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Thu Jan 24, 2013, 02:11 AM

Priest: Vatican threatened excommunication for advocating discussion

Irish Redemptorist Fr. Tony Flannery broke a year of silence Sunday to reveal that the Vatican had threatened him with excommunication and removal from his religious congregation because he advocates for open discussions about church teachings on ordaining women, clerical celibacy, contraceptives and homosexuality.

The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith removed Flannery, 66, from public ministry last February, pending the outcome of its inquiries into views he expressed in Reality, a Redemptorist-run magazine.

Flannery also said he has had no direct contact in person or writing from the congregation. All communication has come through the Redemptorist superior general in Rome, Fr. Michael Brehl.

Flannery described the actions against him as "frightening, disproportionate and reminiscent of the Inquisition."


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Reply Priest: Vatican threatened excommunication for advocating discussion (Original post)
UrbScotty Jan 2013 OP
Fortinbras Armstrong Jan 2013 #1
rug Jan 2013 #2

Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 10:31 AM

1. From the NCR story

The head of the Redemptorist fathers in Rome said he deeply regrets that Flannery broke the silence he had been asked to observe, Catholic New Service reported Wednesday

That's one of the things that has always irked me about the way the Vatican does business. They "investigate" some priest for not toeing the party line, and order him not to defend himself in public.

Augustine of Hippo once had a monk in his monastery do something that was against the rules of the order. He reported the facts to his congregation (see his Sermon 355) and promised a thorough investigation, with a follow-up report to the congregation (given in Sermon 356). He said in that sermon

It is our duty, with the help of the Lord, to take care of our conduct and our reputation, that those who admire us may not be embarrassed by those who accuse us of wrongdoing.

Some Church officials obviously think that taking care of the Church's reputation means covering up problems. For Augustine, it meant just the opposite -- not having the reputation of liars.

The denial and lying about sexual scandals in the Church is another sort of deception that Augustine would not countenance. When one of his deacons accused a priest of making a homosexual overture, he asked his congregation to pray for both men while he, as bishop, would investigate. Again, he promised a full report to the congregation to follow.

Augustine held himself and the Church to a high standard; but how could he settle for conduct that was less than honest when he and the Church are servants to the God who is truth itself?

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Response to UrbScotty (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 06:42 PM

2. There's nothing wrong with advocating open discussion.


There's nothing wrong with challenging doctrines either.

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