American priests seek to join with ACP in support of Tony Flannery (Revised List 2)

We want to join the ACP in support of Father Tony Flannery in the hope that his many years of dedicated faithful priestly ministry might be respected in the discussion with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
We are concerned about similar penalties imposed upon American priests such as Fr. Roy Bourgeois and Fr. Bill Brennan, S.J. Not all of our members may agree with the statements of these priests, but they deserve to be treated more compassionately by Vatican officials. The fact that their penalties are more severe than those imposed upon bishops and priests involved in the recent paedophilia scandals certainly raises questions of fairness and justice.
We stand in solidarity with our brother priests in the sense of “Presbyterium Ordinis” from Vatican II and “Pastores Dabo Vobis” from Blessed Pope John Paul II, and we assure them of our prayerful support and remembrance in our Masses.
AUSCP Leadership:
Fr. David Cooper, Milwaukee, WI
Fr. Jim Schexnayder, Pacheco, CA
Fr. Frank Eckart, Toledo, OH
Fr. Daniel Divis, Lorain, OH
Fr. Robert Cushing, Cordele, GA
Fr. John (Jay) Davidson,  Indiana
Fr. Len Dubi, Hazel Crest, IL
Fr. Bernard Survil, Greensburg, PA
And affirmed by the following
Fr. Thomas Ivory, West Orange, NJ
Fr. James Flynn, Louisville, KY
Fr. Jack O’Malley, Pittsburgh, PA
Fr. Harry Meyer Loveland OH
Fr. Steve Newton Portland OR
Fr. Pedro Lleo,  Miami, FL
Fr. Jerry Hanley Carson City NV
Fr. Rich Creason,  St Louis MO
Fr. Frank Carroll Bristol RI
Fr. Patrick Collins, Douglas MI
Fr. Matt Garrison Little Rock AR
Fr. Bruce Byrolly,  Cambridge MD
Fr. Jim Houston,  Northboro MA
Fr. Neil Draves-Arpaia, Northville NY
Fr. Marty Peter Columbus IN
Fr. Tim Taugher,  Binghamton NY
Fr. G.E. Auger Manchester NH
Fr. Emmett Coyne Exeter NH
Fr. Tom Ogg,  Ten Sleep WY
Fr. James Flynn Louisville KY
Fr. Kevin Murphy,  Canadaigua , NY
Fr. Vincent Gluc,  ofmcv,  Baltimore,  MD
Fr. Chuck Denny Toledo OH
Fr. David Buersmeyer, Washington,  MI
Fr. Norm Supancheck,  Sylmar CA
Fr. Frank Pollie,  Auburn Hills MI
Fr. Joe Fedora Lime PERU
Fr. Richard Bollman, SJ Cincinnati OH
Fr. Tony Gallagher,  Toledo OH
Fr Ricardo Elford,  cssr,  Tucson AZ
Fr. John Anglin, ofm,  St Petersburg
Fr. Louis Dickman,  Covington KY
Fr. Ron Cioffi,  Keport,  NJ
Fr. Bill MacKenzie,  Rochester NH
Fr. Thomas Fenlon,  Bronx NY
Fr. Lou Papes,  Cleveland OH
Fr. Justin Belitz, ofm,  Indianapolis, IN
Fr. Michael Tegeder,  Minn., MN
Fr. John Hynes,  Wilmington, DE
Fr. John Kirwin, Saratoga Springs, NY
Fr. Carl Last,  Lutz, FL
