An Irish priest who was forbidden to write by the Vatican because of his views on human sexuality has had the sanction lifted. The moral theologian Sean Fagan, 86, a Marist priest, had been subject to sanction by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for the last six years. The superior general of the Marist congregation in Rome, Father John Hannan, confirmed that Father Fagan is now “a priest in good standing” where the church is concerned.
Mary McAleese, the former president of Ireland, reportedly wrote to Pope Francis appealing for his intervention in the case of Father Fagan and had her letter acknowledged by the pope’s secretary. Father Fagan, who has suffered from ill health for many years, was first disciplined by the doctrinal congregation in 2008 following the publication of his book, Whatever Happened to Sin? In 2010 Father Fagan was informed by Cardinal William J. Levada, then prefect of the C.D.F., that he would be dismissed from the priesthood should he write for publication any material considered contrary to church teaching.