lay people and women and other frustrations he had experienced within the Catholic Church. Further action was also taken against a second priest, Fr Gerard Moloney, banning him from writing on various topics.

Priests in plummet as crisis looms

IRELAND
Kilkenny People

Published on Wednesday 11 April 2012
WITHIN ten years, a significant number of existing Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Ossory, will be without a full-time priest. Not so long ago, the diocese boasted 140 clerics and that number is now down to 65 and will shrink further with a number of senior clerics expected to step down in the next two years.
The lack of vocations is already beginning to bite with less Masses, especially in rural areas with only one person in the last seven years opting for life in the clergy
And the failure of the Vatican to appoint a new Bishop in the adjacent Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin has fuelled speculation that the current Bishop of Ossory, Dr Seamus Freeman will be asked to take over the diocese that includes Paulstown, Graignamanagh, all of Co Carlow, Co. Kildare and parts of Co. Offaly.

Davenport column: Church change is illusive

UNITED STATES
Jackson Sun

By Gene Davenport

In June of last year a group of approximately 300 Austrian priests published “Appeal to Disobedience,” a document in which they pledged to pray and work for several major reforms in the church. The number of signers now has been expanded by priests from other parts of the world.

The document was primarily the work of Father Helmut Schuller, at the time a chief aid to one of the Austrian bishops and one of the best known priests in Austria. Noting the serious decrease in the number of men entering the priesthood, the document set forth the signers’ pledges 1) to pray, at every ceremony, for church reform; 2) not to deny Holy Communion to “believers of good will” — even to non-Catholic Christians and to Catholics who have remarried outside the church; 3) to avoid offering Mass more than once on Sundays and holy days (primarily to avoid offering it at more than one church), but at churches not having a priest to have a “priestless Eucharistic celebration”; 4) to ignore the rule that only ordained clergy can deliver a homily (or a sermon); 5) to oppose the merger of parishes as a means of solving the shortage of priests, but to insist on parishes having their own leaders, whether male or female; and 6) “to use every opportunity to speak out openly” in favor of the admission of married men and of women to the priesthood.
In an interview with a Catholic magazine Schuller said that he had at one time hoped for changes in the Church in line with the work of Vatican Council II, but that now he fears the Church is in the hands of leaders who want it to “go backwards ... and (be) a fortress against the world.”

Concern at Vatican 'silencing' of Irish priest

IRELAND
BBC News

By Shane Harrison
BBC NI Dublin correspondent

The body that represents priests in Ireland has said it is disturbed over the Vatican's silencing of one of its members for his liberal views.
The leaders of the 800-strong Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) have warned that forcing Father Tony Flannery, who is based in Athenry in County Galway, to stop writing for a Redemptorist Order magazine would fuel belief of a disconnect between Irish Catholics and Rome.
"We believe that such an approach, in its individual focus on Fr Flannery and inevitably by implication on the members of the association, is an extremely ill-advised intervention in the present pastoral context in Ireland," the group said.
Fr Flannery, who has written on religious matters in the Redemptorist magazine for 14 years, is under investigation by the Vatican over his views, including an opposition to clerical celibacy.

Associations of Irish priests “disturbed” by silencing of one of its founders

ROME/IRELAND
Vatican Insider

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has concerns about the writings of the well-known Irish priest, Fr Tony Flannery, on a number of sensitive issues.
Gerard O'Connell
Rome

The Association of Irish Priests (ACP) – which represents about a third of all the priests in Ireland – says it is “disturbed” at the silencing of Father Tony Flannery, one of its founder members. The ACP issued a press statement on the afternoon of Easter Monday, April 9, expressing its “extreme unease and disquiet” at this development. Its statement came after various Irish media, including The Irish Catholic (April 5) and The Irish Times (April 9), had already reported that the Vatican had imposed the silencing. While the ACP statement gave few details of what had actually happened, Vatican Insider has learned from informed sources that in mid-March Fr. Flannery, 65, a member of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, popularly known as “The Redemptorists”, was summoned to Rome for a meeting with his Superior General, Father Michael Brehl.
This happened about a week before the Vatican released the Summary Report of the Findings of the Visitation to the Irish Church ordered by Pope Benedict XVI following the sexual abuse of minors by priests’ scandal.
In Rome, Fr. Flannery learned that Fr.Brehl, his Canadian Superior General, had earlier been summoned to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), where, according to sources, its prefect, Cardinal William Levada, had informed him that the CDF had concerns about the “orthodoxy” of certain views expressed by Fr.Flannery in articles that he had written for the magazine “Reality”. The monthly magazine is published by the Irish Redemptorists, and has a circulation of around 6,500.

Contemporary Catholic Perspectives

IRELAND
The Association of Catholic Priests

This research was commissioned by The Association of Catholic Priests to gain an understanding of Catholic’s views on contemporary Catholicism.
You can download the report here

Cleric objects to Vatican’s ‘diktat culture’

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Dan Buckley
Thursday, April 12, 2012

A senior Irish cleric has launched a broadside at Pope Benedict XVI and his senior advisers, accusing them of attempting to row back on Catholic Church reforms initiated in the 1960s by Vatican II.

He said the Pope and his governing body, the Curia, was far too insistent on demanding unswerving obedience to the Holy See while stifling dialogue among the laity and the ministry.
"It is a bit like Walmart, where you have the CEO in Rome and his people there decide on policy and then insist that the bishops, as branch managers, implement that policy," said Fr Sean McDonagh, a founder of the 800-strong Association of Catholic Priests, which was set up two years ago to give a voice to priests within the Irish Church.
"If Rome says ‘jump’ are we simply expected to say, ‘how high?’ Operating like a multinational where the number one requirement is obedience is at total variance with the Church of Jesus," said Fr McDonagh.
April 9, 2012
IRELAND
The Irish Times
KEVIN HEGARTY
RITE AND REASON: Liberal Catholics have arrived at their views of church teaching on contraception, married and women priests, and homosexuality as a result of honest and honourable reflection
THE PAINTER Tony O’Malley had a custom of creating an artwork every Good Friday. When news broke during Holy Week of the Vatican censure of Fr Tony Flannery and the Redemptorist magazine Reality, I wished I could paint a picture to express my sadness.
Pope Benedict’s address at a Holy Thursday Mass in Rome copperfastened my gloom. Responding to a call to disobedience by Austrian priests and laity on celibacy and women priests he asserted that they had challenged “definite decisions of the church’s magisterium”.
Church leaders often talk of the right of free speech, most recently the Pope himself on his visit to Cuba. The recent Vatican moves are designed to create a climate of fear among liberal clerics. To echo a comment some years ago of the English writer AN Wilson, the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith has “ways of making you not talk”.

Powerful Association of Irish Priests warns Vatican over “heresy hunting”

IRELAND
Irish Central

By
ANTOINETTE KELLY,
IrishCentral Staff Writer

Published Tuesday, April 10, 2012
In a remarkable development, the 800-strong Association of Irish Priests told the Vatican they were deeply disturbed over the recent decision by the Holy See to silence one its members for his liberal views.
The Irish group said in a statement: 'At this critical juncture in our history, the ACP believes that this form of intervention - what Archbishop Diarmuid Martin recently called 'heresy-hunting' - is of no service to the Irish Catholic Church and may have the unintended effect of exacerbating a growing perception of a significant 'disconnect' between the Irish Church and Rome.'
Alongside his well known opposition to the Church's ban on contraception and women priests, Father Flannery has also backed Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny's unprecedented criticism of the Catholic hierarchy in the aftermath of the Cloyne Report, an investigation into the mishandling by Church authorities of allegations of child sexual abuse, released last year.
Forcing Father Tony Flannery to stop writing for a Redemptorist magazine will only fuel the Irish public's belief in a growing disconnect between Irish Catholics and Rome, the group told the Irish Examiner.