Fr. Basil De Pinto, Oakland, CA
Fr. John J. Shea, OSA. Boston, MA
Fr. Angelo Gambatese,  ofm,  New York, NY
Fr. Ron Gaesser,  Auburn NY
Fr. Patrick Tucker,  Palos Hills IL
Fr. Jim Sheil,  Avon Hills, OH
Fr. William Spilly,  Hamlin NY
Fr. Joseph Witmer, Louisville OH
Fr. Joseph Romano,  Livonia MI
Fr. Arian Cook,  Brewton AL
Fr. Brian Rafferty, Baltimore MD
Fr. Keith Brennan, SDS Tucson AZ
Fr. Michael Ryan Seattle WA
Fr. James Kiesel,  Baltimore MD
Fr. Bob Diachek,  Chester NJ
Fr. Bob Nee, Cambridge, MA
Fr. Jim Dallen, Spokane, WA,
Fr. Kevin Moran, Seattle, WA
Fr. Andrew Blake, Sag Harbor, NY
Fr. Thomas Boland, Louisville, KY
Fr. William Traylor, Jasper, IN
Fr. Steve Metzgar, Utica, OH
Fr. Richard Nutter, Toledo, OH
Fr. Andy Smith, Dio. of Little Rock
Fr. Dan Malain, Nederland ,TX
Fr. Ray Maiser, cssr, Seattle, WA
Fr. Robert T. Begin, Cleveland, OH
Fr. Raymond Kemp, Washington, DC
Fr. Norman Langenbrunner, Cincinnati, OH
Fr. Ernest Corriveau,  Sulpher, MS
Fr. Roger Karban, Renault, IL
Fr. Nicholas Schneider, St Louis, MO
Fr. Robert Lord, Milford, CT
Fr. Paul Kelly, Tupper Lake, NY
Fr. Richard Daly, Belleville, IL
Fr. Dueweke, OSA, El Paso, TX
Fr. Dan Zak, Holland, OH
Fr. Thomas Suriano, Milwaukee, WI
Fr. Bill Remmel, SDS, Tucson, AZ
Fr. Bob Schramm, Toledo, OH
Fr. Charles Morris, Detroit, MI
Fr. Bob Wilhelm, Toledo, OH
Fr. Bill Burke, Chicago, IL
Fr. Terry Meehan, Dayton, OH
Fr. John Heagle, Lincoln City, OR
Fr. Richard E. Smith, Corinth, MS
Fr. Patrick F. Irwin, Ogunquit, ME
Fr. Kevin Clinton, New Prague, MN
Fr. Earl Rohleder, Santa Fe, NM
Fr. John Hofstede, Minneapolis, MN
Fr. Patrick Madden, Archidio. of Mobile
Fr. Charles DesRuisseaux,  Manchester, NH
Fr. Anthony Ruff, O.S.B., Collegeville, MN
Fr. Peter Ruggere, Tampa, FL
Fr. Gerard Graziano, Hackensak, NJ
Fr. Gene Vonderhaar, Bradford, OH
Fr. John Hoffman, LaGrange, IL
Fr. Andrew P. Connolly, Manorhaven,  NY
Fr. Dominic R. Duggins, Cincinnati, OH
Fr. Ron Bonneau,  C.Ss.R., Piscataway, NJ
Fr. James L. Meyer, Detroit, MI
Fr. Leo O. Farley, Caldwell, NJ
Fr. Robert Osborne,  Archdio. of Louisville
Fr. Bill Stenzel, Berwyn, IL
Fr. Tom Shea, CSC, Cocoa Beach, FL
Fr. Dominic Ingemie, Saratoga Springs, NY
Fr. Jerry Zawada, Milwaukee
Fr. William G. Petron
Fr. Jim Meade Cincinnati OH
Fr. John D. Hanic Wilkesboro NC
Fr. Mike Hess W. DeMoines IA
Fr. Vincent  Pastro Kent WA
Fr. Ray   Tetrault Providence RI
Fr. Dennis Rausch FtLauderdale FL
Fr. John C. Sivalon Scranton PA
Fr. James D. Matthews Syracuse NY
Fr. R. James Balint Plano TX
Fr. Ed Ruetz DioFt.Wayne IN
Fr. Paul F. Chateau Oak Park IL
(Complete list up to 1 am, Eastern Time, 7 Feb, 2013)

