The Irish branch of the Redemptorist order has called on the Vatican to reinstate to ministry Fr Tony Flannery, who was removed from ministry in 2012 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) the Vatican’s theological watchdog.
The CDF took exception to Fr Flannery’s questioning of Jesus’s full approval for the way the Catholic priesthood had developed over the centuries into a powerful elite within the church – and other opinions including favouring of the ordination of women. Many are now arguing that even some bishops have expressed similar opinions without penalty.
“It seems particularly disproportionate that sanctions imposed, as in the case of Fr. Flannery, for expressing theological and pastoral commentary in writing, are without time-limits,” said Fr. Dan Baragry, the Irish Redemptorist provincial. “This disproportionality is multiplied by reason of a present-day Church context, under the leadership of Pope Francis, which encourages theological reflection and debate.”
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