Tony Butler laments the “silencing” of Tony Flannery

IRELAND
The Association of Catholic Priests

Years ago Nikita Khruschev was lamenting the past errors and the decisions made by his predecessors. “You were part of the regime, why did not not speak then?” a voice called out from the crowded Douma. “Who said that?” shouted Khruschev…….. silence…. a long silence followed. “And thats exactly why i didn’t speak out” said Khruschev.

The word “scary” has been mentioned as a reaction to the “silencing ” of Tony. That’s exactly my reaction. I have lived with fears daily for years. Suffering an illness that brings fear and anxiety every day on awakening, every day – for hours, I am not not a brave person, I know fear in my daily life, daily for over 40 years. Call it ” free floating anxiety” or whatever, it is my unwanted companion, an interrupted message system from one messenger to another in my brain. I live with that but little did I think that the greatest real fear would come from The Church.

The message that has been sent by authorities in the Church into which both Tony and myself are baptised members is frightening, alarming and unnerving. I stand by Tony as my brother in baptism, I stand by him in our sharing in ordination. I stand by the courageous stance that “Reality” has over the years in asking questions, seeking truth and Gospel values with the charism of Ligouri reaching out to the world with the message of Jesus. I also respect those here who have written replies that do not agree with Tony. We can dialogue on these things.

ACP expresses solidarity with Fr Tony Flannery

IRELAND
The Association of Catholic Priests

The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) is disturbed that Fr Tony Flannery, a founding member of the Association, is being ‘silenced’. We believe that such an approach, in its individual focus on Fr Flannery and inevitably by implication on the members of the Association, is an extremely ill-advised intervention in the present pastoral context in Ireland.

We affirm in the strongest possible terms our confidence in and solidarity with Fr Flannery and we wish to make clear our profound view that this intervention is unfair, unwarranted and unwise. The issues surfaced by the ACP since its foundation less than two years ago and by Tony Flannery as part of the leadership team are not an attack on or a rejection of the fundamental teachings of the Church. Rather they are an important reflection by an association of over 800 Irish priests – who have given long service to the Catholic Church in Ireland – on issues surfacing in parishes all over the country.

While some reactionary fringe groups have contrived to portray our association as a small coterie of radical priests with a radical agenda, we have protested vehemently against that unfair depiction. We are and we wish to remain at the very heart of the Church, committed to putting into place the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.

Vatican upbraided Irish priest for reformist views: Report

VATICAN CITY
Straits Times (Singapore)

VATICAN CITY (AFP) - An Irish priest was summoned to Rome and asked to retire to a monastery in March after he voiced views in favour of liberal reforms for the Catholic Church, a website reported on Wednesday.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the main guardian of the Church's dogma, did not reportedly take kindly to Father Tony Flannery's pronouncements on contraception, the marriage of priests and women's ordination.
The Vatican Insider website, citing informed sources, said the 65-year-old priest, one of the founders of the Association of Irish Priests, was called back to Rome by the superior general of his Redemptorist order, Father Michael Brehl.

Irish priests' association disturbed that Vatican investigates founder

IRELAND
U.S. Catholic

Monday, April 9, 2012
By Michael Kelly Catholic News Service
DUBLIN (CNS) -- The Irish Association of Catholic Priests said it is "disturbed" that the group's founder, Redemptorist Father Tony Flannery, is under investigation by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
In an April 9 statement, the priests' association -- which represents about 20 percent of Ireland's 4,000 priests -- affirmed "in the strongest possible terms our confidence in and solidarity with Father Flannery, and we wish to make clear our profound view that this intervention is unfair, unwarranted and unwise."
The statement said the group "is disturbed" that Father Flannery is being "silenced."
"We believe that such an approach, in its individual focus on Father Flannery and inevitably, by implication, on the members of the association, is an extremely ill-advised intervention in the present pastoral context in Ireland," the statement said.

We cannot lose heart, writes Seamus Ahearne

IRELAND
The Association of Catholic Priests

‘We are an Easter people and alleluia is our song.’ Augustine was and is right. We cannot lose heart. We cannot be dragged down by ‘protectionist policies’ in Rome. I feel sad about Tony Flannery. He has been a breath of fresh air in the Irish Church. The ACP has lifted the spirits of priests in Ireland and given them a space/forum to work together as Church people. This is then a difficult time and a wearying moment. That Summary report (from the Visitation) said very little but it probably said too much. And this may be an indicator of how it sees the way forward for the Renewal of the Church in Ireland. This method breaks the hearts of those of us who try so hard, to make sure the Word becomes Flesh daily in Ireland.

The action around Ton reminds me of an article written by Bernard Haring (many years ago). He wrote of how he was treated by the Nazis and wrote of how he was treated by the Vatican. He said that the treatment by the Vatican hurt him much more. It tore his heart apart to think of such people (his companions in faith) savaging his efforts to make sense of the living Gospel. That was a strong comment.

Anselm gave us that memorable phrase – ‘fides querens intellectum ‘ (faith seeking understanding) as the way of life for the thinking Christian; the struggling prophet; the active priest; the searching theologian. Was Tony condemned for this? But then – do we know the actual charge? Is it specific? Will it be made clear? That aspect too is serious.

Rome’s intervention is a sign of fear – Peter McVerry

IRELAND
The Association of Catholic Priests

I am saddened but not surprised that Tony Flannery has been silenced and Gerry Moloney and Reality Magazine reined in. The attempts by Rome to suppress any discussion about issues such as ordination of women and compulsory celibacy are surely a sign of fear. Jesus questioned the religious institution in which he had been brought up, its attitudes, laws and practices, and the understanding of God which those attitudes and practices revealed, a God whose passion was the observance of the Law. He revealed, instead, a God of compassion, who required different attitudes and practices. The God of compassion is incompatible with the God of the Law. He too incurred the wrath of the religious authorities of his time. Perhaps young people today are leaving the Church because they no longer find God there.

AN OPEN LETTER TO PROF. JOSEF RATZINGER, POPE BENEDICT XVI

AUSTRALIA
Catholica

Professor Leonard Swidler was a former teaching colleague with Pope Benedict at the University of Tübingen. Professor Swidler, like many people today who were excited and energized by the Second Vatican Council, has become increasingly disturbed in recent times by the endeavours to turn back the insights and reforms of that Council. Headlines over Easter generated by Pope Benedict have driven Dr Swidler to address this open letter to his former colleague.

Dear Joe,

Some years back when you were still the head of the Holy Office ("of the Sacred Inquisition" is, as you know, stilled chiseled in stone over its dark building immediately next to St. Peter’s square), I wrote you an open letter concerning the role of women in the Catholic Church. At that time I addressed you with a familiar "Dear Joe," relying on our relationship from the late 60s/early 70s when I was frequently a Visiting Professor at the Catholic Theology Faculty of the University of Tübingen, and you were Professor Ordinarius there. I did so in the thought that this form of address would tell you that I seriously hoped you might open your mind and heart to hear what I wanted to say to you. I have no way of knowing what success I may have had, if any, in that regard. However, relying on our former "collegiality," I am approaching you once again in this fraternal fashion.

