By Sarah Mac Donald - 26 January, 2015
In 2012, Fr Flannery was silenced by the Vatican.
On the last day of the Redemptorist Chapter last week, a large majority of Fr Flannery’s Redemptorist confreres spoke out in support of the Co Galway priest.
According to Fr Flannery’s most recent blog post, “The administration accepted the challenge, and already a meeting has been organised for early next month between myself and some of the authorities.”
Tony Flannery joined the Redemptorists at the age of seventeen in 1964, and was ordained a priest ten years later, in 1974
In 2012, it was brought to his attention that the Vatican objected to some of his articles in Reality magazine.
He was summoned to Rome by the Superior General of the Redemptorists, and this began a long process which culminated in him being forbidden to minister as a priest, a situation that continues to this day.
He has written a full account of his dealings with the Vatican in his latest book, ‘A Question of Conscience’.
He is under instruction from his religious authorities to remain silent, but in early 2013 he decided to ignore that stricture and go public.
Since then he has been active in the reform movement around the world, and is currently giving a series of talks around the country entitled ‘Repairing a Damaged Church’.
Fr Flannery has revealed that he is currently organising a three-day conference of leaders of Church Reform movements around the world, which will take place in Limerick next April.
He described himself as “really excited” about the forthcoming conference and explained that it “will probably be the biggest gathering of representatives of reform movements that has ever taken place”.
Stating that it is “great” that it is happening in Ireland, the priest explained that the purpose of the conference “is to get to know each other, to ‘network’ …, to see what we have in common, and how we can support each other, and indeed Pope Francis, in pushing forward the reform agenda”.