Tony Flannery and Archbishop Charles Brown, Papal Nuncio to Ireland

Tony Flannery has published, on his own blog, a short correspondence that passed between himself and the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, following the appearance of The Nuncio on RTE’s “The Meaning of Life”.

 From Tony’s blog:

After watching the interview of the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, by Gay Byrne in the Meaning of Life programme of November 20, I wrote the following letter to the Nuncio:

November 21, 2016
Archbishop Charles Brown
The Apostolic Nunctiature
183, Navan Rd, Dublin 7

Re: The Meaning of Life Programme, November 20, 2016, RTE

Dear Archbishop,

When you appeared on the above programme you stated that I had been asked by my superiors not to celebrate Mass publicly. This implied that my superiors did so due to some misdemeanour on my part. In fact, my superiors were instructed by the CDF to instruct me to desist from public priestly ministry. I have the relevant documentation to substantiate what I say. It is a disappointment that someone of the stature of a Papal Nuncio would mislead people in this way. Please correct your statement publicly as soon as possible through the medium of RTE.

Yours sincerely,


Tony Flannery, CSsR


The following reply came from Archbishop Brown, dated November 29:

Dear Father Flannery,

Thank you for your letter of 21 November 2016 regarding an interview with I gave to Gay Byrne and which was broadcast on 20 November 2016.

I profoundly disagree with your characterisation of my comments in that interview. The truth is that the involvement of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in your case was made absolutely clear. Indeed, it formed the basis of Gay Byrne’s initial question to me regarding priests whose writings have come to the attention of the Congregation.

Fortunately, the interview in its entirety can still be viewed on the RTE website by means of the RTE Player, so that people who wish to see what was actually said may easily do so.

With kind regards and prayerful good wishes,

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Archbishop Charles J. Brown

Apostolic Nuncio

The interview is available on the RTE Player.
It is also available on youtube

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  1. PN is very smooth and conservative by not changing – didn’t entertain any discussion on women priests. Hopefully his replacement soon will be a more progressive person who understands the reason to reform and represent its community.

  2. I’ve looked at the whole thing and while the Nuncio did mention Rome as being involved he left the clear impression that the silencing or whatever was at the door of the Superior of the Redemptorists (in this case).
    Very disingenuous and well short of the whole truth.
    So I would agree with Tony Flannery’s letter and find the response an evasive disgrace. He is a most unconvincing character.

  3. disappointed in Nuncio who considers himself a man of God. It validates the failings of the hierarchal church its focus on power and greed and not interested in its flock or equality. It’s hypocritical in all its teachings and actions. Church needs to implode before it can re-emerge in order to serve and follow Jesus Christ teaching and see God in everything.

  4. Brendan Cafferty says:

    I was watching it and while he did mention CDF, I took from it that it was Tony’s superiors who were to blame. This as we know is not the whole truth at all especially given the PN’s former connection with CDF. Being economical with the truth is most unbecoming .But then who was it said that an envoy’s job is to spin for the bosses back at base ?

  5. The PN is biding his time for higher office and he is not going to rock the boat.He struck me as quite arrogant.
    Never mind Tony it’s a long road that has no turning.

  6. Joe O'Leary says:

    A Vatican smoothie, who is a master of suggestio falsi.

  7. The Papal Nuncio has at least confirmed that those unsigned letters on blank stationary were indeed from the CDF! He should know as he worked there! He has confirmed that the inquisition is indeed alive and well and operating in the CDF.
    The Papal Nuncio also confirmed he has sympathy [for Tony Flannery & Brian D’Arcy] sure, sure sure! And he would do whatever he can to help them reintegrate. Yet he has not contacted or met either of them though he has been here 5 years.

  8. declan cooney says:

    Connie, the Pope himself has said that women priests are not up for discussion……does that mean he is “very smooth and conservative” too??

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