I am disturbed that especially of late you have been giving signals that are in opposition to the words and spirit of Vatican Council II, during which you as a leading young theologian helped to move our beloved Catholic Church out of the Middle Ages into Modernity. Further, while a professor at our Alma Mater University of Tübingen, you, along with the rest of your colleagues of the Catholic Theology faculty, publicly advocated 1) the election of bishops by their constituents, and 2) limited term of office of bishops [see the book Democratic Bishops for the Roman Catholic Church, LINK].

Now you are publicly rebuking loyal Catholic priests for doing precisely what you earlier had so nobly advocated. [See NYT article at right.] They, and many, many others across the universal Catholic Church, are following your youthful example, trying desperately to move our beloved Mother Church further into Modernity. I deliberately use the word "desperately," for in your own homeland, Germany, and elsewhere in Europe, the churches are empty, and also are so many Catholic hearts when they hear the chilling words coming from Rome and the "radically obedient" (read: "yes-men") bishops. In my own homeland, America, the birthplace of modern freedom, human rights, and democracy, we have lost—in this generation alone!—one third of our Catholic population, 30,000,000, because the Vatican II promises of its five-fold Copernican Turn (the turn toward 1. freedom, 2. this world, 3. a sense of history, 4. internal reform, and above all, 5. dialogue) have all been so deliberately dashed by your predecessor, and now increasingly by you.

Why the Pope is right to gag Fr Trendy

IRELAND
Daily Mail (United Kingdom)

Mark Dooley
Two years ago, I appeared on a television programme entitled Faith in Crisis. I was joined on the panel by Fr Tony Flannery, a founding member of the self-styled Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland (ACP). Last week, the Vatican banned Fr Flannery from contributing to the Redemptorist Order’s Reality magazine.
Before appearing on Faith in Crisis, I had not met Fr Flannery. In fact, it wasn’t until he accused me of suggesting that he didn’t celebrate the Eucharist correctly, that I realised he was a Catholic priest. This was because he neither spoke nor dressed as someone who wished to be identified as a member of the clergy.
Like most of the other participants on that programme, Fr Flannery chanted from a radical hymn book. His message was one of dissent from Rome on issues ranging from clerical celibacy to women priests. As he spoke, I remember being surprised that the Vatican permitted such flagrant opposition to Church doctrine by one of its priests.

Fr Flannery may not be burned at the stake but the censure itself is frightening

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Terry Prone

Monday, April 09, 2012

COMPARE and contrast, if you will, the utterances of two Catholic priests.

Priest A, on one of the most popular national radio programmes, says he has reservations about celibacy and the Church’s ban on married priests. He goes on to suggest that homosexuality is intrinsic and indeed evident in an individual from the time they’re about three years old, ergo something, if expressed, that might not be sinful.

Priest B says much the same, except not on national radio, where he seldom appears. He says it in a small-circulation religious magazine. Priest B is currently under investigation for heresy by the Vatican. The Vatican doesn’t announce the terms of reference, process, or duration of its investigation, but those in the know say that if he is lucky, he will undergo six weeks of silent reflection and be allowed, thereafter, to resume writing and speaking, as long as he steers clear of contentious subjects such as celibacy or gays within the Church, or has his words scrutinised by a clerical censor before their publication is authorised by Rome. If he’s unlucky or obstinate, he could be in deep trouble.
So why is Priest A getting away with saying much the same things as Priest B, perhaps even more bluntly, to a multiple of priest B’s audience, while priest B’s statements are being parsed at the highest level, with dire consequences implicit in that parsing? Marian Finucane put a version of that question to Priest A on her Saturday programme. Simple. Age. Fr Colm Kilcoyne is 77 years and retired, so, he asks rhetorically of the Vatican: "What could they denude me of?"

Theologian claims there is 'ominous divide' in church

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent
AS CONTROVERSY over the silencing by the Vatican of Redemptorist priests Fr Tony Flannery and Fr Gerard Moloney grows, an Augustinian priest has written about “an ominous division” in the Catholic Church.
Theologian Fr Gabriel Daly has said “one party is now in control and is presenting its views as ‘the teaching of the church’.”
He continued: “Its more voluble members dismiss those who differ from it as ‘a la carte Catholics’ – a witless enough phrase in a legitimately diverse church.”
Fr Flannery, a founder of the Association of Catholic Priests, has had his monthly column with Reality, the Redemptorists’ monthly magazine, discontinued at Vatican direction, while Fr Moloney, the magazine’s editor, can no longer write on certain issues.

Obedience to law or to Scripture?

AUSTRIA
National Catholic Reporter

by Phyllis Zagano on Apr. 11, 2012 Just Catholic
Now it's Vienna's Cardinal Christoph Schönborn who's wading in hot water. Seems he and a group of Austrian priests and deacons got a full blast of papal steam on Holy Thursday.

The shrill Roman whistle sounded: No women or married men will be ordained.

Goodness, what's a 67-year-old prince of the church (and son of a count) to do? After all, Schönborn was a student of Joseph Ratzinger in Regensburg, Germany. He taught dogmatic theology at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. He was a member of the International Theological Commission. He oversaw the creation of the 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Now Schönborn's former professor, the pope, chastised the Austrians (not directly, of course) in the middle of Holy Thursday. Benedict also sent a letter to Schönborn. Do you think it might be about women?

Schönborn has tangled with Benedict before. In 2009, as the Austrian bishops were ending emergency meetings called by the pope, the cardinal handed Benedict XVI a petition. Called an "initiative of the faithful," it asked for married priests (both men to be ordained and those who left to marry) and for ordination of women as deacons. Since then, the Austrian Priest's Initiative, representing 15 percent of Austrian clergy, broadened the demands. And, by the way, 87,000 Austrian Catholics have formally resigned from the church.

Catholics ‘want married priests’

IRELAND
Gibralta Chronicle

The vast majority of Irish Catholics want women and married priests, liberal clergymen have found.

The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP), which has had one of its founding members silenced by the Vatican for his views, insists it has public support for Pope Benedict to open dialogue on the controversial bans.

The group of more than 800 priests in Ireland claimed they have a mandate from mass-goers to raise concerns after a survey revealed a disconnect between official church teachings and what ordinary Catholics believe.

Almost nine out of 10 Catholics questioned said priests should be allowed to marry, with 77% believing women should be ordained.

Church Resurrection?: Easter Sunday services held outside

CLEVELAND (OH)
WOIO

[with video]
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -
On this Easter Sunday the faithful everywhere celebrated the resurrection of Christ but for some local Catholics this holy day takes on a new meaning as they pray their closed churches will come alive again too.

Since before they could walk or talk Ray Kasperski and Ray Michalski have been parishioners at St. Casimir church in Cleveland.

"I went to school here," said Ray Kasperski.

"I was baptized, married and hopefully will be buried here," said Ray Michalski.

Despite a lifetime of membership for the second Easter in a row Ray and Ray are forced to worship outside their home church along with other lifelong parishioners. St. Casimir remains locked up -- even though the Vatican has ordered the church to be re-opened.