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  1. Eddie Finnegan says:

    Only question to be settled now is will next year’s AGM be in Portland Oregon rather than Portlaoise, or will Baltimore Maryland shade it over Baltimore, West Cork?
    I looked in vain for my old friend and classmate Paddy M from Spokane, but then I’ve fruitlessly scoured ACP meetings and website for 2yrs 4mths & 2wks for any mention of our remaining forty classmates “on the home mission”. OK, 15% of them are dead so they have some sort of excuse. But whatever happened Maynooth radicalism of yesteryear (’61-’65)?

  2. Truly wonderful news. If priests in other countries who individually supported the ACP and Fr Tony signed up, then that would unite us into one powerful unit. Think about it.

  3. Laura Kuntz says:

    I am so glad to see the courageous support of these American priests. Thank you, gentlemen. You have given me just a bit of hope that Catholic church could again become the church I once trusted and of which I was proud. Minnesota, USA.

  4. Dr Rosemary Eileen McHugh says:

    As an Irish-American Catholic, I wish to congratulate and thank the AUSCP, for their courage in doing the right thing, by joining with the ACP, in support of Fr Tony Flannery.
    Our private conscience before God is a precious gift from God, and must be protected at all costs.
    I believe that Pope Benedict XVI would agree with the importance of conscience, and that it is superior to all else, even superior to the demands of the church.
    Justice for Fr Tony Flannery is needed here, and mercy and compassion and love.
    I would like to reflect on a meaning of the word ‘OBEDIENCE’, which I learned this year. I am not sure if this comes from the Greek. Others of you may know much better the origin of the word.
    ‘TO LISTEN’ is not the same as being submissive to the command of authority.
    ‘TO LISTEN’ respects the autonomy of every person to make decisions on the right thing to do, FREELY before God as, I believe, God created us to do, for God’s greater glory.
    That seems to me to be what Fr Tony Flannery is doing. And I believe his listening is for the good of the Church of Jesus Christ.
    Sincerely, Dr Rosemary Eileen McHugh, Chicago, Illinois, USA

  5. Brendan Cafferty says:

    That is a wonderful amount of support. It needs to be brought home to Vatican that Tony Flannery must be restored to full ministry. It is too big an issue to be left in abeyance and forgotten about.

  6. Church Militant ? 🙂 I jest.
    None of us agree with many people on many things. At least to sit and talk though. As Rosemary reminded – to hear, and ‘to listen’. Love begets love.
    Out of the depths you cried Tony – and your comrades sent to support you. 🙂 This is what Church should be about it seems to me – a Body, where one part hurting, hurts all. All should seek to assist in the healing of that Body – healing one will effect the healing of all. Cleric and laity. It is an issue of pro life – dignity of each human being.
    Well done to people and priests of the US and elsewhere.
    I learned that lately also Rosemary. “Be still…. (listen) and know.”
    Maybe this is a ‘dark night of the soul’ of the Body – Church. Necessary for greater light and life.
    Good to see here anyway. Thank you from me also. Salam.

  7. Could the 1000 strong members of the ACP follow the example of the American priests and support individually their founder Fr Tony Flannery.You are of one mind with him and there may be safety in numbers but let us not hide behind numbers. The time has come to stand up and be counted name by name just as the American priests have done. “Be not afraid” you are all in the thoughts and prayers of many.

  8. Eddie Finnegan says:

    Now you’re talking, Máire! It’s the individual witness that counts, not necessarily with the greasy-pole-climbing monsignori of the Curia, but with the people, priests and (one hopes) some of Ireland’s bishops who may yet ‘go native’ with a bit of encouragement.

  9. Ned Quinn says:

    Quite right Maire. Let us all support our brother Tony in his hour of need.
    Fr. Ned Quinn O.M.I.
    Darndale, Dublin

  10. Maybe O’Bama will stand for president in succession to Michael D. Higgins…. what a fine vote of support from American priests for Tony Flannery. They are to be congratulated.
    “That ain’t no load I’m carrying, that’s my brother”.

  11. T.Denault says:

    I hope that many Canadian priests and Catholic lay people will show their support to the ACP and Father Tony as well. I wonder – What will happen to our church? Who will listen to the voices of the people? Where is the opportunity to honestly share varying points of view? It is heartbreaking. People aren’t leaving the church as much as the church is leaving us and we feel powerless to stop it. Let us return to the ideals of Vatican II.

  12. Jerry Slevin says:

    AMEN, the Yanks are coming, “Over There”, once again, Fr. Tony Flannery! Just hold on.
    Yesterday, an accomplice of Los Angeles’ Cardinal Mahony, Bishop Curry, an Irishman from Cavan, was sacked, as was Mahony, still a voting Cardinal.
    The imminent war of papal succession has begun and Tony’s work is just one of the Pope’s chosen battlefronts.
    Many have already petitioned President Obama, including some from Ireland, to curb the Pope and Vatican Cardinals’ overreach.
    They are watching the defensive resistance of Ireland’s and Australia’s “Celtic Couple”, Enda Kenny and Julia Gillard, very closely.
    They will also be watching the Pope’s dismal performance on HBO on this Monday, 2/4,in the award winning documentary, “Mea Maxima Culpa”. It is not to be missed.
    For more on this, please see http://wp.me/P2YEZ3-jf

  13. Bob Hayes says:

    Interesting reference to ‘Maynooth radicalism of yesteryear (’61-’65)’ by Eddie Finnegan (2). Pre-Vatican II and priests were doing their own thing. How very 1960s.

  14. Eddie Finnegan says:

    Lighten up Bob. You’re far too literal minded for your own good. Don’t read too deeply into my little obiter dicta – they carry no guarantee of infallibility or even historical accuracy. Just a fond memory of a time when students in their (to quote the late-lamented Paddy Corish) “dreamswept years between 18 and 25” were still capable of a very occasional independent thought outside the seminary box, a whole 15 miles from John Charles’s Drumcondra, and a whole 3 years after Roncalli took over from Pacelli. Bob, I greatly fear you’ve had a much too sheltered upbringing. Pray tell me, is it too late for you to start getting out a bit more? I’m sure something could be arranged, along the lines of a day-per-week-release scheme.

