Vigil to support Fr Tony to be held at Papal Nunciature

‘We are Church Ireland’ expresses its unconditional support for Fr. Tony Flannery in his assertion of his right of conscience not to be forced by an abuse of his vow of obedience to submit to the secretive demands of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
We welcome the statement of support of his Irish Redemptorist Order and the Association of Catholic priests of Ireland and Austria.
It is now up to the rest of the people of God, both non-ordained and ordained, to express their support for Tony Flannery and to that end
‘We are Church Ireland’ is organising a peaceful vigil outside the Papal Nunciature , Navan Road, Dublin 7 this Sunday 27th January 2013 at 3 p.m. and encourages all concerned for the future of the Irish Church to attend.
Further information, from Brendan Butler (Spokesperson, We are Church Ireland 086 4054984)

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  1. Good Job………Such action will have to be taken……..I will be praying for success!

  2. Laura Kuntz says:

    I hope this is a BIG gathering with lots of follow through. I so hope that many, many priests are part of this initiative. What can we in the USA, who are suffering under the same stifling, unkind actions from Rome, do to help?
    Laura Kuntz

  3. Joe O'Leary says:

    Signatures recall other signatures. The theologian forced to sign mendacious retractations recalls the victims of sex abuse forced to sign promises of secrecy. The cause of it all is that the church has never renounced the Inquisition (the direct ancestor of the CDF). It is time to just say No to this skulduggery, and to hold to account all the little Eichmanns who have not the guts to say No.

  4. I am deeply saddened by the action of CDF and the Vatican. I also support Fr. Tony’s obedience to his conscience which under the guidence of the Holy Spirit must supersede his vow of obedience to the Pope and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which are increasingly being seem by Catholic around the world as Schismatic. The example of his courage and faithfulness to the sensus fidelium should be emulated by priest around the world.
    “By this appreciation of the faith, aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth, the People of God, guided by the sacred teaching authority of the Holy Spirit… receives… the faith, once for all delivered to the saints… the People unfailingly adheres to this faith, penetrates it more deeply with right judgment, and applies it more fully in daily life.”

  5. Christine Stewart says:

    I am Canadian and am totally supportive to Fr Tony Flannery and his position resolving to follow his conscience vis a vis the threat from the CDF. There is no way I can be present in Dublin on Sunday but through an internationally successful internet campaign site, Avaaz, you could put together your own petition in support of Fr Tony, directed to the CDF, the Papal Nuncio, the Irish Bishops, or whomever, which would allow me and thousands of people to lend our support to Fr Tony. I so wish that there was a group in Canada like the ACP and your Catholic lay groups but an Avaaz petition would allow me the powerful opportunity to have a voice. Please, for my sake and the sake of so many thousands worldwide who wish to have a voice in this issue, and so many others which affect the People of the Church, research the internet Avaaz site, review who they are and how they operate, and consider putting together a petition in support of Fr. Tony.

  6. Sandra mc sheaffrey says:

    Thank you for the information about the vigil. I plan to be there. I have been reading all the articles and comments and waiting for the moment to add my piece. I invite you to have a look at the commentary in Sacred Space on today’s gospel. I really cannot add to the sentiments already expressed so just repeat support for Tony and all who reject the methods of control currently in use by the CDF, servants of the Good Shepherd.

  7. Sean (Derry) says:

    Fr. Doug Walker @ No.5, alright, what are you waiting on? Off you go too then, or should his behaviour only be ’emulated’ by ‘other’ priests?

  8. Anne Marie Lyons says:

    I fully support Fr Tony at this difficult time and would be more than happy to join others to offer my support and care for him through this very difficult time.
    However, I have to admit, I have never taken part in a ‘peaceful vigil’ outside anyone’s home and I would feel rather uncomfortable about doing so on this occasion.
    I would be much more at ease joining with others in a vigil of prayer in a church – a Redemptorists one particularly, where I have attended so many novenas over the years.
    Perhaps some of Fr Tony’s brother priests would indicate a location for same, if this is possible.

  9. The actions of the CDF are truly reprehensible. They are showing us all that the Church of Rome bears no ressemblance to the Church of Christ. I dont remember Jesus telling anyone to pack their bags,as it were, when the asked questions even difficult ones, Mk10:35+. Elsewhere we read “What I want is mercy not sacrifice”. There is not much mercy flowing or even trickling from Rome right now, when it is most needed. Just keep in mind Fr Tony all those people you helped, consoled and comforted in their hour of need throught your ministry so now the Lord is with you through it all ” Iam with you always”. Be asured of my support and my prayers.