IRELAND
The Irish Times
PATSY McGARRY and PADDY AGNEW
REDEMPTORIST PRIEST Fr Tony Flannery, who was silenced by the Vatican because of his views on contraception, celibacy and women’s ordination, has been advised by Rome to go to a monastery for a period where he would “pray and reflect” on his situation.
Then, it was hoped, he would return “to think with the church” (sentire com ecclesia), according to the Rome-based website Vatican Insider.
Senior Vaticanologist Gerry O’Connell reported that Fr Flannery was summoned to Rome in mid-March for a meeting with Fr Michael Brehl, the Canadian Superior General of the Redemptorists.
Fr Brehl himself had been summoned to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) by the prefect, US Cardinal William Levada, who expressed his concern about the “orthodoxy” of views expressed by Fr Flannery in articles in the Redemptorist magazine Reality.

Irish Priest who supported Prime Minister’s Vatican criticism related to Fine Gael party strateg

IRELAND
Irish Central

By
DARA KELLY,
IrishCentral Staff Writer

Published Monday, April 9, 2012
An Irish priest who openly supported Irish Prime minister Enda Kenny’s critique of the Vatican over the sex abuse scandal in Ireland is related to a strategist in Kenny’s party, according to the Sunday Independent.

Fr. Tony Flannery, who is a brother of Fine Gael strategist Frank Flannery, was a big supporter of Kenny’s negative view of the Vatican’s handling of the sex abuse scandals that rocked Ireland.

"I was happy with the Taoiseach's statement . . . Many of us priests are frustrated with the way the Vatican conducts its business," said Flannery of Kenny’s message to Rome.

The priest was silenced by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, and he was forbidden from talking to the press, from writing in Redemptorist Order’s Reality magazine and from contributing to the Association of Irish Priests' website.



========

Church accused of using FBI-style tactics to watch and silence priests


By David Raleigh and Colm Kelpie
Saturday April 07 2012
Priests are being subjected to FBI-like attention from Catholic "agents" who want to silence anyone brave enough to voice their own opinions from the pulpit, a leading cleric claimed yesterday.
Fr Adrian Egan -- the head of the Redemptorist Order in Limerick -- criticised the Vatican and publicly backed Fr Tony Flannery, who is being investigated by Rome because of his liberal views.

Fr Flannery, an Athenry-based Redemptorist, who is the founder of the Association of Catholic Priests, has for the past 14 years written his opinions in the Redemptorist Order's 'Reality' magazine.

However, the Holy See has now intervened, and his monthly column has been discontinued.

In a brave show of public support for his "friend and colleague", Fr Egan said he was "hugely disappointed", "dismayed", "flabbergasted, shocked and amazed" at the move by the Vatican.

"I'm speaking on my own behalf and not for the Redemptorist order. I see nothing to be gained from silencing Tony. It doesn't sit well in today's culture and it doesn't benefit anyone. He (Tony) is articulating what he is hearing on the coal-face from ordinary people."

The move against Fr Flannery comes just weeks after the report of the Apostolic Visitation said there was a tendency among some priests in Ireland to hold theological opinions at variance with the church.
Fr Flannery declined to comment when contacted by the Irish Independent yesterday.
He said he wanted "time to reflect on this".

Fr Egan described the Vatican's actions as "a problem".

"The reality, too, is that, there are people sitting in churches on a daily basis that are almost listening to hear you express an opinion that might be seen as dissenting and they will report you.

"It's a little bit back like maybe in the Hoover days in America, where there are kind of agents all around the place that are willing to lift a phone, or write a letter, to a local bishop or the Vatican, and say, 'so and so did this', and it may be of the most minor thing, and yet, they can be taken seriously."

Drawing a parallel with the crucifixion of Jesus, Fr Egan said: "I want to be able to articulate what I feel and what I think about. We are now celebrating Holy Week this week and, in many ways, Jesus was a victim of those who wanted to silence him . . . They wanted rid of him.

"There is a sense of that here -- this is not how you deal with people who you disagree with," Fr Egan added.

Fr Egan said he personally shared many of Fr Flannery's views about having open public debates on sexuality, women priests and married clergy.

'Support'

"He certainly has my support and I'd be surprised if he doesn't have the support of the vast majority of his colleagues and of the congregation."

He said the Vatican's stance against Fr Flannery: "isn't just a challenge to Tony, really. It's a challenge to anyone who wants to preach the good news and to do it in a way that is true to the spirit of the Gospel."
Fr Flannery is a part of the Association of Catholic Priests, set up as a forum for priests to discuss issues in the church.

Clogher priest Fr Jimmy McPhilips said he was "saddened" that Fr Flannery was being "censored".

"I also admit to feeling shock, anger, and a little fear. As a member of the Association of Catholic Priests -- like the other 900 plus -- we are now open to censorship or being 'silenced'."
- David Raleigh and Colm Kelpie

Priest who backed Taoiseach on abuse related to top FG strategist
By JEROME REILLY
Sunday April 08 2012

THE Redemptorist priest who has been silenced by Rome for publicly backing Taoiseach Enda Kenny's broadside against the Vatican's handling of child sex abuse allegations is a brother of leading Fine Gael strategist Frank Flannery.

The censure of Fr Tony Flannery has provoked a storm of anger among fellow clergy and lay organisations.

Fr Flannery was censured by the powerful Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, which first contacted the Redemptorist Order in Rome with an order that he no longer be allowed to write in the Irish Order's influential magazine Reality or on the Association of Irish Priests' website, of which he is a founding member.

He is also banned from talking to the media.

Fr Flannery visited Rome to argue his case after the rebuke two months ago.

Yesterday, Fr Adrian Egan, who heads the order's Mount St Alphonsus monastery in Limerick, strongly defended Fr Flannery in an interview with the Sunday Independent.

Fr Flannery wrote for Reality at the time of Mr Kenny's unprecedented attack on the church, which culminated in the Government's closure of the Irish embassy in Rome.

Fr Flannery wrote in the aftermath of the Taoiseach's address: "I was happy with the Taoiseach's statement . . . Many of us priests are frustrated with the way the Vatican conducts its business."

Fr Egan said the punishment of Fr Flannery was due to "a combination of things".

"It's about his involvement in the Association of Irish Priests, the things he might have preached about, that many of us have preached about -- maybe the connection through his brother to Enda Kenny. I imagine that Tony had no part in that (speech)," Fr Egan said.

Fr Flannery joined the Redemptorist Order in 1964 with his two brothers Frank and Peter. Frank Flannery left before his studies were complete and later became and remains a senior figure in Fine Gael.
Hoover FBI tactics used against Irish priests by Vatican, claims superior
IRELAND
Irish Central
By
JANE WALSH,
IrishCentral.com Staff Writer
Published Saturday, April 7, 2012
Irish liberal priests are being subjected to FBI Edgar Hoover like tactics says Fr Adrian Egan, the head of the Redemptorist Order in Limerick.
His comments came after The Vatican stated they were investigating fellow Redemptorist Father Tony Flannery for his liberal views on issues such as female priests and his criticism of the church sex scandal.
In a defiant show of public support for his "friend and colleague", Fr Egan said he was "hugely disappointed", "dismayed", "flabbergasted, shocked and amazed" at the move by the Vatican.
"I'm speaking on my own behalf and not for the Redemptorist order. I see nothing to be gained from silencing Tony. It doesn't sit well in today's culture and it doesn't benefit anyone. He (Tony) is articulating what he is hearing on the coal-face from ordinary people."


