Fr Flannery’s defiance of the Church includes promoting fornication and adultery

Fr Tony Flannery, the Redemptorist priest and leader of the Association of Catholic Priests, has this week expressed his determination to defy the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s recommendation that he step down from leadership of the ACP and undertake a sabbatical to reflect on his dissent from the Church’s doctrine, including refraining from writing  for publication.  According to The Tablet Fr Flannery justified that his defiance by claiming to follow his conscience.

However, not only does Fr Flannery  reject the Church’s doctrines concerning Catholic priesthood and reject the authority of Humanae Vitae he also promotes through his writings fornication and adultery. In 2009 Fr Flannery wrote:

“The second basic change would be to break the inherent connection, long part of traditional Catholic teaching, between sexual activity and marriage. To continue to hold that sex outside marriage is always sinful is in my view a mistake……. we break the rigid connection between sexual activity and marriage, allowing for appropriate sexual relationships between people who are not married when the quality of the relationship merits it. ”

“…it is unrealistic to expect that every couple will continue to love and cherish each other until death…I am advocating that the church’s attitude to people in second relationships must change. Such persons deserve to have their union sacramentalised in the church, if they so wish, and must never be excluded from the Eucharist.”

Flannery, T (2009) in Some Ideas on a New Approach to Catholic Sexual Teaching” in Responding to the Ryan Report, The Columba Press, Dublin, 2009.

Fr Flannery maintains the contradictory position of both expressing his rejection of the Church’s teaching on the priesthood, while at the same time assuming leadership of the Association of Catholic Priests, presuming to speak on behalf of the Catholic priests of Ireland:

“I no longer believe that the priesthood, as we currently have it in the Church, originated with Jesus…He did not designate a special group of his followers as priests. To say that at the Last Supper Jesus instituted the priesthood as we have it is stretching the reality of what happened. It is more likely that some time after Jesus, a select and privileged group within the community who had abrogated power and authority to themselves, interpreted the occasion of the Last Supper in a manner that suited their own agenda.”

“I can no longer accept that interpreting the Word of God and celebrating the sacraments belong exclusively to the priesthood.”

Having quoted from Pope Benedict’s 2010 letter to Priests: “Clearly, according to this quote, it is the priest alone who possesses the power to celebrate the Eucharist. There was probably a time when I believed that. But now I believe that the Word of God and the sacraments belong to, and are already within, the whole community, the Church, rather than the priest alone.”Flannery, T ( July/August 2010) Reality.

Protect the Pope comment: Fr Flannery is being misleadingly presented by the liberal media, including The Tablet, as a priest defending the rights of conscience over the oppressive authority of the Church. The truth of the matter is that most moral people will find Fr Flannery’s promotion of breaking the link between marriage and sexual activity repugnant, especially coming from a priest who presides at the celebration of the sacrament of marriage.  Fr Flannery is yet another example of a priest who breaks the link between compassion and truth, and thereby promotes moral chaos that causes so much harm and heartache to countless broken families.

The fact that he rejects the Catholic doctrine of priesthood but presumes to lead an association of Catholic priests shows his personal confusion, rather than his defence of conscience.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21120326

 

 

15 comments to Fr Flannery’s defiance of the Church includes promoting fornication and adultery

  • Joseph Matthew

    If Fr Flannery has any integrity, he will realize that he no longer has the Catholic Faith. He will then proceed accordingly. The same goes for members of the Association of “Catholic” priests.

  • Bob Hayes

    Let us pray that Tony Flannery and those like him see their error and repent. Let us pray also that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Irish hierarchy act decisively and firmly against those who persist in dissent and heresy. If Tony Flannery and fellow travellers go unchecked souls will be lost.

  • Augustine

    How ironic that the Redemptorists were founded by perhaps the greatest Moral Theologian of all time and a Doctor of the Church.

    St Alphonsus de Liguori, pray for us all – especially your spiritual sons.

  • Lynda

    The filth in the Church in Ireland is terrible – and includes numerous priests and many Bishops. They have corrupted many in both faith and morals. The single most destructive factor is that these unholy clergy are allowed to continue with impunity in ministry, with responsibility for souls on behalf of the Church. The destruction has been wide and deep. Even the well-intentioned, those who think themselves loyal to the Church, have been mislead on the most fundamental issues of Faith and of morals. Please pray for us in our kafkaesque situation in Ireland.

