A Tuam priest reacts to the treatment of Fr Tony Flannery
In the hope that Fr Tony Flannery is allowed to read even if not allowed to speak I write to express my great sadness at the attempt to ‘silence’ those who Rome decrees are not ‘toeing the party line’. I am one of almost fifty priests in the archdiocese of Tuam who are registered members of the ACP and I am working as a priest for the past thirty two years. Like my co-diocesan Colm Kilcoyne who put it so eloquently on radio recently, I too was surprised and stunned by the announcement on Holy Thursday that the Pope is going to come down heavy on those promoting women priests ! Yes indeed Holy Week was almost wiped out !
Yesterday in Ballintubber Abbey at a funeral Mass I struggled with a colleague to read the ‘unreadable’ English in the awful translation that is the new missal. Tomorrow for ‘Low’ Sunday I will offer Mass in my home parish for my mother who is twenty years dead – the same church that she was secretly ‘churched’ after the joy of giving birth to each of her fourteen children. With regard to the role of women in our church has anything really changed ! Other colleagues expressed it well when they said that he church can be a ‘cold place’ for those of us who have a different view on the new missal or married clergy or the procedures used when colleagues are asked to ‘step aside’ from ministry.
Still we are an Easter people. We live in hope. Just as the Holy Spirit was at work at the AGM of our association a few months back when the Good News came through that RTE had apologised for its horrific libelling of our colleague Fr Kevin Reynolds. Maybe the attempt to ‘silence’ Fr Tony Flannery is the Holy Spirit giving us new energy as we move ‘Towards an Assembly of the Irish Catholic Church’ ! Looking forward to lively and respectful debate on the 7th May in the Regency Hotel !
Lord, may we all be tolerant of those whose opinion or way of life is different from ours.
‘Conversion’ is worth praying for everyday. Silence is not always the answer.
Keep up your great work Fr Tony.