Lay organisations criticise Vatican investigation

IRELAND
RTE News
Two Catholic lay organizations and a number of prominent priests have criticized the Vatican's investigation of the Redemptorist author, Fr Tony Flannery, for his liberal views.

Referring to Pope Benedict's recent visit to Cuba, a leading member of the Association of Catholic Priests said Pope Benedict XVI could not ask the Cuban leadership to permit freedom of expression if he does not respect it within the Church.

Sources say that the Vatican began investigating Father Tony Flannery two months ago. He has been prevented from contributing his monthly column to the "Reality" magazine. And his order, the Redemptorists, have been told to scrutinize both the Magazine and its editor, Fr Gerry Moloney's, output.

Cardinal William Levada's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has not explained its moves publicly, but for years Fr Flannery has opposed the Church's ban on artificial contraception and obligatory priestly celibacy.


Strong reaction to silencing of clerics

IRELAND
The Irish Times
PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent
THERE HAS been a strong reaction to Vatican efforts to silence two Redemptorist priests over their liberal views.
Fr Tony Flannery, a founder of the Association of Catholic Priests, has had his monthly column with Reality, the Redemptorists’ monthly magazine, discontinued at Vatican direction, while the magazine’s editor Fr Gerard Moloney can no longer write on certain issues. Both priests hold liberal views on contraception, celibacy and women priests.
Fr Kevin Hegarty, who was moved in 1994 to a Kilmore Erris parish on Mayo’s Atlantic coast by the Catholic bishops because of his liberal views, has described as “quite shocking” Vatican treatment of the two priests. When he heard the news first he thought it “some gauche April Fool’s joke”, he said yesterday.
He knows Fr Flannery as “very sincere, with a creative approach to ministry”, and “a loyal dissenter from official decisions” in Rome.

Silenced priest receives global support
IRELAND
Irish Examiner
By Claire O’Sullivan and Jimmy Woulfe
Saturday, April 07, 2012

The Irish priest muzzled by the Vatican for his liberal views has received overwhelming support from colleagues worldwide, with a senior member of the Irish Redemptorist order saying liberal priests are being subjected to FBI-like attention from ultra-orthodox "Catholic agents".
Fr Adrian Egan, who heads the order’s Mount St Alphonsus monastery in Limerick, went on radio in Limerick yesterday to deliver a stinging attack on the Vatican.
Speaking in a personal capacity and not on behalf of the Redemptorists, he described himself as "dismayed, disappointed, flabbergasted, amazed, and hugely disappointed at the action by the Vatican".
In a forceful interview, Fr Egan claimed priests were being subjected to FBI-like attention from Catholic agents who wanted to silence anyone brave enough to voice their opinions from the pulpit.

A Response from a member to the news about Tony Flannery

IRELAND
The Association of Catholic Priests
I arrived into the Parochial House after spending some time with Jesus in the Garden, It was Holy Thursday night. He didn’t know what He was facing. Maybe the ordeal of arrest, false accusation, condemnation, suffering, and death! For he had continued saying what the religious authorities did not want to hear. He had just given us the Eucharist, ordained Priesthood, His New Commandment ‘Love one another as I have loved you’, and His example of humble service. I picked up my iPad to read the Journal as I do at the end of each day, and there in-front of me was the headline, ‘Priest confirms that he is under Vatican investigation.’

I am saddened that Fr. Tony is now being censored. I also admit to feeling shock, anger, and a little fear. As a member of the ACP – like the other 900 plus – we too are now open to censorship or worse still being ‘silenced’.

While I may not always agree with what Fr. Tony says or believes, I still respect and defend his right to hold those views and express them. Is this not part of what it means to be Christian? Are we as a Catholic Church not mature enough to listen to other opinions? We may not be a democracy, but we are certainly not a totalitarian regime!

As a ‘Northerner’, I ask ‘can our Church not learn lessons from what has happened in this part of our homeland’? The terrible conflict was brought to an end through respecting other people’s opinions, other cultures, and other traditions. Resolution was through respectful dialogue.

Pope chides Catholics who query key beliefs

VATICAN CITY
The Irish Times
PADDY AGNEW in Rome

POPE BENEDICT XVI has begun the Catholic Church’s Easter celebrations in Rome with a sharp rebuke of those priests and laity who choose to question key tenets of church teaching.

In a homily during the traditional Maundy Thursday “Chrism” Mass in St Peter’s, the Pope issued a highly unusual rebuttal to those who question Church teaching on questions such as the ordination of women. “Recently a group of priests from a European country issued a summons to disobedience . . . even to the point of disregarding definite decisions of the church’s magisterium, such as the question of women’s ordination . . . But is disobedience really a way to do this? Do we sense here . . . a desperate push to do something to change the church in accordance with one’s own preferences and ideas?”

While the pope here seems to be making a clear reference to the “Pfarrer Initiative”, promoted by over 300 Austrian priests, his hardline rejection of the call for changes also fits in perfectly with reports yesterday that dissident Irish priest Tony Flannery is under investigation by the Holy See.

Furthermore, the pope’s words this week re-echo criticism of the Irish Catholic Church expressed last month in the Holy See’s summary of the recent Apostolic Visitation to Ireland: “ . . . the visitors also encountered a certain tendency, not dominant but nevertheless fairly widespread among priests, religious and laity, to hold theological opinions at variance with the teachings of the magisterium . . .”

Pope Chastises Rogue Priests

VATICAN CITY
NewsMax
By Edward Pentin
Pope Benedict’s firm chastisement of a group of dissenting priests during a Holy Week homily has been described by some commentators as a return of “God’s Rottweiler” — the image the Pope had when he was in charge of defending Church doctrine.
But although it is rare for the Pope to make such an explicit statement, his views on the matter are neither new nor surprising but rather consistent with his teaching as Pontiff.
During a liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica on Thursday, the Pope singled out a group of European priests who have issued a summons to disobedience. The summons included a call for an end to priestly celibacy, and for women’s ordination which was categorically ruled out by Blessed Pope John Paul II.

Vatican investigating Irish priest over liberal views

IRELAND
RTE News

A founder of the Association of Catholic Priests, Fr Tony Flannery, has confirmed that he is being investigated by the Vatican for his liberal views.

The Vatican intervened directly to stop Fr Tony Flannery contributing his monthly column to Reality magazine, according to reports
Today's Irish Catholic newspaper reports that the Vatican intervened directly to stop the Redemptorist author contributing his monthly column in his order's Reality magazine.

In July, Fr Flannery supported Taoiseach Enda Kenny's criticisms of the Vatican over its handling of clerical child sexual abuse.

Meanwhile, at Holy Thursday Mass in the Vatican, Pope Benedict warned that he will not tolerate his priests disobeying essential teachings.


                                   Pope Benedict has firmly restated the Catholic Church's ban on women priests

Pope Benedict restates Catholic Church ban on women priests

Updated: 20:36, Thursday, 5 April 2012

Pope Benedict has firmly restated the Catholic Church's ban on women priests and warned that he will not tolerate disobedience by his priests on essential teachings.

He was responding to last year's challenge to the ban by a group of Austrian clergy and laity.

