Bishop Crean had every right to stop Flannery

No-one should be surprised hearing Fr Tony Flannery complain about being censored.

Bishop Crean had every right to stop Flannery

The latest instance follows Bishop William Crean’s appropriately denying him an opportunity to lecture to a pastoral council because of his being “out of ministry”.

Being “censored”, whether by an agency of the Vatican, by his own order, and now by Bishop Crean, has probably done more than anything else to make him as celebrated a priest as there is in Ireland and more likely to be given a platform, whether in newspapers or in lecture halls, here and abroad, than advocates of an orthodox Catholic position.

However, one is surprised to read the editorial of The Irish Examiner on August 22 depicting Bishop Crean’s legitimate exercise of control over what happens within the agencies of his own diocese as a stifling of free speech.

The only thing that would satisfy the editors in their desire to change what they picture as “an autocratic, anti-democratic organisation” apparently would be for the Church to open its doors and pulpits to anything regardless of its conformity to church teaching.

One suspects that capitulation by the hierarchy would do much more to enhance a “loss of respect” or at least make the church even less relevant to a new Ireland.

John P McCarthy, PhD

Professor Emeritus of History

Fordham University

New York

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