Paddy Clancy: I hope Pope Francis pays close attention to the call of the women that they be ordained

Posted by Colm, With 0 Comments, Category: Church News, Church Reform, Latest News, Pope Francis, Women in the Church, Women's Ordination, WOW,

Parish churches are going to close down unless there is some major initiative, like allowing women into the priesthood

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Tony Flannery

There’s a priest from Galway who has been suspended from saying Mass in public since 2012.

He is going to be one of the main speakers in Philadelphia next month at the Women’s Ordination Worldwide conference.

So far as the Vatican is concerned, Fr Tony Flannery is a downright nuisance.

He was banned from public ministry because he believes women should be allowed to enter the priesthood.

I find it difficult to understand how a Church that is struggling to find enough men to enter the priesthood can deny ordination to women.

Men in their late 70s are struggling to run two parishes in some areas because the Church is running out of priests.

Yet, the Vatican refuses to accept the inevitable; that there are queues of women praying for a Church U-turn that would enable them to be priests.

So downright determined is the Vatican to maintain the status quo – despite the dwindling numbers of clerics – that Fr Flannery was kicked out of public ministry because he believes women should be priests.

I am not joking.

A decent, apparently ordinary, cleric was prevented from saying Mass in public for saying exactly what many lay Catholics believe.

Parish churches are going to close down unless there is some major initiative, like allowing women into the priesthood.

Fr Flannery who, by the way, was a founder member of the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland, has been told he will be allowed to return to ministry only if he agrees to write, sign and publish a statement agreeing, among other things, that women should never be ordained as priests and that he would adhere to church orthodoxy on matters like contraception and homosexuality.

Effectively, he is being asked to keep his mouth shut.

The instruction comes from an institution, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, established in 1542 to defend the church from heresy and unacceptable doctrines.

For heaven’s sake, surely advocating the admission of women to the priesthood is hardly heresy.

An institution founded 473 years ago is not the appropriate tool to define Church thinking in the 21 century.

Women’s Ordination Worldwide was founded in 1996 and held its first international conference in Dublin in 2001 when Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Corrigan Maguire made a major contribution.

She said then that the Vatican’s refusal to ordain women was dehumanising and demoralising and was a form of spiritual abuse.

She asked: “Does the Vatican not realise how deeply offensive it is to women to be told that because of their biological make-up they cannot be ordained?”

Sounds to me she wasn’t saying anything different to what Fr Flannery has been advocating.

She didn’t get a belt of the crozier, but Fr Flannery has been made to suffer for his opinion.

Pope Francis will be visiting Philadelphia a few days after Fr Flannery addresses the Women’s Ordination Worldwide in September.

I hope His Holiness pays close attention to the call of the women that they be ordained.

If he does then there is a distinct possibility of churches filling up for Mass again instead of closing down.

 Paddy Clancy; Irish Mirror; 18 August 2015