Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP, well-known liberal and dissenter, has bizarrely been chosen to be one of the keynote speakers at Dublin’s 2014 International Conference on Divine Mercy. Fr Radcliffe openly dissents on the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and Holy Communion for the divorced and re-married. Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP frequently celebrated Mass for the gay dissent group the Soho Masses Pastoral Council. During the reign of Pope Benedict XVI Fr Timothy Radcliffe was stopped from speaking at the General Assembly of the Catholic development agencies. Fr Radcliffe is well known for his liberal positions on morality, including his public opposition to the Church’s teaching on homosexuality.
The Divine Mercy Conference website states:
Divine Mercy Conference 2014
The first International Conference of Divine Mercy was held in the R.D.S. over 23 years ago. We celebrate our 23rd conference 2014 in the knowledge that Sister Faustina is now Saint Faustina. The theme of the first conference was “Mercy Our Mission”. The theme and the speakers were the product of much prayer and discernment by a committee of men and women gathered together in Eucharistic adoration under the spiritual direction of Fr. Cathal Price.’
Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP will be speaking on both Saturday and Sunday.
A selection of Fr Radcliffe’s writings expressing dissent from the Church’s teaching:
Fr Radcliffe gave the following contribution to the Church of England ‘s review of homosexuality and gay marriage:
Fr Radcliffe OP expands the meaning of fertility to include gay sex
But not every marriage is fertile in this way. We must avoid having a mechanistic or simplistic understanding of fertility. Jesus speaks a fertile word: This is my body, given for you. He is God’s fertile word. And surely it is in the kind and healing words that we offer each other that
we all share in fertility of that most intimate moment. When Jesus met Peter on the shore after Easter, he offers him a word that renews their relationship. Three times he asks him; ‘Do you love me more than these others?’ He allows him to undo his threefold denial. Sexual fertility cannot be separated from the exchange of words that heal, that recreate and set free.
How does all of this bear on the question of gay sexuality? We cannot begin with the question of whether it is permitted or forbidden! We must ask what it means, and how far it is Eucharistic. Certainly it can be generous, vulnerable, tender, mutual and non-violent. So in many ways, I would think that it can be expressive of Christ’s self-gift.
We can also see how it can be expressive of mutual fidelity, a covenantal relationship in which two people bind themselves to each other for ever. But the proposed legislation for ‘gay marriage’ imply that it is not understood to be inherently unitive, a becoming one flesh. [...]
And what about fertility? I have suggested that one should not stick to a crude, mechanistic understanding of fertility. Biological fertility is inseparable from the fertility of our mutual tenderness and compassion. And so that might seem to remove one objection to gay marriage. I am not entirely convinced, since it seems to me that our tradition is incarnational, the word becoming bodily flesh. And some heterosexual relationships may be accidentally infertile in this sense, but homosexual ones are intrinsically so.
Sexual ethics is about what our acts say. And I have the impression that we are not very sure of what gay sexual acts signify. Maybe we need to ask gay Christians who have been living in committed relationships for years. I suspect that sex will turn out to be rather unimportant.’
Fr Radcliffe on Holy Communion for Catholics who are divorced and re-married:
I would conclude with two profound hopes. That a way will be found to welcome divorced and remarried people back to communion. And, most important, that women will be given real authority and voice in the church. The pope expresses his desire that this may happen, but what concrete form can it take? He believes that the ordination of women to the ministerial priesthood is not possible, but decision-making in the church has become ever more closely linked to ordination in recent years. Can that bond be loosened? Let us hope that women may be ordained to the diaconate and so have a place in preaching at the Eucharist. What other ways can authority be shared?’
Protect the Pope comment: It is frankly ridiculous seeing a photograph of Fr Timothy Radclife OP on the home page of Dublin’s 2014 Divine Mercy Conference alongside photographs of St Faustina, Blessed John Paul II and Blessed Fr Sopoko. How could the organising committee of men and women who prayed and discerned who to invite as speakers choose a liberal priest well-known for his dissent from the Church’s teaching? Their decision is incredible.