Priest facing threat of excommunication


A chara, – No priest has been excommunicated for the rape of children, nor has any bishop or cardinal for covering up those crimes.

Fr Tony Flannery, however, is being threatened with excommunication for speaking on the possibility of women priests (Front page and Opinion, January 21st). This is not the Good News of Jesus Christ, but more bad news from an institution drunk on power and bereft of genuine spiritual authority. The church,the people of God, deserves better.Time to listen to the Spirit and stand up and together for a long overdue change. Our liberation is at hand! – Is mise,


Avoca Avenue,

Blackrock, Co Dublin.

Sir, – Why does Fr Tony Flannery not have the courage of his convictions by becoming a Protestant? His views are not Catholic views, they are Protestant ones. Hence, if Fr Flannery was intellectually consistent, he would have the courage of his convictions and become an Anglican or a Lutheran.

I might have respect for Fr Flannery if he had the basic intellectual courage that others over the centuries, who dissented from the magisterium of the church, had.

But it seems to me that he wants all the trappings and credibility that go with being a member of the one true church, the church that was founded on the rock of Peter, but does not have the humility to follow the “rules of the club”. If he was intellectually consistent, he would officially become a Protestant. – Yours, etc,


Knapton Road,

Monkstown, Co Dublin.

Sir, – Fr Tony Flannery is heading to a place where many Irish Roman Catholic women, including myself, find themselves, in exile from the Catholic Church, self-excommunicated. Historically it was the women in the home who were instrumental in handing on the faith. Brave women, who silently and privately reached the conclusion that by following their own consciences, especially in the area of marital sexuality, inevitably led to self-excommunication. It is a lonely journey at first, but one finds dignity and peace of mind having being true to one’s own conscience. – Yours, etc,



Renvyle, Co Galway.

Sir, – Fr Tony Flannery informs us that he has been threatened with excommunication from the church, an institution to which he has dedicated the greater part of his life. Apparently the Roman authorities wish him to conform with their views on such matters as the role of women, homosexuality, and that old chestnut contraception. To my knowledge he is the first Irish cleric to be so threatened in many decades. I take it then that our ecclesiastical authorities regard Fr Flannery’s views on sexual morality as a more grave crime than that committed by any other cleric over the years. – Yours, etc,


Drogheda. Co Louth.

Sir, – Twenty-six years ago they came for me and no one did anything. Today they have come for Fr Tony Flannery. Tomorrow they will come for you. – Yours, etc,


Larne, Co Antrim.

Sir, – The organisation We are Church Ireland expresses its unconditional support for Fr Tony Flannery in his assertion of his right of conscience not to be forced by an abuse of his vow of obedience to submit to the secretive demands of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Front page and Opinion, January 21st).

We welcome the statement of support of his Irish Redemptorist Order and the Association of Catholic priests of Ireland and Austria.

It is now up to the rest of the people of God,both non-ordained and ordained, to express their support for Tony Flannery and to that end We are Church Ireland is organising a peaceful vigil outside the Papal Nunciature, Navan Road, Dublin on January 27th at 3pm and encourages all concerned for the future of the Irish church to attend. – Yours, etc,


We are Church Ireland,

Clonskeagh Square,

Dublin 14.