  15. Laura Kuntz says:

    Wow!! The growth of this list is impressive. I have a question for these priests and for priests around the world — when will you lead (and can you lead) — in helping “clean up the joint” in terms of the awfulness of the on-going sex abuse scandals, or is that scandal going to simply take the church “down the tubes?” I ask this because it doesn’t seem like the hierarchy can lead — they can’t solve this. I don’t think they can solve this because the issue is systemic, and as the head of the system, they will simply be blamed. Pillorying a few individuals (like Cardinal Mahoney) will likely happen, but is not the answer, and, quite frankly may or may not be fair. Cleaning out the system and going back to the teachings of Christ is the answer. The position Fr. Tony finds himself in is a symptom of the problem; your/our support of him is very, very important and, absolutely just and absolutely needed. But, it seems to me there is a much, much bigger problem afoot. Yesterday, Ireland. Today, L.A. Monday, Mea Culpa Maxima.

  16. Pam Ruigh says:

    Thank you for standing up for what is right and just. I hope all good priests every where can stand up and bring fresh air and justice into a dying Church that is being strangled to death by the hierarchy.

  17. Cyril North says:

    I’m encouraged to see that at least some people out there are aware of what’s really happening to the institutional church. This is refreshing in view of the apathy of most followers.

  18. Bob Hayes says:

    Thank you for the concern about my welfare Eddie. Have no fear, I do get out and about. In fact it is the variety of people I meet, and their diverse views, that has me wondering why so many ‘rebels’ in the Irish church have embraced the positions of Anglo-Saxon Protestant theology.

  19. Chris (England) says:

    I keep hoping that there might be a similar expression of support from priests in England, Wales and Scotland.

  20. Diane Goss says:

    May the truth and courage of the signers sprout and spread like the mustard seed!

  21. As a young priest (ordained under two years) I do not support the signatories of this petition, but I recognize each of them as a brother priest, and I value the importance of dialogue. As fragmented and polarized as the Church is already I can’t help but wonder how long until the seemingly inevitable rift will happen.
    I would be very interested to see the age spread of the signers and those rallying around them. I suspect that not only is there a wide ideological rift but also a generational one. Which makes me wonder what the future will look like.

  22. Juven @23.We are all worried what our church will look like in the future. That is one of the main reasons for the establishment of the ACP, and why they have such a following. If we carry on as we are, in a short period we will have no church.

  23. Juven (@23)
    Oh ye of little faith.
    The gates of hell shall not prevail. There is ample evidence of enough truly faithful lay members of the Church, at least, to ensure Christ’s promises be fulfilled, even some priests wonder it too much a challenge.
    Keep the faith, hold to hope and the very greatest, when we let go of fear – love – will prevail.
    I’d love to meet and talk to you twenty, thirty years from now Juven. 🙂 But will likely have left, as we will one day, for that Heavenly Country. 🙂
    God bless and all blessings in your ministry. 🙂

  24. What wonderful news. All around the world we are together looking
    forward for a beautiful church.
    That’s great news from the United states. I think we are all
    in a beautiful cruise-liner on a beautiful journey, which
    started just a “few minutes” ago. And our Captain is Jesus.
    And we are all members of his Crew. And the navigations instruments
    are His words: Love, The Beatitudes, The Sermon on the Mount.
    And we won’t give up. Because we can TRUST IN HIS LOVE.
    God bless

  25. Keith Koberinski says:

    This has to start with our priests. There is no other way

  26. Once again, this list is impressive for support of Father Tony from the U.S……….How I yearn, to see, the names of all the Irish priests right with and perhaps first of all, from the Irish Bishops…….Yes, that’s the spirit!
    I’m sending the link to a radio interview with Father Flannery from Canada this past Sunday: http://cbc.sh/EW47SgL (only available for streaming in Canada — Moderator). It is an excellent interview. It is sad, though, at the end, when Father says that he probably will never be able to return to public ministry.

  27. Laura Kuntz says:

    I note four names from the fine state of Minnesota. Thank you! I’m so proud of you.

