Statement concerning the reported lifting of sanctions on Fr. Sean Fagan
The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) welcomes reports emanating from Rome that all restrictions have been lifted from Marist priest, Fr Sean Fagan.
It has been a source of great unease to our members and of continuing shame and embarrassment to our Church that a priest and theologian who has made such a huge contribution to Gospel and to Church over very many years would not be regarded as a priest ‘in good standing’.
If, as the reports suggest, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), has removed restrictions on Fr Fagan ‘some months ago’ the ACP contends that the CDF and the Marist Congregation not publicising this development compounds the injustice.
Statements welcoming the lifting of restrictions on Fr Fagan by the Marist Order, the CDF and the Irish Catholic bishops are the least that might be expected.
The ACP notes that the decision of the CDF, according to reports, was influenced by pressure brought to bear through the efforts of friends and colleagues of Fr Fagan, and from the Marist Congregation.
The ACP believes that a concerted effort by the orders and congregations, supported by the Irish bishops, could lead to the lifting of similar restrictions on other members of the ACP.
Clarification from the Provincial of the Marists.
I note the Association of Catholic Priests statement on your website in relation to Fr.Sean Fagan and also the content of Fr Sean McDonagh’s interview on RTE on the 29th April 2014. The impression given in both of these is that all restrictions imposed upon Fr Sean Fagan have now been lifted. This is not the case.
For the purposes of accuracy, the possibility of further sanctions against Fr. Sean has been removed. These included the loss of priestly faculties and dismissal. This is to be welcomed.
The restrictions dealing with the circulation of Fr. Sean’s book, “What Happened to Sin” remain and those forbidding Fr. Sean to publish or otherwise propagate material against the views of the Catholic Church as taught by the magisterium remain.
The Marist Fathers will continue to make every effort to deal fairly with these issues.
David Corrigan sm