Posts Tagged dissident priests

The Church’s Errant Shepherds / The New York Times

Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles. The archdioceses change but the overarching story line doesn’t, and last week Milwaukee had a turn in the spotlight, with the release of roughly 6,000 pages of records detailing decades of child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests there, a sweeping, searing encyclopedia of crime and insufficient punishment.”

Read Frank Bruni’s entire New York Times op-ed column, “The Church’s Errant Shepherds,” by clicking here. Also of interest is “Milwaukee Archdiocese Files Show Pressure on Dolan” by the Associated Press in The New York Times. Read it by clicking here.

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Church’s credibility on sexual abuse is ‘shredded’

Catholic bishop says church’s credibility on sexual abuse is ‘shredded

“The U.S. Catholic bishops’ point man on sexual abuse has said that the hierarchy’s credibility on fixing the problem is ‘shredded’ and that the situation is comparable to the Reformation, when ‘the episcopacy, the regular clergy, even the papacy were discredited.’ Bishop R. Daniel Conlon of Joliet, Ill., last month told a conference of staffers who oversee child safety programs in American dioceses that he had always assumed that consistently implementing the bishops’ policies on child protection, ‘coupled with some decent publicity, would turn public opinion around.'” By David Gibson, Religion News Service

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Priest in Australia Charged with Hiding Clergy Sexual Abuse

He was the ”right-hand man” of a bishop, and a one-time acting bishop himself, but priest Tom Brennan has become the first Australian Catholic priest charged with concealing the alleged child sex crimes of another.” By Joanne McCarthy, the Sydney Morning Herald

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Recent Study Shows How Discontented Priests Are with Bishops’ Handling of Sexual Abuse

The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate recently completed “Same Call, Different Men: The Evolution of the Priesthood since Vatican II,” which shows continuing discontent among many priests at how bishops have dealt with clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. As reported yesterday by National Catholic Reporter, CARA study: Priests not content with bishops on sex abuse front, here is an excerpt from the study:

“I’m getting angry because, as a priest, I am expected to be supportive of the Church. I feel like the bishops have put us in an indefensible position. The bishops are the ones who did so much of this covering up. They left priests out on a limb. The way we choose bishops in the Church has to be changed. I’m sick and tired of someone being made a bishop because he was such a good secretary. Let someone who is a good pastor be a bishop.”

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Will Ireland’s Catholic faithful finally say no longer in one united voice?

By Mark Mullaney, Voice of the Faithful President

Is it just me, or is there is a growing feeling out there that we are about to witness history in the making? Could the power of God’s people finally overcome the defiance of the conservative Church hierarchy?

For those of you who are following what has been happening in Ireland, I believe you would agree that major changes are coming. More than 1,000 lay people turned out for the Irish Association of Catholic Priests conference, Towards an Assembly of the Irish Church, on May 7 in Dublin. This was an historic show of support for these priests who believe that if the Catholic church is to remain relevant, it must change. The ACP now counts about 850 priests as members, about 20% or Ireland’s Catholic priests.

Like the sisters’ Leadership Conference of Women Religious group in the United States, the Irish priest association is “being reviewed” by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Specifically under review is the ACP’s founder, Father Tony Flannery, and newsletter, Reality. The Vatican ordered Father Flannery to “stop writing articles” in the newsletter which questioned Church teachings.

At the heart of these actions is the Vatican’s intolerance for the open discussion of Church beliefs and practices. The ACP believes that “modern people” feel it is their right to question and discuss issues. And if the church continues to suppress these rights, it will soon become “obsolete.”

The Irish faithful are not alone in taking a stand. In Austria last month during a First-Communion mass, an entire congregation, told by their priest that they should not participate in the Eucharist unless they were in a ‘state of grace,’ sat in the pews rather than receive the Eucharist that day. In solidarity, they chose the example of Jesus — to welcome all — rather than the restrictive and narrow vision of their priest as to whom might be worthy of sharing in the Eucharistic meal.

We at VOTF find these inspiring stories to be a hopeful sign that Catholics everywhere are finally saying “No longer!” to the Vatican’s insistence that we obey without question, without the God-given right to discuss our beliefs.

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Irish Priest Says It’s Time to Free the Church from “the Clammy Grip of Clericalism”

Last week the Vatican began an investigation of Fr. Tony Flannery, who has expressed rather liberal views as the founder of the now 800-strong Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland. In an opinion piece in the Irish Times today, Time to Free Church from Clammy Grip of Clericalism, Fr. Kevin Hagarty reflects on Fr. Flannery’s situation and muses on the place of liberal thought in the Catholic Church. Building up to his “clammy grip” comment on clericalism, Fr. Hagarty says, “Perhaps it is not surprising that the Vatican has moved to censure Fr Flannery. The Second Vatican Council promised an open and dialogical church, willing to engage with the secular world. Since the 1980s there has been in Rome a retreat from its reforms.”

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Austrian Bishops Meet with Vatican over Rebel Priests

Representatives of the Austrian Catholic Church gathered with Vatican officials earlier this week to discuss a group of about 400 priests who have declared themselves “disobedient.” —

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