Dear Editor, I am writing to respond to the letter from Jarlath Vaughan (‘It is wrong to silence Fr Flannery’ IC 10/10/13).
Firstly, I’ll say that I have followed the story of Fr Flannery quite closely since it began to unfold. At this stage, talk of Fr Flannery as a victim of the “evil Vatican” is wearying. The way I see it, Fr Flannery is not a victim. The reality is, he became a Catholic priest many years ago, and he knew what the teaching of the Church was on certain issues.
The Church has not changed its position in those years but he has and he now expects the Church to accommodate him. His so-called ‘silencing’ was an attempt by the Church authorities to get him to re-consider his position. This has clearly failed as is so obvious by Fr Flannery’s social media communications on Fine Gael’s abortion legislation in recent months.
I say he can’t really have it both ways. He can’t be a representative of the Catholic Church and also be in defiance of what the Church teaches.