  10. “Desist immediately” ? Are you for real !?
    This is the fruit of another brand of power tripping.
    I could easily find similar reasons to show you shameful and disobedient. But don’t like to judge.
    Good for the people doing this. What is happening is abuse and it is right to speak out against it. It is critical actually – or the cycle perpetuates and the only ‘fruit’ to be had will be rotten to the core.
    Reminds me of the time I was told by someone ‘loyal’ to the Church when I wanted to speak the truth about abuse. “Oh you can’t do that. That would hurt the Body of Christ.”
    He tried to manipulate through guilt tripping. Didn’t work though.
    Truth sets free – it does not enslave us to hive mind mentalities.
    Delighted you are doing this and I prayed for your success this morning – another ‘shameful, disobedient’ – at Mass.

  11. In the Vatican’s demands upon Rev Tony Flannery I am reminded of Patrick Pearse’s words at the grave of O’Donovan Rossa : “They think they have purchased half of us, and intimidated the other half”.
    It seems that in recent decades the Vatican has been a poison in Irish life, just as the British Empire was in Pearse’s day. I hope Fr Flannery and his friends and supporters have the courage to stand up to the Vatican functionaries as they carry out their Vatican master’s bidding.
    I am reminded also of Pope Pius X1 reflections to canadian seminarians in his latter years to the effect that …”the vatican has become a monstrosity… ” Indeed it has – too much power.
    I believe that Christian voices independent of the Vatican are essential.

  12. Congratulations to Tony for his excellent article in the Irish Times yesterday – a clear, coherent and reasoned statement of his position. May he receive the support he so richly deserves. He has mine.

  13. Rev. Fr. PP says:

    “They think they have purchased half of us, and intimidated the other half”. (As quoted here by Sean No.12)
    The sad reality is that this statement is so true about priests and I include there myself.
    One half of us clergy in Ireland, and perhaps worldwide, seem to be purchased by the lure of power, position and title within the system- the other half is fearful, frightened, tired, opting to just keep the head down and keep going.
    What a terrible truth- hard to name and even harder to live.

  14. Fr. Ian Byrnes says:

    I am an Irish Priest ministering in England. I was in sorrow , yet hopeful to what has happen to my brother priest, Tony. As I reflect on the Pope’s visit to England to beatify John Henry Newman. The man who once said or many times that he had a fight going on in his life. The fight between Rome and his conscience and his conscience always won. I sense that Tony is having a similar experience at this time. I wonder where would John Henry Newman would stand today? Would he receive the same treatment as did Tony. Oh how times have changed in such a short while.
    Take care in the Lord, Tony
    Be assured of my prayer for you and God’s people of Ireland.

  15. Stephen Edward says:

    I am neither purchased nor frightened. I, along with many others, fully support the Church in insisting that its priests teach Catholic doctrine (what else should they be doing?). If there has been any fault on the part of the Vatican it is that they have done far too little and left it very late in this regard and I hope that this action against a rebellious and unrepentant priest is a sign of things to come.

  16. What about all the people you are all called to serve. So many people are now left without Confession and even Mass in some cases. We don’t hear the Gospel preached anymore, we don’t have any encouragement to form prayer groups or Catechesis in our Parishes. You talk about serving the laity and how important the laity is to the Church and yet you leave so many of us abandoned. We are truly sheep without shepherds except for a small number of Priests. I know of Priests who are bullied and made little of because they are faithful to prayer and faithful to the Church. They are truly walking the way of Christ, the way of the Cross and they do so in silence. I pray for Fr. Tony and all of you but I am getting tired of listening to your moaning and groaning while so many people out there are left alone and isolated in our country without spiritual nourishment. I pray for good and holy Priests to come to our aid and to help us in this spiritual desert. Thank God for our Papal Nuncio and for our Holy Father and for all those Priests who faithfully serve the Church with joy and love in union with Christ.

  17. Hugh Doherty says:

    I have read these messages which [virtually] all unconditionally support Fr Flannery and the vigil on Sunday 27 January 2013. I support the vigil but I am unable to attend. I have suggested that an e-petition be made available so that those who wish to do so can register their support for Fr Flannery’s position as explained so eloquently and humbly in his Irish Times article of 22.02.2013

  18. Eddie Finnegan says:

    Anne, what do you think the thousand members of the ACP are doing, day in and day out in their parishes? You are making the same false contrast between “good priests” and priests “seeking attention” as we heard from Papal Nuncio Charles Brown in the pre-Christmas ‘Intercom’. You are both setting up straw men to batter. You are the one who is moaning and groaning. Get over it and pray hard for Charlie Brown.

