Priest decries papacy's 'cruel tactics'


A LEADING Irish theologian, Augustinian priest Fr Gabriel Daly, protested at a conference in Dublin yesterday “against the unjust and sometimes cruel tactics resorted to by the papacy and its curia against good men and women who are genuinely concerned with making Christ present to the world”.

He continued: “We can differ in our theologies within the church, but surely we can agree that this treatment of our brothers and sisters is utterly unjust and indefensible.”

He said: “If we do not stand up to what Rome is doing, they will continue to bully those who, quite legitimately, do not think as they do. I also wish to give pastoral support to fellow Catholics who have been alienated from Rome by its outlook and behaviour.”

Fr Daly was speaking at a special conference on Vatican Two 50 Year On at Newman House.

He instanced the Vatican’s treatment of fellow theologian, Marist priest Fr Seán Fagan.

“He is now an old man, like myself. He is ill and in pain. He is being treated disgracefully [by Rome]. I can think of no other language but that.”

Another speaker, Mater Dei Institute president Msgr Dermot Lane, felt there was “more than a little evidence that some still approach Vatican II as if it had the answers to the questions of the 21st century, [a] working out of a kind of naive literalism to the council of a kind of Vatican II fundamentalism. These kinds of approaches betray the spirit and the letter of the council.”

He continued: “The world today is a different world – radically secular, global and plural – and this is the new context in which Christian identity must be worked out in the 21st century.

“Instead of reacting against secularisation, pluralism and globalisation, the church must recognise that this is the context in which revelation takes place, in which grace is manifested, and in which the spirit of God is active in the world and in the church,” he added

It was “an open secret that there is serious disagreement within the Catholic Church concerning the historical and theological significance of the council and its reception over the last 50 years”.

Vatican II had involved “a gradual dawning of a new encounter between the church and the modern world, a slow and at times reluctant embrace of the modern world”. Prior to Vatican II “it would have been unthinkable for the Catholic Church to be talking about reaching out to the world”, which it had regarded “with deep suspicion and resentment”.