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Church suffers 'ominous division', says theologian

Fr Gabriel Daly says one faction has taken control and is presenting its views as those of the whole church

  • International
  • April 9, 2012
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As controversy over the silencing by the Vatican of Redemptorist priests Fr Tony Flannery and Fr Gerard Moloney grows, an Augustinian priest has written about “an ominous division” in the Catholic Church.

Theologian Fr Gabriel Daly has said “one party is now in control and is presenting its views as ‘the teaching of the church’.”

He continued: “Its more voluble members dismiss those who differ from it as ‘a la carte Catholics’ – a witless enough phrase in a legitimately diverse church.”

Fr Flannery, a founder of the Association of Catholic Priests, has had his monthly column with Reality, the Redemptorists’ monthly magazine, discontinued at Vatican direction, while Fr Moloney, the magazine’s editor, can no longer write on certain issues.

Both priests hold liberal views on contraception, celibacy and women priests.

Writing in the current issue of Doctrine Life magazine, Fr Daly said the secular press unwittingly encouraged such “bad theology” by identifying the Vatican’s Curia and even the bishops, with the Catholic Church, “thus failing to recognize the role of the people of God and legitimate differences in the church.”

He recalled how at the end of the second Vatican Council in 1965, “power once again devolved to the body which was most in need of reform, namely the Vatican Curia, which has slowly but inexorably been re-establishing its former authority.

“The control it exercises is systemic, structural and fiendishly difficult to reform.”

Aided “by secrecy and the unchallenged exercise of power, the Curia has established effective control over the whole church”. Fr Daly observed that “there is little or no concern for those faithful Catholics who are quietly appalled by what is happening. They are seen as simply wrong,” he said.

Full story: Theologian claims there is 'ominous divide' in church

Source: Irish Times
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