Vatican to Outspoken Priest: Spend 6 Weeks in Prayer
Critics see building 'Catholic spring' backlash
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2012 4:23 AM CDT
"Many of us priests are very frustrated with the way the Vatican conducts its business," Flannery wrote in a recent column.   (Redemptorist)

(Newser) – A popular Irish priest known for his liberal views has been told to shut up by church authorities, reports the Daily Beast. Father Tony Flannery, who has questioned the doctrine of celibacy, and said the priesthood should be opened up to women, has been told to stop writing about controversial subjects, and to spend the next six weeks in prayer and reflection at a monastery. His monthly column in a Catholic magazine has been axed on orders from the Vatican.

Ireland's Association of Catholic Priests—of which Flannery is a founding member—slammed the Vatican's intervention, calling it "unfair, unwarranted, and unwise," the Galway Independent reports. The association accused the Vatican of "heresy hunting," and warned that the move to silence Flannery only adds to a growing sense of disconnect between the church in Ireland and officials in Rome. Pope Benedict XVI recently warned that the church will not tolerate priests who stray from doctrine, and harshly criticized dissident priests in Austria. Some Catholic bloggers say that the mounting backlash against silencing critics suggests a "Catholic Spring" uprising is on the way.

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Apr 13, 2012 7:05 PM CDT
they must be getting soft, i thought they would kill him!
Apr 13, 2012 8:53 AM CDT
OMG! And OMHFHGGBB (o my holy father his grace, god's boss Benedict): We can NOT have this: Priests speaking sense! Where are the good old days when we could simply burn him at the stake? Nowadays it's so restricting! We'll have to tell him to go pray for six weeks.
Apr 12, 2012 4:08 PM CDT
Good. Nothing more hateful, anti-human, and deceitful than a religion trying to "change" into something new while still claiming that their bible is infallible and the "word of god". It is the ultimate admittance of the hoax. We don't change a religion, you idiots. We drop them and invent new ones for the feeble minded that still need them.