Tony Flannery disputes Nuncio’s version of events
Listening to Papal Nuncio, Charles Brown, on Drivetime this evening was an irritating experience for me.
I would like to make two points clear in relation to what he said about the silencing of priests.
1. Any action taken against me did not have its origin with my Religious Superiors, as he implied. My superiors made it very clear to me all through the process that they were acting under orders from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and that the complaint about my writings came from a source “high up” in the Irish church.
2. I did remain silent for a year while I attempted to sort out the difficulties between the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (where Charles Brown previously worked) and me. I decided to speak publicly when it appeared that there was no further possibility of reaching a conclusion with which I could live. Recent developments give me some hope that things may change.
I also find it hard to accept that the Papal Nuncio was as unaware of the situation as he suggested and I dismiss his advice to Mary Wilson that she should ask the Religious Superiors for any information on the “silencing”. Furthermore, he chose to interpret “silence” rather broadly when he stated that those of us who are “silenced” are still writing and speaking on media. I have very good reason to understand “silencing” within the context of the interview. For me, it has meant indefinite removal from ministry.