If more priests would do as this brave priest and the nuns and many lay Catholics have done, we could save the church from the grip of bishops mired in medieval thinking. As the battle within the Synod has just shown, Pope Francis needs the help of people in the pews, in parishes and in schools to put an end to conservative opposition and advance his efforts to make the Church more like the body of Christ, not the Club of Costumed and Confused Cardinals.
Irish Redemptorist Fr. Tony Flannery, who defied Vatican attempts to silence him, begins an 18-city speaking tour in the US this week that lasts through November 22nd.
Flannery, a Redemptorist who is a founding member of the Association of Catholic Priests, refused to sign a Vatican document last year which demanded his adherence to the hierarchy’s teachings on homosexuality, contraception, and women’s ordination. His refusal led the Vatican to silence the priest and strip him of ministerial powers. Dennis Coday, editor of the National Catholic Reporter, noted:
“For most of 2012, Flannery was forbidden to minister as a priest as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reviewed his writing. In January 2013, he said he was threatened with excommunication unless he made a clear and public statement — preapproved by the doctrinal congregation — fully supporting official church teaching.”
Rather than being “terrified into…
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