Vatican Investigates Irish Redemptorist

The Irish Association of Catholic Priests said it is “disturbed” that the group’s founder, the Redemptorist priest Tony Flannery, is under investigation by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In a statement on April 9 , the priests’ association—which represents about 20 percent of Ireland’s 4,000 priests—affirmed “in the strongest possible terms our confidence in and solidarity with Father Flannery.” The group said that the Vatican’s “individual focus on Father Flannery and inevitably, by implication, on the members of the association, is an extremely ill-advised intervention in the present pastoral context in Ireland.” In the past, Father Flannery has called for reconsideration of the church’s teachings on a variety of issues, including the ordination of women, the ban on artificial birth control and mandatory priestly celibacy.

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