Wednesday 20 September 2017

There is an ‘anti-Francis faction’ in Rome, says Irish priest

Fr Flannery Credit: Twitter/@FlanneryTony
Fr Flannery Credit: Twitter/@FlanneryTony

Jennifer McShane

An Irish priest has said that the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) is part of an "anti-Francis faction" opposed to Pope Francis".

Speaking on Radio One today, Fr Tony Flannery (68) said CDF's Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller was also the leader of an anti-Francis group or faction against the Pope in the Vatican.

“Müller is the leader of an anti-Francis faction in the Vatican in Rome,” the Galway cleric told the Miriam Finucane show. 

“He would generally be seen as the leader of that. There is an enormous power struggle going on in the Vatican, at the moment, there’s no doubt about that,” the 68-year-old said.

Pope Francis.
Pope Francis.

“A lot of people there who are very unhappy with the type of thing that Francis is doing,” he said, adding that he was a fan of Francis and liked the way he was going about reforming the church.

Fr Flannery also said that the Pope was unable to touch the power of the CDF, who are still “very strong and powerful.”

“He [Francis] hasn’t as yet touched the power of the CDF, and the information I’m getting is that the CDF’s power is very much as it always was, and they are operating very much as they always have been,” he said.

Fr Flannery said that he was “officially silenced” by the Vatican in 2012, when they initially objected to some of his writings in a reformist magazine. 

“At the height of the clerical sexual abuse cases in Ireland, I wrote in an article “The priesthood in Ireland now is not as Jesus intended,” he said.

He said that this led to him being “silenced” by Rome, but he chose to ignore that, but added that he cannot officially practice Ministry.

“If I want to get back into Ministry officially, I’ll have to play the game of the CDF,” he added. “Maybe in 10 years if I’m dying of cancer, they’ll lift the sanctions.”

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