Thursday 26 April 2018

Fr Flannery's abuse thesis is outdated

Nicky Larkin says his best friend is living proof that the priesthood is no longer synonymous with loneliness and isolation

OLD SCHOOL: Times have changed since Fr Tony Flannery's day when the 'men in black' lived lonely old grey lives
OLD SCHOOL: Times have changed since Fr Tony Flannery's day when the 'men in black' lived lonely old grey lives

Nicky Larkin

THEY live their lonely lives in musty old houses, their only contact baptising babies and anointing the dead. This, according to Fr Tony Flannery, leads the Catholic clergy to temptation.

Last week, Fr Flannery – co-founder of the Association of Catholic Priests – said the lonely lives that clergy lead result in an inevitable struggle over sexuality.

Fr Flannery is the first priest to speak openly about the possible link between celibacy and sexual abuse. He questioned whether this has caused some priests to turn to children for sexual outlets. Because of his comments, Fr Flannery has been suspended from duty and is under threat of excommunication from the Vatican.

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