Crux: Threatened with Excommunication, Tony Flannery holds firm to his beliefs

Threatened with Excommunication, Tony Flannery holds firm to his beliefs

[this interview was conducted just prior to Fr. Flannery’s visit to Syracuse]

 

Margery Eagan, spirituality columnist, is a writer and commentator on current affairs.

October 29, 2014

Tony Flannery has done what few of us could. He sacrificed his career and his passion for his principles. It’s been anything but easy.

All four of the Galway Flannerys joined religious orders. The three priests and one nun were the children of an ambitious Irish mother who well understood that an affordable religious education was her best hope of saving them from poverty.

“So I was third on the conveyor belt,” says Flannery, now 67, who grew up to love his Catholic faith, his Church, and his work as a Redemptorist preacher traveling from Irish parish to Irish parish holding revivals to renew that faith. He would have celebrated 50 years in religious life this year, save for this: For years now, he has very publicly spoken out against the Church’s stands on the origins of the priesthood, ordaining women to it, contraception, and gays – some of the same issues cardinals debated and commented on publicly at the synod in Rome.

http://www.cruxnow.com/faith/2014/10/29/threatened-with-excommunication-tony-flannery-holds-firm-to-his-beliefs/

 

Upstate NY CTA welcomes Fr. Tony Flannery in Syracuse

The Catholic Tipping Point Tour made a wonderful stop in Syracuse Wednesday evening, October 29th.  With approximately 175 people attending, Fr. Flannery spoke to CTA members, Faithful Catholics Concerned (Syr.), Women’s Ordination Conference and friends - many of whom had travelled from Buffalo, Rochester, Binghamton and Albany for the important talk. 

 

Fr. Flannery prior to the talk

 

Fr. Tony Flannery related his experience of the past two years when the superior of the Redemptorist Order called him to advise that he had secretly been investigated by Rome (the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) and he would have to answer charges against him.  He was also told to maintain absolute secrecy about the matter.  The entire account is related in his book A Question of Conscience which is now available.

 

 

Fr. Flannery also mentioned his pleasant surprise in meeting so many organizations for Church Reform in the U.S.   “What if,” he  said “the Church Reform groups all joined in a voice together to urge open discussion on the topics brought to the surface in the Synod on Families.”  This would lead to further participation when the Synod convenes again in fall of 2015.  “Change,” he insisted “comes from the bottom up.”

 

 

 

 

 

Reserve Your Seat on the Bus to Hear Tony Flannery


The CTA national Tipping Point Tour this year features Fr. Tony Flannery, the pastoral, thoughtful, inclusive and engaging priest who heads the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland and supports a Vatican II Church.  

He is appearing in only 15 venues throughout the US, the closest to us being Syracuse on Wed. Oct. 29 at 7 p.m.  Upstate NY CTA is hosting this event.

A bus from Albany has been reserved for anyone from our area interested in attending his free talk.

Please send $30 per seat in a check payable to Steve Powers.  It MUST be received by Wednesday, Oct. 22,  when the decision to run or not run the bus will be made.  Please include your address, telephone # and e-mail (if possible) for updates. 

Don’t put this off.  List will be made in order of checks received.  Hope you can join us for this informative evening.

Please send your check to:    Steve Powers, 1 Bartlett Pl., Scotia, NY 12302

For more information, call (518) 370-1615

 About the Event:

The National Catholic Tipping Point Tour 2014

is proud to announce Fr. Tony Flannery will speak in Syracuse, NY on Wednesday Oct 29, 2014. 

This event on the national speaking tour is hosted by Upstate NY CTA.

 

People of Conscience: Reforming the Church Today

http://static.tumblr.com/5d92e567f297619dcef3a86b70b055bd/nkbiakb/pMsn70im9/tumblr_static_c69iti1gaggsw8s4w4k0o8w0.jpg

 

Join us at the May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society

3800 East Genesee St.,  Syracuse, NY 13214

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Time: 7:00pm

 

In February 2012 Tony Flannery, a Redemptorist and founder member of the Associ­ation of Catholic Priests in Ireland, bestselling author and regular columnist with Reality magazine, was informed that the Vatican watchdog, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), was unhappy with some of his writings relating to the priestly ministry in the Church. Tony was summoned to Rome and told that until he revised his views he would not be allowed to minister as a priest or have any dealings with media. He was to step down as leader of the ACP. 

Although he offered a statement of clarification and it seemed as if the matter were closed, a few months later the CDF made further demands that were unacceptable to him. He was required to issue a statement that he accepted all the moral teachings of the Church and that women could never be ordained priests. The CDF forbade him to return to priestly ministry, or be involved with the ACP, until he agree to publish this statement. He was put under ‘formal precept of obedience’ not to attend the AGM of the ACP (He did attend it.). 

During the time in question, the greater part of a year, the CDF never communicated directly with Tony Flannery. Documentation came through Michael Brehl, leader of the Redemptorists. It was on typed A4 pages without heading, stamp or signature. The CDF warned him about the need for total secrecy and threatened with excommunication and dismissal from the Redemptorists. 

Tony Flannery became convinced that he would never be allowed to return to ministry and that the real target of the CDF was his role in the Association of Catholic Priests. He went public on the matter in January 2013. A Question of Conscience (2013), which reproduces the CDF documentation relating to this case, provides conclusive proof of the Vatican’s determination to stamp out what it regards as dissent, no matter how unjust and devious the methods it uses.

