- Battle lines drawn
This week produced the clearest evidence yet that the Synod Fathers are sharply divided between those who are supporting Pope Francis in his efforts to present a more pastoral vision of the Church and those determined first and foremost to emphasise its moral teaching
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- Catholic head teachers call for more support as recruitment dries up
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- Curious muddle of Lectionary translations Philip Endean SJ
- Synod final document is a setback for Francis' reforms – for now Elena Curti in Rome
- Annulments can be far from merciful Bill Wright
News from Britain and Ireland
A former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) last week defended the censuring by the Vatican of the Irish Redemptorist Fr Tony Flannery, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
Cardinal William Levada, who oversaw the initial investigation into Fr Flannery, said the priest had been censured for his views on the priesthood and the Eucharist.
“He wrote two articles in Reality magazine in which he questioned, undermined, the teaching of the Church on the Eucharist and on the priesthood. If you hold these positions you are formally in heresy,” the cardinal said in an interview with The Irish Catholic newspaper.
In 2012 Fr Flannery, founder of the Irish Association of Catholic Priests, was suspended from ministry and threatened with excommunication unless he signed a document adhering to church teaching on contraception, women’s ordination and homosexuality.
But Fr Flannery told The Tablet that he had reached agreement with the then CDF head in June 2011 and signed a statement that Cardinal Levada accepted. According to Fr Flannery, it was Cardinal Levada’s successor, Archbishop Gerhard Müller, who introduced the issue of his views on women priests and the modern teachings of the Church. He stressed that the issues over the priesthood and Eucharist had been cleared up.