Fishwrap’s good lesson in liberal tactics

As you watch the coverage of various dust-ups in the Church watch for a particular tactic used by the liberal left.

A great example comes to us today from the site of the National catholic Fishwrap about dissident priests in Ireland.

Get this:

DUBLIN, IRELAND — Just weeks after a report from a Vatican inquiry into the Irish church lamented what it described as “fairly widespread” dissent from church teaching, it was revealed that the Vatican has “silenced” Redemptorist Fr. Tony Flannery.

The Holy See’s move provoked fury among the members of the 800-strong Association of Catholic Priests, [… THERE’s something to lose sleep about…] which has accused the Vatican of issuing a fatwa against liberal clerics.

[NB] It’s not exactly clear why Flannery, a popular author and retreat director, has come under Vatican suspicion. He has voiced support in the past for opening up debates around the ordination of women, a change to the church’s ban on artificial birth control and an end to mandatory celibacy.


Gee, I dunno!  Why do you suppose such a wonderful priest would attract the eye of the CDF?

You have seen this same tactic from the supporters of the LCWR.  “We were so surprised! We have no idea why Rome is doing this to us! What could they mean by all this?”

At least now the LCWR isn’t alone in being persecuted.  This Irish Ass. of Catholic Priests is under siege as well.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Biased Media Coverage, Blatteroons, Dogs and Fleas, Magisterium of Nuns, Our Catholic Identity, Priests and Priesthood, The Drill, The future and our choices, Throwing a Nutty and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Dr. K says:

    One tactic to keep an eye out for is the invocation of the sexual abuse crisis every time the Church does something the progressives don’t like.

  2. HyacinthClare says:

    What do you mean, “dissent” — Oh! There goes a blue car!!

  3. plemmen says:

    “Recant your error Fr. Flannery!” banners need to be appearing all over Ireland.

  4. oldcanon2257 says:

    Time to bring back the Holy Inquisition. I’m serious. :)

  5. Father K says:

    What I find worrying is that these disobedient priests [along with the Austrian rebels, actually identified by Pope Benedict in his Chrism Mass homily this year] are now banding together including now also priests from my neck of the woods, Australian priests. I think if there is a reconciliation with SSPX [which I hope will happen] then things will really escalate.

  6. disco says:

    Timely abbreviation there at the end, father.

  7. marajoy says:

    um… was that a deliberate abbreviation in that last sentence there? :-o

  8. chcrix says:

    The way they holler one would think they had torn his tongue out or poured molten lead down his throat, rather than just giving him an order to shut up.

    Honestly, corporations tell employees to zip it all the time on sensitive topics. I know that the church is not a corporation, but really, what’s the big deal? If you don’t like it you can always leave.

  9. disco says:

    I think I figured out a way to make liberal arguments make sense. Bear with me here. If, for the sake of argument, you are willing to stipulate that there is no god, then they might be right. Otherwise, no way.

  10. SimonR says:

    More from the Emerald Isle,

    And again, about time too!

    Media priest Fr Brian D’Arcy censured by Vatican

    Father Brian D’Arcy, one of Ireland’s best known priests, has been censured by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Vatican, according to the Tablet newspaper.

    Fr D’Arcy, a broadcaster and newspaper columnist, is making no comment.

    It is understood that his column is now run past a church censor, though none has been changed as a result.

    The disciplining of Fr D’Arcy brings the number of Irish priests censured by Rome to six.

    The action against the priest was taken by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) last year after an anonymous complaint.

    Fr D’Arcy has spoken out against mandatory celibacy for priests, church teaching on contraception and has been a vocal critic of the handling of clerical sexual abuse. In the wake of the Murphy Report into clerical abuse in the Archdiocese of Dublin Fr D’Arcy called for reformation of church structures and accused the Holy See of using legal procedures to shield itself from criticism over its handling of abuse.

    The action came after Fr Ottaviano D’Egidio, the Passionist Superior General, was summoned by Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the CDF, 14 months ago.

    “Some time ago the CDF was in touch with our General about some of Brian’s views and since then Brian has been co-operating to ensure that he can continue to make a contribution to the religious journalism that he is involved in,” Fr Pat Duffy, the Irish provincial of the Passionists told the Tablet.

  11. Aquinas says:

    Father, since we are talking about ‘dust ups in the church’ I trust this is an appropriate place to ask a bruning question about why SSPX members tell Novus Ordo Mass attendees that we are putting our souls in danger. [Hmmm… I don’t really think it is the best place.]
    Please, please can we discuss this issue and allay our fears and how to give them an appropriate response their charge? [Elsewhere, perhaps? Is what the SSPX doing a “liberal tactic” like the one I describe? I don’t think so.] I am so fed up hearing how the pope is not a valid pope and all that nonesense.