 

All CTA members and friends are encouraged to attend this exciting talk at the May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society in Syracuse.  Good will offering will be asked.  

 

Why we are Hosting Father Tony Flannery

People of Conscience: A conversation with Fr. Tony Flannery

An evening hosted by Call To Action of Upstate NY

Join us for this conversation on Wednesday evening, Oct 29, 2014, at 7:00pm

At the May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society

3800 E. Genesee St., Syracuse, NY

Why we are hosting this talk: 

  • Fr. Tony Flannery is an example of what a priest should be: a pastoral, thoughtful, inclusive and engaging leader, yet he’s been bullied by the Vatican for working to revitalize our wounded Church.  We are inspired by Fr. Flannery’s determination to make Vatican II reforms a greater reality in the Church and excited to hear more about how lay people and priests can work together to co-create the Church we believe in. The Church we deserve.
  • The institutional Church has tried to silence Fr. Flannery and has suspended him from his ministry claiming his writings were in conflict with Catholic teaching.   Yet Fr. Flannery has refused to violate his conscience or abandon his work for justice in the Church he loves.  We too face pressure from the hierarchy to quietly acquiesce, but we know our Church needs members who believe it can be better.  We are proud of our history and inspired by the many saints who questioned authority, stood strong for what their conscience told them was right and demanded dialogue over unjust punishment.
  • For our Church to regain its vitality, we need to join together to honestly discuss the issues and work to make our Church a more open place.  The Catholic climate has changed. Priests are organizing, sisters are speaking out, and the laity are assuming their rights as expressed in Vatican II. We are ready to work together to transform the Church. We are ready for the Catholic Church to embrace the radical notion of dialogue.

 

Background:

  • The Catholic Tipping Point speaking tour is co-sponsored by 11 lay-led Catholic organizations, including Call To Action, Dignity and Women’s Ordination Conference.  We have joined together to bring Fr. Flannery to audiences of progressive Catholics and advocates of a more open Church across the country.  This is the second national tour which the coalition has organized to discuss the future of ministry and leadership in our Church.
  • Like many of his generation, Fr. Tony Flannery began his journey to priesthood as a teenager in the 1950s and has been a faithful servant of the Church ever since.  As a young priest his formation was infused with the values and spirit of Vatican II, and it is in that spirit that he continues to advocate for a Church that is in step with the modern world. He is “one of many Catholics who claim the freedom to find God and proclaim the God they see in the community, rather than serving a God of clerical systems and canonical limits,” writes Anthony Padovano in his book review.
  • Fr. Tony Flannery is a founder and active leader of The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP), a grassroots group which acts to provide priests with an opportunity and a voice to engage in the debates taking place in Irish society and which advocates for a “full implementation of the vision and teaching of the Second Vatican Council.”
  • In 2012, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith demanded that Fr. Flannery step down from leadership at the Association of Catholic Priests and sign an oath agreeing to official Church teachings about contraception, ordination, homosexuality and the inability of women to be priests.  He refused.
  • The CDF tried to silence Fr. Flannery but he has continued to lead the ACP, which stood with him, and to speak out for Church reform through his book, speaking tours and interviews with the media.

Logo

People of Conscience: Reforming the Church Today

The NationalCatholic Tipping Point Tour 2014

is proud to announce Fr. Tony Flannery will speak in Syracuse, NY on Wednesday Oct 29, 2014.

This event on the national speaking tour is hosted by Upstate NY CTA.

People of Conscience: Reforming the Church Today

http://static.tumblr.com/5d92e567f297619dcef3a86b70b055bd/nkbiakb/pMsn70im9/tumblr_static_c69iti1gaggsw8s4w4k0o8w0.jpg

Join us at the May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society

3800 East Genesee St.,  Syracuse, NY 13214

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Time: 7:00pm

In February 2012 Tony Flannery, a Redemptorist and founder member of the Associ­ation of Catholic Priests in Ireland, bestselling author and regular columnist with Reality magazine, was informed that the Vatican watchdog, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), was unhappy with some of his writings relating to the priestly ministry in the Church. Tony was summoned to Rome and told that until he revised his views he would not be allowed to minister as a priest or have any dealings with media. He was to step down as leader of the ACP.

Although he offered a statement of clarification and it seemed as if the matter were closed, a few months later the CDF made further demands that were unacceptable to him. He was required to issue a statement that he accepted all the moral teachings of the Church and that women could never be ordained priests. The CDF forbade him to return to priestly ministry, or be involved with the ACP, until he agree to publish this statement. He was put under €˜formal precept of obedience€™ not to attend the AGM of the ACP (He did attend it.).

During the time in question, the greater part of a year, the CDF never communicated directly with Tony Flannery. Documentation came through Michael Brehl, leader of the Redemptorists. It was on typed A4 pages without heading, stamp or signature. The CDF warned him about the need for total secrecy and threatened with excommunication and dismissal from the Redemptorists.

Tony Flannery became convinced that he would never be allowed to return to ministry and that the real target of the CDF was his role in the Association of Catholic Priests. He went public on the matter in January 2013. A Question of Conscience (2013), which reproduces the CDF documentation relating to this case, provides conclusive proof of the Vatican’s determination to stamp out what it regards as dissent, no matter how unjust and devious the methods it uses.


All CTA members and friends are encouraged to attend this exciting talk at the May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society in Syracuse.  Good will offering will be asked.  More information to come.