Wednesday 13 December 2017

Eddie Molloy: Bishops must shun dark to follow leader

The sanctions imposed on Tony Flannery and other priests should be lifted immediately

REVELATIONS: Fr Tony Flannery exposed the CDF's actions
REVELATIONS: Fr Tony Flannery exposed the CDF's actions

Eddie Molloy

ON the plane to Italy recently for a short break, I finished reading Tony Flannery's harrowing account of how the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) tried to silence him and ultimately barred him from functioning as a priest.

In the telling, Flannery exposed the unjust and cruel "modus operandi" of the CDF. Defying the strictest injunction not to reveal a word to anyone, he shone a bright light on a process that has been applied in secret to several other Irish priests. The Gospels have hard things to say about those who prefer to operate in the dark and shun the daylight. Then last week, Pope Francis in his dramatic interview with a group of Jesuit journals reprimanded the CDF for its "inappropriate behaviour" in the censuring of priests.

This interview is one of a series of public statements by the Pope of his intention to shift the whole orientation of the Church away from a focus on rigid compliance with the finer points of doctrine and unquestioning obedience to Church directives, under the threat of sanctions for non-compliance.

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