  12. Aquinas says:

    amendment to typo, I meant to say , ‘burning question’


  13. SonofMonica says:

    “What does it all MEAN?”

  14. Mrs. O says:

    I duuno. Maybe cause those aren’t open for debate? That tactic was mentioned re LCWR in that dialogue meant, to THEM, it was still open. I am happy he is being corrected. There was a time when things took a long time.

  15. As a wordsmith myself, I really admire the way they write “It’s not exactly clear why…” then in the very next sentence make it exactly clear why. A very useful rhetorical device!

    Variations of this could serve in so many areas:

    “It’s not exactly clear why the State is after Mr. Jones,” said his lawyer yesterday. Jones was indicted Friday on 47 counts of mopery, dopery, auto theft and stealing from the Toys for Tots bin at a local supermarket.


  16. ArtND76 says:

    Elsewhere in the article a Fr. Seán McDonagh is quoted as saying “This isn’t the time for heresy-hunting”. Well, when would be the right time then? I suppose for the convinced heretic – the one that knows better than the Pope – there likely would never be a good time to be called out.

    As for the liberal laundry list attributed to Flannery – “ordination of women, a change to the church’s ban on artificial birth control and an end to mandatory celibacy” – the first 2 are non-negotiable, but the last one is a non-issue. If you want to be ministered to by a married priest or you are a married man and feel called to the priesthood, then go to one of the valid non-Latin rites that still have married priests (like the Melkites) and quit whining. The only reason most people don’t know about married Catholic priests (and I mean those in union with the Pope through their bishops, not dissenters) is because the Latin rite is all they know.

  17. robtbrown says:

    If . . . you are a married man and feel called to the priesthood, then go to one of the valid non-Latin rites that still have married priests (like the Melkites) and quit whining.

    I had an Eastern Rite classmate who delayed ordination a few years to consider marriage. He did marry (an Austrian physician), then was ordained. They were living in Austria, and a few years ago she left him for another physician.

    So he took scenic route to celibacy.

  18. priests wife says:

    ArtND76 – um. nope. not cool- I suppose if the man had a vocation first of all the BE Eastern Catholic and change rites before he ever thought of seminary- and there are no guarantees- ordination is at the pleasure of the bishop

  19. priests wife says:

    the = to ….I should have proof-read….

  20. jcr says:

    I think it could be read in this sense: “it is not really clear why” because there are so many reasons, that it just isn’t clear which instance of dissent finally caused the Vatican to say “enough.”

  21. jaykay says:

    Unfortunately, one aspect of the Fishwrap’s article contained no spin but was purely factual:

    “… a Vatican inquiry into the Irish church lamented what it described as “fairly widespread” dissent from church teaching…”

    This “Association of Catholic Priests” contains 800 or so members, and the total number of priests here in Ireland is about 3000. So, almost a third of our priests are members. Sure qualifies as “widespread dissent” all right. God help us.

    You don’t want to spend too long on their website (particularly after eating) but needless to remark it’s full of examples of the sort of tactic that Fr. Z highlights here: the furrowed brow and pained surprise that their outright advocacy of dissent should be even questioned, let alone have action taken upon it. The index on the home page contains nuggets such as references to the “Vatican sledgehammer attack on women religious”, which in turn links to a report by the Fishwrap. Truly, by their friends ye shall know them.

  22. ArtND76 says:

    Priests Wife:

    While it is not precisely the same thing, I do personally know a married man who strongly felt his call to the deaconate was in the Melkite Rite. He got the transfer to the Melkite Rite from his Latin Rite bishop and is now a happily ordained, married deacon in the Melkite Rite. I do believe he spoke with both his former Latin Rite bishop and his now current Melkite Rite bishop before pursuing this course.

    The advice you give in your link is absolutely spot on. Get in love with the Rite you would move to first, and I would agree with your suggestion of giving it a couple of years. I lived in the back of a Melkite Rite church for nearly a year and attended mass there while doing so. I personally like the Melkite Rite a lot, but after prayer concluded that I did not have a call from God to switch Rites. For others, just knowing that even though a door is currently closed that a window is still open may well help them in putting the “how do I do that?” to what may seem an impossible to fulfill call. Personally, I would like nothing better than to see growth in the Melkite Rite – I think it is beautiful.

  23. Stephen D says:

    “800 strong Association of Catholic Priests” – This sounds like 800 priest members, doesn’t it? Wrong! They have about 200 priest members so an organisation that gives itself the grand title of ‘The Association of Catholic Priests’ ought to be named the ‘Association of Dissident Catholic Priests and Their Modernist Nun and Lay Friends’.

Comments are closed.