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Redemptorist superior rues actions of Irish dissident priest

Catholic World News - January 24, 2013

The worldwide leader of the Redemptorist order has expressed regrets at the stand taken by Father Tony Flannery, the Irish priest who has refused to accept a Vatican order that he should sign a statement affirming his belief in Catholic doctrines.

Father Michael Brehl, the superior general of the Redemptorist order, said that Father Flannery had been instructed to “undertake a period of prayer and theological reflection” after an investigation by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) found serious problems with Father Flannery’s written work. Those problems, Father Brehl disclosed, involved “fundamental areas of Catholic doctrine, including the priesthood, the nature of the Church and the Eucharist.” The Redemptorist superior confirmed that Father Flannery had been under orders of silence:

During this sabbatical period, he was instructed not to grant interviews or make public statements and to withdraw from active involvement in the leadership of the ACP [the Association of Catholic Priests], especially since the priesthood was one of the matters on which he was asked to clarify his position. He was also instructed to withdraw from active priestly ministry during this period of prayer and reflection.

Father Flannery evidently violated those directions when he held a press conference on January 20 to announce that he would not accept the Vatican’s order to sign a statement affirming his acceptance of Catholic doctrines.

Responding to his superior’s statement, Father Flannery told the Irish Catholic that he had resolved his problems with the CDF by preparing his own written statement, which was submitted to the Redemptorist superior general last year and relayed to the CDF. When the CDF asked him to sign a new statement, Father Flannery said, that was “the breaking point.”

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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Jan. 24, 2013 8:46 PM ET USA

    And Tony Flannery will be defrocked when? After all, the poor man has done everything this side of writing an open letter to the pope demanding he be dismissed from the priesthood. I think he should be given his wish.

  • Posted by: Defender - Jan. 24, 2013 8:00 PM ET USA

    He's been given every chance, so show him the door.

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