Irish Redemptorist Fr. Tony Flannery, who defied Vatican attempts to silence him, begins an 18-city speaking tour in the US this week that lasts through November 22nd.
Flannery, a Redemptorist who is a founding member of the Association of Catholic Priests, refused to sign a Vatican document last year which demanded his adherence to the hierarchy’s teachings on homosexuality, contraception, and women’s ordination. His refusal led the Vatican to silence the priest and strip him of ministerial powers. Dennis Coday, editor of the National Catholic Reporter, noted:
“For most of 2012, Flannery was forbidden to minister as a priest as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reviewed his writing. In January 2013, he said he was threatened with excommunication unless he made a clear and public statement — preapproved by the doctrinal congregation — fully supporting official church teaching.”
Rather than being “terrified into submission,” in his words, Flannery began speaking out. He published a book, A Question of Conscience, and spoke about the draconian process of his investigation and attempted silencing. His Redemptorist community, along with Irish and Austrian priests dedicated to church reform, have made their support known.
Now, Fr. Flannery will speak in 18 cities about his life, the importance of conscience, and topics of sexuality and church reform that led to his attempted silencing. The Catholic Tipping Point, which last year hosted Austrian reformer Fr. Helmut Schüller, is hosting Flannery. Both New Ways Ministry and DignityUSA are among the sponsors of Fr. Flannery’s visit. Other sponsors include American Catholic Council, Call to Action, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, CORPUS, FutureChurch, the National Coalition of American Nuns, the Quixote Center, and the Women’s Ordination Conference.
LGBT people, their loved ones, and their allies are among those harmed by exclusionary church policies, and these issues will be part of his speaking agenda on the U.S. tour. For a full schedule and more information, visit www.CatholicTippingPoint.org or see below:
- Washington, DC – October 22
- Baltimore, MD – October 23
- Philadelphia, PA – October 24
- New York City – October 25
- Warwick, RI – October 26
- Boston, MA – October 28
- Syracuse, NY – October 29
- Cleveland, OH – November 1
- Detroit, MI – November 3
- Minneapolis, MN – November 5
- Memphis, TN – November 8
- Sarasota, FL – November 10
- San Antonio, TX – November 12
- St. Louis, MO – November 13
- Phoenix, AZ – November 15
- Sacramento, CA – November 16
- Portland, OR – November 18
- Seattle, WA – November 19
- To read more about Fr. Flannery, see the ‘Related Articles’ below.
–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry