Father Tony Flannery, screenshot from the Vatican Insider
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, reports the Vatican Insider.
The news report said the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has concerns about the priest's writings on a number of sensitive issues.
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 and The Irish Times, 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.
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”.
In particular, the CDF was concerned about the orthodoxy of what Fr. Flannery had written regarding contraception, the possibility of married priests in Ireland, and the ordination of women as priests.
The CDF also would like him to withdraw from his leadership role in the Association of Irish Priests.
Associations of Irish priests “disturbed” by silencing of one of its founders (Vatican Insider)
Screenshot from the Vatican Insider