Before his election, Benedict said the outlawing of women's ordination had been "set forth infallibly".

The Pontiff made today's remarks while preaching at Mass in the Vatican to mark Holy Thursday, the day the Church commemorates Christ's institution of the ministry of priesthood.


Nobody expected the return of the inquisition

IRELAND
Irish Examiner
By Dan Buckley

Saturday, April 07, 2012
Dan Buckley profiles a priest at odds with some dogmas of the Church
If Fr Tony Flannery lived 300 years ago, it is almost certain he would have been burned at the stake as a heretic. But the Vatican — and Catholic Church teaching in general — has come a long way since then.

Or has it? The Vatican retains a tendency to view unfavourably any Catholic — particularly a priest — who has the temerity to question its dogma. A group of priests acting in consort is bound to come in for particular scrutiny.

As part of his crackdown on so-called dissident clerics, Pope Benedict has ordered an investigation into Fr Flannery, one of the founders of the Association of Catholic Priests, an independent organisation that provides a forum for members to discuss issues affecting the Church in Ireland and Irish society in general.

The association shares some of the views espoused by the more radical Austrian organisation, the Austrian Priests’ Initiative, which last year issued a public ‘call to disobedience’ in relation to a number of Catholic Church teachings. The public letter, issued in June 2011, demanded "reform" on priestly celibacy, men-only priesthood, and the proscription on giving Holy Communion to divorced and remarried Catholics.

The letter accused the Vatican of injustice and violations of human rights and announced that the signatories intended to continue giving Communion to "members of other Christian Churches and, in certain cases, Catholics who have left the Church".

In an extremely rare move, Pope Benedict issued a strong rebuke to the group at the Holy Thursday Mass at St Peter’s Basilica, one of the most solemn occasions of the Catholic Church’s liturgical year.

That rebuke will not be lost on Fr Flannery who already has a backlash of his own to contend with in the light of the Vatican intervention to stop him contributing his monthly column in his Redemptorist Order’s Reality magazine.

The investigation, which Vatican sources say was prompted by the priest’s opposition to the Church’s ban on artificial birth control and his support for the ordination of women, is expected to focus as well on the Association of Catholic Priests, which Fr Flannery co-founded. He also drew the wrath of the Pope for his public support for Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s criticisms of the Vatican over its handling of clerical child sexual abuse.

The investigation is also seen as a crackdown on the Irish priests’ association, which has called for major changes in the Church, including its teaching on sexuality. Some of the association’s members, including Fr Flannery, argue that priests should be allowed to marry and that the Church should permit the ordination of women priests.

The effective silencing of Fr Flannery comes in the wake of the Vatican’s apostolic visitation to Ireland which found evidence of a "certain tendency" for Irish priests to hold opinions that conflict with those of the Magisterium, the Catholic Church’s supreme teaching authority.

Fr Jimmy McPhillips, a member of the priests’ association, expressed his sadness at the treatment of Fr Flannery. Writing on the ACP website, he said: "I am saddened that Fr Tony is now being censored. I also admit to feeling shock, anger, and a little fear. As a member of the ACP — like the other 900 plus — we too are now open to censorship or, worse still, being ‘silenced’.

"While I may not always agree with what Fr Tony says or believes, I still respect and defend his right to hold those views and express them. Is this not part of what it means to be Christian? Are we as a Catholic Church not mature enough to listen to other opinions? We may not be a democracy, but we are certainly not a totalitarian regime." Fr McPhillips said that censorship was not a truly Christian way to ensure fidelity.

The investigation into Fr Flannery’s views and activities is likely to be carried out by the Congregation For the Doctrine of the Faith, an institution which the Pope, as Cardinal Ratzinger, headed from 1981 until he was elected Supreme Pontiff in 2005.

Three hundred years ago the Congregation was one of the most feared institutions in Christendom and was known as the Roman and Universal Inquisition. It was at its most chilling in Spain, where thousands of "heretics" were tortured and mutilated and many burned at the stake.

A native of Attymon, Co Galway, Fr Flannery is the youngest in a family of four. His brother Peter is a fellow Redemptorist at Esker Monastery in Athenry, and his other brother, Frank, is Fine Gael’s director of organisation and strategy.
http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/nobody-expected-the-return-of-the-inquisition-189756.html#ixzz1rTWeqvEh


What Would Jesus Do at the Masters?

By Maureen Dowd
Published: April 7, 2012
 
THERE was a boys’ club, of course, a band of ardent, jockeying disciples. But as his fame grew, the messiah was also surrounded by women and talked about women with great respect. With his father far away, the golden boy was most influenced by his strong mother and the women in his inner circle.
I’m talking about the real messiah, not Barack Obama, although it applies to both.
Even as Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s Republican governor, signed legislation repealing a law that helped women by making wage discrimination easier to fight, President Obama accessorized with women, trying to widen his 18-point gender gap in swing states.
At a women’s forum in the White House on Friday, the president got personal about his mother, grandmother, wife and daughters, noting, “For me, at least, it begins with the women who’ve shaped my life.”
Swaddled by women on stage, he bragged on Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton. “Women are not some monolithic bloc,” he said. “Women are not an interest group. You shouldn’t be treated that way. Women are over half this country and its work force — not to mention 80 percent of my household, if you count my mother-in-law. And I always count my mother-in-law.” He even lamented women’s larger dry-cleaning bills.
It was a blessed moment of anima in a blistering week of GWOW. That’s not a “Jersey Shore” voluptuary, but the Global War On Women.
Saudi Arabia, which seemed to be inching ahead on women as ultra-Orthodox extremists in Israel fell backward, dropped its snail progress, refusing to sponsor women on its team for the London Olympics after intimating they could compete. “Female sports activity has not existed, and there is no move thereto in this regard,” Prince Nawaf bin Faisal, the Saudi sports minister and president of the Saudi Olympic Committee, told reporters in Jeddah.
How sad that America went to war with Saddam in 1991 — with female soldiers along — because he had invaded Kuwait and was threatening Saudi Arabia, and yet Saudi Arabia continued to throw blankets over women, banning gym classes for girls and sports for women, considering them “steps of the devil,” as one religious scholar put it.
I know that the International Olympic Committee is another old-boys’ club and that tyrannies are legitimized in the name of sport. But the I.O.C. does have a charter that bans discrimination, and it did bar South Africa from the Games from 1970 to 1991 because of apartheid. So why not resist the petrodollars and kick out Saudi Arabia for gender apartheid?
It could be part of the continuing penance to be paid for legitimizing Hitler by granting him — and Leni Riefenstahl — the 1936 Games.
Augusta National Golf Club, which has kept its men-only policy long after giving up its black-caddies-only rule, should stop emulating the Saudis and award a green jacket and club membership to Virginia Rometty, the new chief of I.B.M., a Masters sponsor. You know you’re in trouble when Rick Santorum is urging you to be more progressive on women.
“The thing about Augusta is, it’s not just another golf club,” said David Israel, who was a sports columnist with me at The Washington Star. “It is the most famous private golf club in the world. It should be leading and opening doors and minds. Instead, it chooses to venerate a venal and exclusionary past, an idyll of segregation. Revering its lost traditions is like wistfully remembering Lester Maddox’s ax handle.”
Rometty and other female executives should persuade their companies to cut connections with Augusta until equality blossoms like the course’s azaleas.
Finally, in the perverse pantheon of reactionary men in robes, we have God’s Rottweiler, as Pope Benedict is known. He welcomed Easter by sitting on a golden throne and denouncing the “disobedience” of Catholic priests who want the decaying, ingrown institution that sheltered so many abusive priests to let in some fresh air and allow female and married priests, as well as Holy Communion for Catholics who have remarried without an annulment.
“It seemed like a bitter statement,” said Kenneth Briggs, the author of “Double Crossed: Uncovering the Catholic Church’s Betrayal of American Nuns.” “It further erodes, almost tragically, the respect for the papacy because it looks like what you want is institutional conformity rather than obedience to the Gospel.”
The message of Jesus, after all, is not about exclusion, but inclusion.
Briggs said that most American Catholics will never go along with retrogressive dictates of the church, like the one against artificial contraception. “God,” he noted dryly, “only had one son.”
The Rev. Alberto Cutié, the handsome Miami priest who defected to become an Episcopal priest when he fell in love and married a woman from his parish, found the pope’s timing ironic.
“They say women can’t be priests because Jesus only called men to be apostles,” he said. “But the women close to Jesus were the first witnesses of the resurrection. When the men were afraid and hidden, the women went to the tomb and said, ‘Jesus is risen!’ If Easter is the most important part of Christianity, the first to proclaim the message were women. Who could make more effective preachers?”

