McAleese: Vatican silencing of Irish priests ‘consumes the truth’

Popular former Ireland President, Mary McAlese has criticised the Catholic Church’s treatment of five silenced Irish priests, accusing Rome of operating through fear and imposing strictures on clerics “which consume the truth”.

McAlese described Marist Fr Sean Fagan and Redemptorist Fr Tony Flannery as “good men who have loved this Church with a passion” who are now living through a time when they were being asked whether they were “real Catholics”.

Speaking at the launch of her first book “Quo Vadis: Collegiality in the Code of Canon Law” she described this recent development at “dreadful”.

“There is a fear at the centre [Rome] of how they can cope with these voices” she said.

Mrs McAleese, who is studying for a doctorate in canon law at Rome’s Gregorian University, rebuked the Church for its way of dealing with dissent, which she said was to “iterate the demand for obedience”.

She said this demand “was translated into a really, really dangerous silence where children suffered abominably”.

It may also have contributed to the terminal decline of the Church, she said, and added that it “certainly made the church very, very ill”.

Four of the five priests who have been investigated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith attended the launch: Frs Sean Fagan, Tony Flannery, Gerry Moloney and Brian D’Arcy.

Recently, during the visit of Anglican leader Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury and the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew of Constantinople, attended the opening Mass for the Year of Faith, McAleese called the ecumenical hopes of Vatican II as to nothing more than “a photocall”.

“Rowan Williams still cannot take communion in my Church,” she noted and she said for that reason she intended to look at the “ways in which I, with whatever brain power I have, and however much energy I have, can I contribute to creating the unity that Christ has promised us”.


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