  19. Pls Read letter below;
    Just came across this very interesting letter. Pls see below.From: Theresa Heaney
    Subject: RE: Discussion with Fr flannery
    Date: 22 January 2013 12:44:02 GMT
    To: patricia@c103.ie
    Dear Patricia,
    No organisation in this country, political, secular, religious or otherwise would tolerate a spokesperson promoting a policy or agenda that is not is keeping with the agreed policy or beliefs of that group.
    If you, as an employee and respected public persona within ‘C103’, were to disobey the rules of the station and persistently breach the Broadcasting code, while on air, do you honestly believe that you would be allowed to continue on the airways? Would a Government spokesperson of any department be allowed to publicly promote a policy inconsistent with the programme for Government? Would a Hospital consultant be allowed to publicly endorse on behalf of the hospital, a health policy, contrary to the agreed ‘policy’ of the hospital?
    Why then should the Catholic church allow a Priest to preach to the faithful, what is contrary to the Catholic Faith? Priests volunteered to become priests and to accept the teaching and the rules. They swore an oath to be obedient to Christ and His Church. The teaching is the same now as it was when they signed up, because the teaching of the Catholic Church does not change with the prevailing winds of fashion. If the Priest has a crisis of faith, as happens many a poor priest, then they must be supported in whatever way is possible, including through our prayers. It does not mean that the priest can assume the right to teach what is contrary to the Catholic faith and contrary to Humanae Vitae.
    As a woman and as Catholic I now fully understand the church’s teaching on Humanae Vitae. I didn’t always understand it and therefore I do not condemn in any way those who find themselves struggling to understand it. “There go I but for the Grace of God” Some people don’t understand it because they have never heard it preached, yet, It’s teaching is much needed today. Far from undermining women and enslaving them it raises the true dignity of women. It is the ‘stone rejected by the builder’ that has literally become the cornerstone”. Humanae Vitae has proven itself. It was a prophetic document and anyone who take the time to study it, will know that it is a powerful document.
    The sex industry hates the Catholic Church’s teaching on sexuality. No wonder it does, it makes trillions out of pornography, contraceptive and abortion. It denigrates and abuses women. It is dependent on a liberal sex regime and the Catholic Church teaching on respect for sexuality and life, is contrary to it’s profit plan. The good news is however that many people are now looking again at the teaching of Humanae Vitae and seeing its true value.
    Christ didn’t run after those who objected to his teachings. He asked his apostles “If they too wanted to walk away? As Catholics we are not forced to go to Mass. I go because I fully believe in the teaching of the Catholic church and I am depending on the Priest to give me the true teaching of the Catholic faith. I fully respect that others do not share my beliefs and do not attend Mass. Therefore, If the priest is preaching what is contrary to my Catholic Faith, then, his superiors should ensure that he is cautioned. If he continues to disobey the rules( as with Fr Flannery) then, as with any other organisation, secular of religious he /she should be removed. It’s what a discerning and self respecting public would expect in the world of politics, business or sport Why then should we, the faithful members of Catholic Church, accept a code of practice lower than other institutions? It would be negligent in the extreme.
    Theresa Heaney 023-8846470

  20. Joe O'Leary says:

    “The good news is however that many people are now looking again at the teaching of Humanae Vitae and seeing its true value.”
    I think the value of the encyclical has been fully rehearsed even by its critics. The issue is not the encyclical itself but its judgement that contraception is always intrinsice inhonestum and objectively immoral.

  21. Mike Moran says:

    I have no wish to comment on the views of others on this site as I believe, like Fr Tony Rafferty, that debate is good and through the consideration of all views expressed and the application of one’s own conscience in the context of our Christian faith we can come to a better understanding of God’s plan for us.
    However, I do support Fr Tony’s right, as an experienced and thinking priest, ordained by God, to put out for our mature consideration some possibilities of how the Church can fulfill its mission to all God’s human creatures. So far as I am aware he has not proposed a substitution for our current doctrines and traditions but simply a suggestion of ways in which we could expand our thinking. Those who argue for orthodoxy at all costs, by definition, place a limit on our faith and attempt to freeze belief and practices in a particular time. If this adherence to orthodoxy was a sustainable position the Church would not have moved on since the time of Jesus – which clearly is not so.
    God asked us to use all our talents to the full and the Church has seen many productive developments over the centuries as a consequence. So what can justify calling a halt to debate at this particular time? It may be that after mature reflection we will come to a position that is in line with some of the things that Fr Tony has said – or we may come to a different view. What cannot be correct is to say that we have no right to express or to listen to a variety of views.
    So – we and Fr Tony have a right and a duty to struggle onward to a fuller understanding of our role as individuals and groups within our Church. The Pope and the Curia may have an institutional power to place limitations on Fr Tony – or any other baptised Catholic – but to do so is ultimately counterproductive to the mission we have to follow the Lord. Let’s keep on thinking, debating and praying.