Father Bernard Lynch: 'The Vatican has told them to get rid of me'

UNITED KINGDOM
The Independent
Peter Stanford
Sunday 08 April 2012

He claims that half of all Catholic priests are gay – and has himself been married to his husband for 14 years. He believes celibacy is to blame for many of the Church's problems – and that the Vatican must take responsibility for the paedophilia in its midst. Is it any wonder so many people want rid of Father Bernard Lynch?

Unlike other whistleblowers, Lynch doesn't have a straightforward job. Vocation is more accurate, for he is a Catholic priest, a member of the Society of African Missions religious order for the past 42 years. That sense of being called has sustained his work, he says, through "terrible" times. In the 1980s, in New York, he was one of the first priests to support those dying from Aids-related illnesses. It was a ministry that earned him awards from secular authorities – including New York's mayor – but hostility from the Vatican, which was then describing the Aids pandemic as the "natural result of unnatural acts". It would have preferred he kept well away.

The tension between Lynch and his superiors ended up involving the FBI – called in by the local cardinal to investigate him – and a trial on trumped-up charges in 1989. "It was soul murder," Lynch recalls, "and it will follow me to my grave." The judge dismissed the charges out of hand in what became a cause célèbre for progressively minded Catholics at the time, later the subject of a best-selling book and several TV documentaries.

To escape the furore, Lynch came to live in England in 1992. Today, his ministry includes counselling gay priests who are in the closet in a Church that describes homosexuality as "intrinsically disordered". Yet he claims that as many as 50 per cent of Catholic clergy are gay. It is an example of how this 64-year-old has continued to point things out that discomfort his ecclesiastical superiors. Another was his decision to speak in defence of gay rights at the "Protest the Pope" demonstration that greeted Benedict XVI in London in 2010. Lynch lined up in full clerical garb alongside Peter Tatchell and militant atheist Richard Dawkins. Yet somehow, he has always managed to stay within the fold of his Catholic religious order. Until now.

He is about to publish a very intimate memoir, If it Wasn't Love: Sex, Death and God, in which he will go public for the first time on his own 14-year gay marriage. With impeccable timing, the book's appearance coincides with the Catholic Church in Britain mobilising in opposition to the Coalition Government's proposals to legalise gay marriage. The clash, he insists, is accidental. He then adds, almost in a celebratory tone, "but there is a God".

Talking openly today about Billy Desmond, his husband of 14 years, signifies for Lynch a final stage of coming out that began in 1982 when he told his parents he was gay. For his religious order, though, it seems likely that it will also be the final straw. "I know they are having a problem. They have told me so. I am under investigation. The Vatican has already told them to get rid of me."

Dressed in black, but with the traditional dog collar replaced round his neck by a simple cord necklace and metal pendant, Lynch certainly looks the part as a priest, albeit a thoroughly modern one. Indeed, he cuts quite a dash. Lean, tanned and completely bald, he has narrow but compelling eyes which give him a guru-like quality. It is emphasised by the way he tends to speak in pointed, stripped-down, polemical sentences. He is not a man for nuance or hesitation. If he thinks something, he says it. Of his candour about his sexual orientation and marriage, he remarks simply, "I'm just being honest, but that isn't the way of my Church. It says, 'Don't be honest and you will get promoted, and you will be taken care of.'"

Accusing the Church of dishonesty and hypocrisy, by contrast, seems a perfect way to ensure you are not taken care of – or, at least, not in any positive way. Yet Lynch appears remarkably calm about the cloud hanging over a vocation he insists is "the love of my life". Tellingly, it is also a phrase he uses to describe Desmond, to whom he has dedicated the book. Caught between these two loves, he is forcing himself to choose. He could just have kept quiet about his private life. "But Billy," he points out, "has made it transparently clear to me from the start that he doesn't want this degree of closetness."

Desmond should be at the table with us in the modest Camden Town home they share, but instead he has been admitted to hospital, Lynch reports, with spinal problems. "We are praying to Saint Martin de Porres [the patron saint of victims of injustice] that he won't have to have a second operation." He met Desmond, a management consultant, at a mutual friend's birthday party soon after he arrived in London. "He is an Irish Catholic, too, though younger than I, but he was totally alienated from his Catholicism. He wasn't practising, but like most gay people I know – and I am not saying this in any hierarchical or disrespectful way of straight people – had a very deep spirituality. And a longing to belong in the home of their faith."

Their marriage, in 1998, was solemnly blessed by an American Cistercian monk, referred to in the memoir simply as "Father Dan", who left his monastery for the first time in 50 years especially for the ceremony. Was he allowed to give that blessing under current Church rules? "He's now with the lover of us all," replies Lynch, "so there's no sanction for him any more. He said that day was the happiest of his life." I take that to be a no.

As a priest, Lynch has "many times" given similar blessings to other same-sex marriages. It is beginning to become clear why he causes the Church such problems. Surely, if everyone just went about breaking all the rules, regardless of whether they are right or wrong, it would be chaos? The whole point of a Church is that there is a commonly held basis to faith. He is unrepentant. "We are either about love or we are not. All this talk about gay marriage..." He stops and changes tack, for once choosing the slightly less confrontational route. "Either being a Catholic Christian is about love, or it is not about anything. I am not choosing Billy over priesthood. My vocation is to love."

In danger of sounding like the Pope's official spokesman, I mention that vocation to the priesthood, in the Catholic Church, is linked with a vocation to be celibate. "I did not have, even though I tried for many years, the gift of celibacy," Lynch replies. So logically, given what the Church continues to teach, his place is in the pews not the pulpit? "No," and here he leaves a long pause as if weary of answering a question he's been asked often, "because the Church can be different. It must be different. And if not I, then, who?"

There is an argument that all the major advances in Christianity have come through loyal dissent – from Martin Luther and the Wesleys, right up to the present day. Is Lynch painting himself as the latest in a long line of prophetic voices trying to move the Church forward? "I do feel there is need to witness to the fact that gay is good and gay belongs to God. There are millions of lesbian and gay Catholics who need a witness to the fact that their love is not evil."

