A couple days ago I finished reading A Question of Conscience, written by the well known Redemptorist Tony Flannery, with more than 40 years of service to the Catholic community in Ireland.
The book chronicles Flannery’s painful journey since February 2012 when he was ‘silenced’ by the Vatican. That’s not long ago! He was forbidden from publicly presiding at Eucharist, hearing confessions, conducting retreats, leading novenas or otherwise practising his ministry as a Roman Catholic ordained minister.
One of the best-known and most-valued Catholic ordained ministers in Ireland, a man regarded with respect and affection by a great many Irish Catholics has now been stopped in his tracks.
Why did the Vatican silence him? Because of Tony Flannery’s work as a founding member of the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP). and some offensive-to-Cardinal-Levada passages in articles he had written for the Redemptorist magazine Reality.
Cardinal Levada’s CDF — Pope Benedict’s CDF — crushed Father Flannery, using secret machinations right out of a Renaissance horror story. In his articles he expressed theological questions and positions that in fact are held by most of today’s internationally respected Catholic theologians.
Now…… the question remains: Will the CDF under the current Bishop of Rome be just as secretive, Machiavellian, and cruel?