  28. Fr Harold Cullen says:

    Please add my name in support of Fr Tony Flannery and for the restoration of all his faculties.
    Rev Harold F Cullen (Trenton Diocese)

  29. Soline Humbert says:

    …And this is the recent statement from the Conference of Religious in Ireland (CORI), as posted on their website:
    Statement from CORI regarding the
    Fr. Tony Flannery / Redemptorist Issue
    4th February 2013
    “All of us at CORI sincerely hope that the matters, which have arisen between Redemptorist priest Fr. Tony Flannery and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith can be resolved for the good of all concerned. This has proven to be a very difficult matter for our Irish Redemptorist colleagues and for Fr. Flannery himself. The Redemptorists have made an outstanding contribution to Irish society and the Irish church, especially through their mission work in parishes. We pray that this recent controversy will not impact negatively in any way on this ongoing and vitally important contribution.”

  30. Martin Murray says:

    Bob (@ 20) meeting and listening is fine, but we also need to be open to learn from others. If some of us have as you put it ’embraced the positions of Anglo-Saxon Protestant theology’ though I am far from clear what that means, then maybe it is because we are open to learn from others.

  31. Stephen Edward says:

    “It is your duty to to fix the lines (of doctrine) clearly in your minds: and if you wish to go beyond them you must change your profession. This is your duty not specially as Christians or as priests but as honest men. There is a danger here of the clergy developing a special professional conscience which obscures the very plain moral issue. Men who have passed beyond these boundary lines in either direction are apt to protest that they have come by their unorthodox opinions honestly. In defense of those opinions they are prepared to suffer obloquy and to forfeit professional advancement. They thus come to feel like martyrs. But this simply misses the point which so gravely scandalizes the layman. We never doubted that the unorthodox opinions were honestly held: what we complain of is your continuing in your ministry after you have come to hold them. We always knew that a man who makes his living as a paid agent of the Conservative Party may honestly change his views and honestly become a Communist. What we deny is that he can honestly continue to be a Conservative agent and to receive money from one party while he supports the policy of the other.”
    –from Christian Apologetics by C.S. Lewis, Easter 1945.

  32. Joe O'Leary says:

    C S Lewis is writing in an Anglican context. Of course the same problem of conscience can arise in the Roman Catholic world and many have left the priesthood or the church for that reason. But Tony Flannery is at the heart of Catholicism, a man of deep, serene, and orthodox faith; so Lewis’s quote has no application here. The attempt to apply it is in line with the increasingly strident and rather desperate strategy of the failing rightwing restorationist movement to target everyone who does not buy their integralist vision as excatholics or noncatholics or hypocrites. It savors of McCarthyism which saw closet commies, unamericans, under every bush.

  33. Bob Hayes says:

    Martin (32), little – if any – of the critique of Catholicism expressed on this and similar sites is new or original. I do not say that disparagingly! Rather, it is the case that across the globe Anglicans and/or Lutherans have already embraced many theological positions that are now being taken-up by the ACP and its supporters. Whether it is women’s ordination, abortion, the Eucharist, the Immaculate Conception, divorce or human sexuality, Anglicans and/or Lutherans have established theological positions consistent with views expressed by the ACP. Whether or not these positions have been reached independently of Protestant theology, the fact is that ACP views on a range of matters are consistent with the significant Anglo-Saxon input into post-Reformation Christian doctrine.

  34. Stephen Edward says:

    Joe, if your second sentence were true, why would there be a problem at all? The Anglican context is irrelevant. Lewis spoke of ‘modernist’ Anglicans but the argument is equally valid for Catholic priests and religious.

  35. Joe O'Leary says:

    “If your second sentence were true, why would there be a problem at all?” Stephen, no problem if you do not mean to apply Lewis’s description of apostates to good priests like Fr Tony Flannery.
    “Whether it is women’s ordination, abortion, the Eucharist, the Immaculate Conception, divorce or human sexuality, Anglicans and/or Lutherans have established theological positions consistent with views expressed by the ACP.”

    Bob, first, you should quote the ACP’s formal utterances on those questions rather than suggest that they hold uncatholic positions. Second, the same sort of argument is used by those who reject Vatican II as a protestantization of the church. Why would it be surprising if our fellow Christians reach conclusions similar to ours, given that we have the same gospel and the same modern context?

  36. Bob Hayes says:

    Joe (37), I make my observations because it is evident that many contributors supporting the ACP have adopted a strident anti-colonial – i.e. anti-Rome – stance while wholeheartedly embracing the cultural imperialism of the rapidly declining Anglican and Lutheran communities.

  37. Stephen Edward says:

    Joe, Fr. Flannery’s views are clearly heretical as far as I have understood them. I am no theologian but believe that Christ founded the Church, instituted the priesthood and left us Himself really and truly in the Blessed Sacrament. Apparently Fr. Flannery believes otherwise. OK then let him and the Vatican decide what is the next appropriate step. Immediate laicisation would be my resolution.

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