Silenced priests: A question of conscience

Let us talk about Catholic priests.

Consider especially those who are now in their 60s, after a life of service to their church.

They were seminarians in the heady days of Vatican II when everything seemed possible.

They managed to survive the aftermath of was Humanae Vitae and continued to preach and counsel, to lead the sacred rites and to be faithful leaders of their flocks.

Some have directed retreats or preached parish missions; others have ministered to the young in schools and youth clubs; all have lived by the dictum that service to the least — the poor and mentally ill, the prisoners and prostitutes, the homeless and the addicted — is service to their god. But while their life has been exemplary, they cannot help being stained by association with those who have disgraced their calling.

In addition to this many priests see themselves as being under siege from an old guard in the Vatican.

As this is written, six Irish priests have been silenced so that they cannot hear confessions or officiate at baptisms, weddings or funerals.

There is some official term like ‘had their faculties removed’ but that sounds too painful.

Two are Redemptorists; the others are a Passionist, an Augustinian, a Capuchin and a Marist — all order men.

Tony Flannery, one of the Redemptorists thus silenced, has written of his experience. Continue reading.

Source: Eureka Street

Image: Eureka Street

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