Priest recalls CDF demand he be sacked as editor

An Irish priest has recounted how the Vatican once demanded he resign as the editor of a magazine.

Redemptorist Fr Gerry Moloney was editor of Reality magazine in Ireland.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s displeasure with some of the liberal content of the magazine was broken to him in May, 2011.

The CDF told the Redemptorist superior in Rome that Fr Moloney was to be removed as editor with a month’s notice.

This demand was accompanied by a list of allegations and findings against the magazine.

The superior, Fr Michael Brehl, later said the CDF case was shoddy and amateur, with statements being taken out of context and a lot of “reading between the lines”.

Of particular concern to the CDF was a special issue in 2009 on women in the Church.

Fr Moloney said there was no explicit call for women’s ordination, “though several pieces did call for women to be given full and equal partnership in the Church”.

The then-prefect of the CDF, Cardinal William Levada, became involved in the case.

The order hammered out a compromise with the CDF.

Fr Moloney could remain as editor subject to five conditions.

The conditions stipulated that he could not publish anything that was supportive of the ordination of women; critical of mandatory celibacy; in favour of general absolution; opposed to the Church’s stance on homosexuality; and could be seen as disrespectful of the person of the Holy Father.

In addition, a censor would have to approve the content of every issue prior to publication.

Fr Moloney eventually resigned as editor of Reality in 2014 for medical reasons.

He said the whole affair left him dumbfounded.

He especially objected to the fact that the CDF never spoke to him personally.

Fr Moloney was one of 15 signatories to a recent letter to Pope Francis and the CDF calling for reform of the Vatican’s investigation processes and for greater accountability and transparency in its methods.


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