  22. I have been praying for Father Flannery for several months now.
    I will continue to do so.
    May the Holy Spirit inspire everyone who prays to do God’s Will.

  23. Mary Stewart says:

    Do I not understand correctly that Fr. Flannery is questioning the actual establishment of the priesthood?
    I am so thankful that we have been given such a great leader as our present Nuncio and I look to him for guidance at this critical time. I have no difficulty in accepting the teaching of theChurch, just in living up to it! That doesn’t give me the right to object to it, nor should it.
    We have a vitally important battle on our hands to ensure that abortion, the killing of the innocent, is not introduced here. All this criticism of the Church is not helping.
    Could we please concentrate on this and leave the matter of questioning Church teaching to those with little else to engage them.
    I for one am happy to avail of over 2,000 years of guidance from my Church. Those who claim to be wiser than the Pope should be careful they are not led into the sin of pride as well as disobedience.

  24. Mary O Vallely says:

    There is a great overflowing of emotion at present and it is obvious people care passionately enough to comment in such large numbers. There is much suffering, even among those of us not directly involved. We are aware that Tony and others like Sean Fagan are suffering greatly. What can we do? Protest, yes. I’ll be there on Sunday with so many others but we need to pray as never before with total fervour and full heart. I love the Ravensbruck prayer and although we cannot equate the unbearable suffering endured by those poor souls in the Concentration camps of WW2 with our own suffering it is still a prayer that speaks to all of us in any situation of almost despair and so I offer it to you all. It is hugely humbling.”Instead remember the fruits we have borne because of this suffering.” Mary V
    O Lord, remember not only
    the men and women of goodwill,
    but also those of ill will.
    But, do not remember all the suffering
    they have inflicted upon us:
    Instead remember the fruits we have borne
    because of this suffering:
    Our fellowship, our loyalty to one another,
    our humility, our courage, our generosity,
    the greatness of heart
    that has grown from this trouble.
    When our persecutors come to be judged by you,
    let all of these fruits that we have borne
    be their forgiveness.

  25. emily fenech says:

    I have read everyone’s comments and i pray for all of you. This is a difficult time for the Church and we can but remember that He said He would be with us until the end of time. My heart goes out to Fr Tony at this time. I cannot be with you on Sunday the 27th but will be so with you in prayer and love. Fr Tony there is always a welcome for you here at my house in Tunbridge Wells Kent and a nice cup of tea will be here for you. I have the greatest respect for the Redemptorists. Fr Tony cassidy is in my parish and is a blessing in every sense of the word. My brother Patrick Smyth used to be Fr Paddy Smyth a Redemptorist. Emily

  26. When people try to put another person down by silencing him/her they are already admitting that you are the better person – asking OUR GOD to direct you to keep up your good work – Fr. Tony, you have our unconditional support.

  27. James Boyle says:

    I think Theresa Heaney’s letter says it as it is (@21). The great danger to us is pride, and can lead us all astray if we are not continually aware of it. It is for this reason we should stop and think of the great freedom we have, with obedience. We have the Church to teach us the truth, and all we have to do is accept it, and not having to depend on our own feelings, which change continually. (Remember without obedience we have confusion). We are Blessed to have such a wise Papel Nuncia in Charles Brown who is not afraid to give us the Pope’s teaching of the Catholic Church that has stood our forefathers so very well. Remember Christ gave the Keys of “His Church” to St. Peter, His first Pope. I see many references to the Church in Ireland and my great fear is that some people are attempting to make it a “Church of Ireland”. I would suggest a test of humility for all of us: by asking ourselves can we put the protection of the most vulnerable, innocent, helpless unborn children first ,(who are coming under the most sever threat at this time) before any of our own adopted cause’s , if not may I suggest that more prayer is required for our enlightenment of truth, to understand the will of God.

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