The Vatican at its loveliest – shutting up a priest because he has reasonable, valuable criticisms of the Vatican itself.


Father Tony Flannery, a Catholic priest who has been outspoken in his criticism of the abuse crisis in Ireland, has found himself under investigation by the Vatican for his liberal views.

Founder of the Association of Irish Priests, Father Flannery told that the Vatican has contacted him to inform  him of the investigation.

The effect of the investigation was immediate. This week The Irish Catholic newspaper reports that Father Flannery had to cease writing his monthly column in the Redemptorist Reality magazine in response to news of the investigation.

It’s helpful of them, in a way, to be so clear about it – “liberal views” are a matter for investigation, and meanwhile, stfu.

The Irish Catholic writer Michael Kelly reported  that, “It is understood that while Fr Flannery has the support of his superiors in the Redemptorist Order, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF)  in Rome has expressed disquiet about some of his articles and publications.

“It is believed that the views which have come under  most scrutiny are Fr Flannery’s opposition to the Church’s ban on artificial birth control and his support for the ordination of women.”

The Congregation for the Doctrine of Male Authority, is what it should be called.

The crackdown comes on the heels of the Vatican  ordered Apostolic Visitation, which found evidence of what it called a ‘certain  tendency’ for Irish priests to hold opinions that conflict with those of the  orthodox Magisterium, the Catholic Church’s teaching authority.

In a sign of hardening attitudes, the Visitation  participants underlined that any dissent from the formal teachings of the Church  were ‘not the authentic path towards renewal.’

Under the current circumstances, Father Flannery has  been effectively silenced, with no indication of how long it will last.

On Holy Thursday Pope Benedict issued a very direct  statement which slammed those priests who refuse to conform to church teachings.



  1. says

    How liberal of Tony to propose that his church move to an era of near gender equality where women are no longer treated as property! And how sad for humanity.

  2. Kevin Anthoney says

    Bet they don’t relocate him quietly into a new parish out in the sticks like they do with paedophiles.

  3. 'Tis Himself says

    The Congregation for the Doctrine of Male Authority, is what it should be called.

    You can also call the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by its old name: The Inquisition.

  4. steve oberski says

    the Vatican has contacted him to inform him of the investigation

    This must be a new policy.

    Normally you would be summoned by the inquisition and the verdict (guilty) would be announced and the sentence pronounced.

    Very efficient it was.

  5. says

    Yes, but these two articles are misleading. First, the Pope’s speech didn’t “slam” anyone. Second, the speech was about a group of priests who have issued a “call to disobedience” against some of the Church’s rules. Deciding as a group to break the rules of the organization you’re a part of – if that is indeed what they’re planning on doing – isn’t on the same level as merely disagreeing with the rules and wanting to discuss them.

  6. says

    Normally you would be summoned by the inquisition and the verdict (guilty) would be announced and the sentence pronounced.

    Actually the Inquisition traditionally gave 30 days notice. In the days when they went round from town to town, anybody who left in a hurry in the 30 days was obviously guilty and would be pursued. So a lot of people stayed put hoping they had not already been fingered and no one would condemn them.

  7. Stonyground says

    I actually think that it is reasonable, if you are going to be a part of an organisation that you agree to play by that organisations rules. Of course most modern organisations have systems in place for changing practices that are outdated or no longer working. I think that it is pretty absurd that the Vatican thinks that reality is whatever they say it is. But It seems to me that they are within their rights to tell their own priests to play ball. If only Catholics who disagree with the Church would vote with their feet and stop being Catholics.

  8. grumpyoldfart says

    Father Tony Flannery has probably spent his whole career feeding bullshit to the mugs in the pews, begging for money every week, frightening the children with stories about hell, and advising women not to get a divorce but to remain with their abusive husbands. It’s about time he had his trap shut – him and all his cronies.

  9. sailor1031 says

    As others have already learned (including a bishop in Oz) supporting ordination of women and criticising priestly celibacy are both far more serious crimes than buggering altar boys or raping little girls…..and they carry a substantial penalty i.e being unfrocked and possible excommunication.

    And here we go, yet again, with the “magisterium” bullshit. RCC Inc. “teaching” on the matter does not have any basis whatsoever. There are three magisteria in RCC: 1). the pope speaking ‘ex cathedra’ which in this context has not happened. 2). the simultaneous holding by all the bishops of a single teaching. This is impossible to determine because no-one has ever polled all the bishops – nor is it likely to occur. So this magisterium does not apply. 3).An ecumenical council of the whole church (hierarchy, priests and laity).The last one was Vatican II. To date no council has ruled on ordination of women or on priestly celibacy.

    So as a matter of truth, there is NO RCC teaching on either of these topics. The pope has only ever said, when cornered, that RCC has “no authority” to ordain women. This is not teaching, it is semantics. To claim that persons who disagree with the pope’s position are opposed to RCC teaching is a flagrant and disingenuous misrepresentation of the facts. I despise these fucking people – they won’t even play by their own rules that they force on everyone else.

  10. Rudi says

    Fascists? Really, Ophelia? Next you’ll be saying they supported Hitler and the Nazis.

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