Bernard Lynch grew up in Ennis, County Clare, in the 1950s. The oldest of six, he was, in his own words, "a pious little creep" who didn't fit in with his classmates. He went into the seminary at 17, where he had a long-running sexual relationship with another trainee priest. His lover eventually left, married and had a family, but Lynch was ordained in 1971. After spells in Northern Ireland, working with the civil-rights movement, and an unhappy spell in Zambia, he was sent to New York in 1975 to do further studies in counselling and psychotherapy.

There he started working with Dignity, a support group for gay Catholics. When HIV/Aids started taking its terrible toll, he was on the front line. "I was such a child before that. Talk about naïve. I ran up against young men dying for whom God's love was such a necessity. Again and again my Church told them in the most violent terms known in the English language that their love was evil. And some of those dying were priests. We used to have a saying in New York: 'Don't ever fall in love with a priest; you'll make a very unhappy widower because you will be the last to know when he has died.' When they were diagnosed with HIV/Aids, if their order or diocese was willing to take them back, the partner who sometimes had been with them for 20 years was excluded from their life."

Local Church officials and the Vatican grew more and more agitated by Lynch's work. When a colleague in his order, his former seminary rector, died of Aids-related causes, the grieving relatives, unable to accept the details of his "other" life, blamed and targeted Lynch. At the time, he was also doing some pastoral work at a Catholic school and after pressure from the family, the diocese and even the FBI, who were called in by Cardinal John O'Connor, Lynch faced trial in 1989 on charges of molesting one of his pupils. However, John Schaefer, the boy in question, recanted on the courtroom steps and revealed how much pressure had been put on him to come up with the allegation. Lynch was acquitted. It made international headlines.

"There was," he reflects of the aftermath, "a lot of anger and resentment against those who were responsible. But I've been given grace to forgive and let go. In that trial the state colluded with the Church in order to bring me down."

He was, though, solidly supported throughout by the Society of African Missions. They paid more than £75,000 in legal bills on his behalf. "The Society has been as good as they can be to me and have put up with a lot in my regard. Before the trial, they asked me a simple question – the same question my father asked me. 'Did you do it?' They only had my word that I didn't and they believed me. When I say I have a love-hate relationship with the institution of the Church, I have a lot of love because love has been given to me."

There is an appalling irony that the same Church that employed false charges of child abuse against a dissident priest in 1989 was, throughout the following decade and right up to the present day, to be overwhelmed itself with similar accusations. Only in its case, many turned out to be true, and had been swept under the carpet by bishops and cardinals for years, if not decades. "To me," Lynch reflects, "a lot of the abuse of children by priests in the Church is a result and consequence of sexually arrested development in priests. It is not paedophilia, and that is not to take from the crime and the terrible harm done to children in this way. When you go into seminary at 14 or 16, you are arrested in your sexual development. From that time on, everything sexual is sin. Sex is really not integrated in the way normal boys and girls do as they grow up. And so priests stop growing sexually. And when they start growing again at the ripe old age of 50, they start off where they left off, as a 14-year-old looking for 14-year-olds."

He seems to be suggesting that the celibacy rule for priests lies at the heart of this scandal that has rocked the entire Church. But surely many abusers are "happily married men"? "I believe," he replies, "that celibacy is certainly part of the problem. I'm not excusing abuse of children. On the contrary, I am holding people to account, but it is not only the perpetrators who are guilty. The Church hierarchy has to be held to account because of how it trains its priests."

In the counselling work he now does with gay priests – he has worked with more than 200, he says – time and again he comes up against a fault-line in a Church that condemns homosexuality but has significant numbers of closeted gay men among its clergy. The way it is dealt with institutionally is to keep quiet; but that has never been Lynch's way. "I can go into confession and say I have been in every sauna and bath-house and sex club in London 10 times a week and I can get absolved from my sins, but if I go in and say, 'I have been in love with a man for 19 years, married for 14,' there's no absolution. That's the sickness in my Church."

So what happens next? "My greatest enemies in the Church," he accuses, "are gay priests who hate themselves and project that on to me and so are intent on doing me down. I've been blessed that all my superiors in the Society of African Missions have been straight. They have known for a long time that I am a married gay man. Up to now they've left me to weave a passage between the cracks, but it doesn't seem like that can continue."

Whatever decision is reached by his order and by the Vatican – which ultimately has the right to "sack" a priest, Lynch says he won't stop what he has been doing and saying, even if he loses his platform as a cleric. "A priest is a priest for people. And if people want me..." But if the Church says he is no longer a priest? "I believe that the priesthood, like my baptism, is an indelible mark on my soul, so I will always be a priest."

Perhaps instead of trying – and so far failing – to marginalise and silence Lynch, the Church might try listening to him. Yes, for those who want a disciplined, obedient clergy, he must be infuriating, but the real question surely is whether he is right. He was certainly ahead of the Church on the need to care for people with Aids. His counselling work with unhappy priests, struggling to deal with their sexuality, gives him a rare insight into a subject where usually there is only silence and denial. And, in his very happy and now very public marriage to Billy Desmond, he gives the lie to the suggestion, made recently by Cardinal Keith O'Brien, leader of the Scottish Catholic Church, that same-sex marriage is "grotesque".

If that doesn't convince the powers that be, they have to know that they are never going to shake off Bernard Lynch, even by sacking him. "It's my Church," he says, "and I'll be the last out after the Pope."

'If it Wasn't Love: Sex, Death and God', by Bernard Lynch, will be published by Circle Books, priced £9.99 on 25 May

Pope tells dissident priests exactly what they can do with their anti-celibacy ideas

VATICAN CITY
Perth Now
From correspondents in Vatican City
From: AP
April 05, 2012

POPE Benedict XVI has issued a rare and explicit denunciation of priests who have questioned church teaching on celibacy and ordaining women.

Saying they were being selfish in disobeying his authority, the Pope made the criticism from the altar of St Peter's Basilica in his homily on Holy Thursday, when priests recall the promises they made when ordained.
In 2006, a group of Austrian priests launched the Pfaffer Initiative, a call to disobedience aimed at abolishing priestly celibacy and opening up the clergy to women to relieve the shortages of priests.

Last June, the group essentially threatened a schism, saying the Vatican's refusal to hear their complaints left them no choice but to "follow our conscience and act independently".

Updates October 20, 2012


Vatican demands priest's retraction

IRELAND
Herald

By Caroline Crawford
Thursday October 11 2012
AN IRISH priest says he has received a demand from the Vatican to retract his views on women's ordination and contraception.
Fr Tony Flannery (pictured) has previously been gagged by the Vatican over his liberal views and told by the Vatican not to discuss his investigation by the Church's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Fr Flannery, who is based in Esker, Co Galway, said: "My negotiations with the Congregation are ongoing and I have agreed I will not speak about it for the present."

New Vatican ordeal for rebel priest Fr Flannery

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Garry O'Sullivan
Wednesday October 10 2012
A HIGH-PROFILE priest is coming under increasing scrutiny from the Vatican's theological watchdog for expressing liberal views.
Silenced Redemptorist and Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) founder Fr Tony Flannery has been contacted by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the Irish Independent can reveal.
It emerged earlier this year that Fr Flannery was silenced by the Vatican and put under investigation for his "liberal" views on women's ordination.

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