Break with Rome isn’t end of world

Irish Independent

Sunday April 29 2012

The Vatican’s silencing of highly respected Irish priests can only distress many believers, writes Ulick O’Connor

Recently two Irish priests were silenced by the Vatican for their views on priests marrying and opening up the church to the laity. On Thursday it emerged that the Vatican had also censured Fr Brian D’Arcy, the highly respected broadcaster.

The sense of rebellion among clergy here had already reached the grass roots. The Association of Catholic Priests, which has 800 members here, had previously issued a statement reproving the Vatican for its stance towards the Irish clergy, and asked them “to go up and treat people with dignity and due process. We are not a small cohort of Catholic priests; we are at the heart of the church committed to putting in place the reforms of the Second Vatican Council”.

An essential factor in enabling Irish clergy to make such a statement was the Taoiseach’s remarkable speech in the Dail in November when he threw down the gauntlet to the Vatican on the subject of the clerical abuse revealed by the Cloyne Report.

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