13Apr Tony Flannery’s courage and compassion — Joe Caulfield

I wish to appreciate the courage and compassion of Fr Tony Flannery.  Recently, in connection with the tragic death of Fr John Sweetman, Wexford, RIP,  http://www.enniscorthyguardian.ie/news/grief-as-fr-sweetman-laid-to-rest-3055841.html  from talking to a classmate in Kildare I learned from him how Fr. Tony, whilst giving a mission in his parish, had spent many hours on the phone concerning the case of Fr. Reynolds.  For me this is a telling instance of the parable of the Good Shepherd- in going out of his way, going the distance, the hours, for the ‘sheep’ who was in trouble, who could have been abandoned.  That, as I hear, Fr. Tony is to be severely constricted by the CDF if he is to continue preaching and writing is repugnant.  That CDF orders him to cease from involvement with the ACP is to undermine the work of ACP in helping accused priests to have their name cleared and to be restored to ministry.  It is so wrong, so contrary to justice and to the Gospel.

Fr Joe Caulfield

3 Responses

  1. Elaine O'Neill

    I am so pleased to see that the good work Fr Tony Flannery has done for fellow priests is so appreciated.
    Let’s not forget that the investigation into RTE and the good name and reputation of Fr Kevin Reynolds was restored because the ACP, and that means Tony Flannery as well as others- were willing to stand up for their colleagues, get a legal team together and fight for the rights of all priests.
    They worked hard to ensure justice was afforded to Kevin.
    Others need to do the same now.
    It gives me courage to read Fr Joe Caulfield’s appreciation.

  2. Dairne Mc Henry

    As a further comment on the order from the CDF to Fr. Tony to remain silent, I offer the following quotation: “The present hour demands that in personal, national and international coexistence we reject immovable positions and unilateral viewpoints that tend to make understanding more difficult and efforts at cooperation ineffective. Eventual discrepancies and difficulties will be resolved by tirelessly seeking what unites everyone, with patient and sincere dialogue, mutual understanding and a willingness to listen and accept goals that will bring new hope.”
    Words spoken by Benedict XVI on his departure from Havana airport, Cuba and quoted in The Tablet of 7th April 2012.
    Do these fine principles apply only to situations outside our Church?

  3. Dr Rosemary Eileen McHugh

    I agree that there is need for justice within our church. I thank Dairne Mc Henry for the recent quote from Pope Benedict XVI. The Pope’s words are so unlike the Pope’s actions. If only there was a “willingness to listen and accept goals that will bring new hope” for our church from the Pope and many in the hierarchy. The silencing of Fr Tony Flannery further removes hope from the faithful. There is a desperate need for dialogue in our church. I admire the Association of Catholic Priests of Ireland for having the courage and perseverance to stand against injustice and to stand for integrity and truth. So many of the hierarchy, including the Pope, are managers. The church needs a leader, especially at this time in our history. Jesus empowered people. Pope John XXIII and Vatican II empowered people. There is real need for dialogue among all of the faithful. I hope and pray that the Association of Catholic Priests of Ireland, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, will help to lead the church, throughout the world, into a renewal worthy of the life and message of Jesus.
    Sincerely, Dr Rosemary Eileen McHugh, Chicago, Illinois, USA