  • Michael Petek

    “The second basic change would be to break the inherent connection, long part of traditional Catholic teaching, between sexual activity and marriage. To continue to hold that sex outside marriage is always sinful is in my view a mistake……. we break the rigid connection between sexual activity and marriage, allowing for appropriate sexual relationships between people who are not married when the quality of the relationship merits it. ”

    “…it is unrealistic to expect that every couple will continue to love and cherish each other until death…I am advocating that the church’s attitude to people in second relationships must change. Such persons deserve to have their union sacramentalised in the church, if they so wish, and must never be excluded from the Eucharist.”

    This is not only heresy. It is sedition which goes to a vital element of the common good of civil society. This is why Father Flannery has not only excommunicated himself from the Church, he is also a public criminal whose evil opinions cannot be tolerated.

  • Nicolas Bellord

    The Tablet was suggesting that fornication should be reconsidered after the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge so no surprise there. Father Flannery seems to be following in the mushy footsteps of Bishop Robinson’s “Honest to God” published just 50 years ago. Just suppose he did a Lefebvre and led the Association of Catholic Priests into a Protestant schism. In the context of Irish history that would be an extraordinary event.

    • Appreciative Protestant Reader

      His view that any layperson could celebrate the Eucharist would not be accepted by most of the older Protestant denominations (including mine – Presbyterianism).

    • Augustine

      Of course Fr Flannery is not saying anything new. And he must be very well aware that long ago, the American Fr Charles Curran publically denied the Church’s teaching on divorce and remarriage, abortion, euthanasia, masturbation, artificial contraception, premarital intercourse, and homosexual acts.

      This was why in August 1986, the-then Cardinal Rayzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for Doctrine and the Faith, informed Fr Curran that he was “no longer considered suitable or eligible to exercise the function of a Professor of Catholic Theology”.

      So I think it is safe to say that anyone who is a follower of Fr Curran’s scandalously misleading teaching is likewise unsuitable to be a teacher of Catholic Theology.

      Ans anyone who has not realised this after nearly 27 years must be a very slow learner indeed.

  • More heresy from the bowels of the “hermeneutic of rupture”! If the hierarchy is slow to act in these cases, the laity can always play their part by ceasing to fund these parasites that consistently bite the hands that feed them. Stop giving your money to priests/orders/organizations who are dragging souls to hell!

  • Neil Jennison

    Joseph Matthew is absolutely correct. Mr Flannery clearly no longer has the Catholic Faith. That may be his genuine and heartfelt belief, to which he is entitled.

    But surely he should be excommunicated immediately? I don’t mean that as punishment or in any perjorative way, just that he clearly is no longer in communion with the Church.

  • Georgina

    I can understand how the church might excommunicate a baptised person… because it doesn’t stop you from being a Christian it just says you are publically deemed as no longer being in communion with the Catholic Church. But a priest who is ontologically changed at Ordination (as we all are at baptism and Confirmation) can’t give up his Priesthood, that is to say once a priest always a priest. So for a Priest to be excoommunicated is that to say it strips him of his right to celebrate the sacraments even in a case of life and death, because priests who have chosen for whatever reason to leave the priesthood can still celebrate the sarcraments in those situations?
    Would the church excommunicate a priest anyway?

    • Augustine

      It is in fact easier for a priest or a bishop to incur automatic (“latae sententiae”) excommunication than a layperson – because there are more offenses that a priest may be tempted to commit.

      For example, Archbishop Lefevre incurred latae sententiae excommunication when he illicitly (but validly) ordained a number of bishops by ordaining them without the permission of the Holy Father. This penalty is to prevent dissident bishops from setting up their own church as a rival to the Catholic Church (see canon 1382.

      Canon 977 states that the absolution by a priest of a partner in a sin against the sixth commandment is invalid, except in danger of death – and furthermore canon 1378 states that any priest who acts against the prescription of canon 977 incurs a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See.

      The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that we have a responsibility for the sins of others when we co-operate in them:
      - by participating directly and voluntarily in them
      - by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them
      - by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so
      - by protecting evil-doers
      (CCC 1868)

      Priests – especially those who are looked upon as “experts” – have a grave responsibility not to advise, praise or approve of sin.

  • James Hughes

    Why is this man still a priest? He is clearly suffering from intellectual pride and as a result creating doubt and despondency among the catholic faithful particularly those trying to bring up their children in line with the teachings of the catholic church in respect of faith and morals. This is typical of those who were happy enough to milk the cash paying faithful who funded their orders and parishes only to turn their backs on the very institution that gave them a platform and credibility. Why haven’t his religious superiors booted him out and stop him living off the funds of the order? More to the point if he cannot ‘in conscience’ obey the the institution into which he was ordained then why does he not simply do the honourable thing and leave instead of behaving like a parasite ?

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