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Wednesday 28 September 2016

Outspoken priest claims Church would not talk to him about rebel articles

Published 10/01/2016 | 18:28

Fr Tony Flannery. Picture: Frank Mc Grath
Fr Tony Flannery. Picture: Frank Mc Grath

Fr Tony Flannery, the liberal Redemptorist priest who has been taken out of ministry by the Vatican for his outspoken views, has claimed that the Church would not talk to him when it came to addressing their complaints about articles he had written.

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The cleric, who was taken out of ministry for writing articles the Vatican claimed were out of step with Church doctrine in the Redemptrist magazine revealed that the Papal Nuncio has “refused” to meet the Association of Catholic Priests which represents 1,000 priests across the country, while attending “every dog fight in the country.”

He was interviewed on RTE Radio One’s 'Miriam Meets…' programme, alongside his brother, the former Fine Gael director of elections, Frank Flannery.

Mr Flannery accompanied him to a couple of meetings in Rome when he was going through the ordeal and explained that: “You never know who your accusers are, there is no process,” describing it as: “beyond medieval.”

Fr Flannery claimed the Irish bishops have never contacted him in the past four years and have never showed him any element of support.

He added that it was hard to have faith in the Church because of the experience he has had over this period of time.

Asked why he has not simply left the church, Fr Flannery said this has been asked of him “very, very regularly,” however the Church is something he has given his life to.

“I’m very committed to the gospel, probably now more than ever is a great time to be teaching the gospel,” he said.

He revealed that he has become involved internationally in the reform movement in the church which is only just now gathering strength in Ireland.

He said this has been “extremely stimulating and exciting” and has opened up a whole new world to me.

“In some ways, this is the best period of my life right now,” he said.

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