FATHER Brian D'Arcy is prepared to quit the Church if he is censured by the Congregation of the Faith over his new book.
In his new book, Brian D'Arcy's Food for the Soul the cleric reveals that he almost walked away in the past – only for his mind to be changed by thousands of letters he received pleading with him not to give up the priesthood.
However, he has warned that if the Vatican attempts to censor his latest writings: "That would be it."
He explained: "The fact is there is nothing in it that Pope Francis hasn't said.
"I don't believe there would be any grounds for censoring me again or any attempt to shut me up.
"Pope Francis knows there is too much power and wealth in the Vatican; he's said all his life what I have said all of mine."
The Fermanagh-based cleric said the new pope recognised that "the Curia and clericalism is killing the Church."
"You just have to go back to John Paul II who banned even discussion of women priests," he added.
"That was evil. Simple as that. I have given 45 years to the church and I want to give more but if there is any attempt of censure over this book then that would be me finished. That would be it."
Writing in the introduction to his book, the 68-year-old says he has gone through "the most devastating faith-crisis of my life."
He admits he has been critical of the Church leadership's handling of the child sex abuse scandals but makes no apology for that, stating: "I was absolutely correct to do so. I am a survivor of clerical sex abuse myself," he said.
The book will be available in bookshops from early November according to Shane McCoy of Columba Press.