Vatican City, Sep 22, 2020 / 06:00 am
The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) said Tuesday that the Vatican had “done everything possible to dialogue” with an Irish priest barred from public ministry for his views on the priesthood and sexuality.
Speaking at a press conference at the Vatican Sept. 22, Cardinal Luis Ladaria, SJ, argued that the CDF had no alternative but to take action against Fr. Tony Flannery.
“We have done everything possible to dialogue with Fr. Flannery. It was not always easy,” he said.
Flannery, a Redemptorist priest, was barred from public ministry by the CDF in 2012 for his stances on the nature of the sacramental priesthood and human sexuality.
It was reported earlier this month that the CDF had asked the 73-year-old to affirm four doctrinal propositions as a condition of returning to ministry.
“Fr Flannery should not return to public ministry prior to submitting a signed statement regarding his positions on homosexuality, civil unions between persons of the same sex, and the admission of women to the priesthood,” the CDF wrote to the superior of the Redemptorists in a letter dated July 9.
Flannery wrote on his personal website: “I will not be signing this document.”
Ladaria defended his congregation’s handling of the case, telling journalists: “We have done everything possible. In some moments we have had to take some measure that never concerns a judgment on the person, because this is always reserved to our Lord, but on his teachings or on his behavior.”