Vatican: Irish Priest Dissenter Loves Church (so that’s all right then)

ImagePope Francis is believed to have intervened directly with the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) to have all sanctions on silenced Irish priest Fr Sean Fagan (86) lifted.

It was confirmed to The Irish Times in Rome last night that Marist priest Fr Fagan, who has been subject to sanction by the Vatican for six years, is no longer so.

The superior general of the Marist congregation in Rome, Fr John Hannan, said last night that Fr Fagan is now “a priest in good standing” where the church is concerned.

It has also emerged that the change in Fr Fagan’s circumstances may have involved direct intervention by both Pope Francis and the former President of Ireland Mary McAleese.

The Irish Times has learned that Mrs McAleese, who is away from Rome at the moment, wrote to Pope Francis last December requesting that he directly intervene where Fr Fagan’s case was concerned. Receipt of the letter was acknowledged by the Pope’s secretary. It is understood that the Marist congregation was informed of Fr Fagan’s changed situation at Easter.

Others understood to have been approached to intervene with the Vatican on Fr Fagan’s behalf include his own congregation, the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, the papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown and the former head of the Dominicans Fr Timothy Radcliffe.

For many years Fr Fagan, who has suffered ill health for some time, had been critical of rigid stances by the Vatican on issues to do with conscience and sexual morality notably in letters to this newspaper. In 2003 he published the book Does Morality Change? And in 2008 Whatever Happened to Sin?

In 2010 he was informed by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that he would be laicised should be write for publication any material it considered contrary to Church teaching and should he disclose this to media.

Remaining copies of his book were bought up by the Marist congregation whose website last night still carried a statement first posted in February of last year which reads that “the writings of Fr. Sean Fagan in the book What Happened to Sin do not have the approval of or represent the views of the Society of Mary.

It was reported at the weekend that the CDF’s change of stance towards Fr Fagan was because “he loves the Church in spite of all its weaknesses: that he accepted his censure and observed his restrictions; and to his advanced age.”

Welcoming the news the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) said in a statement yesterday that “it has been a source of great unease to our members and of continuing shame and embarrassment to our Church that a priest and theologian who has made such a huge contribution to Gospel and to Church over very many years would not be regarded as a priest ‘in good standing’.”

It said that “statements welcoming the lifting of restrictions on Fr Fagan by the Marist Order, the CDF and the Irish Catholic bishops are the least that might be expected.”

It also noted “that the decision of the CDF, according to reports, was influenced by pressure brought to bear through the efforts of friends.” It believed “that a concerted effort by the orders and congregations, supported by the Irish bishops, could lead to the lifting of similar restrictions on other members of the ACP colleagues of Fr Fagan, and from the Marist congregation.”

This was a reference to those other priests silenced by the Vatican, including Fr Tony Flannnery, Fr Gerard Moloney, Fr Brian D’Arcy, and Fr Owen O’SullivanSource

Comment

It’s getting more and more difficult to express surprise, amazement, consternation, horror, you name it – the scandals are coming thick and fast in this pontificate. If Pope John Paul is to be granted the title “The Great” (and anything’s possible now) then we have to acknowledge His Holiness, Pope Francis The Absolutely Fantastic.

There’s just so much that could be said about the rehabilitation of one of Ireland’s most notorious dissenters, a priest who doesn’t have a Catholic thought in his head. However, the following is one question I’d like everyone to address, especially the neo-Catholics among us:  If  Fr Fagan has been rewarded for his dissent and heresy by being restored to the category of “priest in good standing” because “he loves the Church in spite of all its weaknesses” where does that leave Archbishop Lefebvre, Bishop Fellay and all the bishops and priests of the Society of St Pius X who love the Church deeply because it is the perfect and spotless Bride of Christ and whose only “heresy” is to faithfully preserve the Catholic religion and liturgy as it has been handed down to us?

The “disobedience” mantra won’t work any more, you see, because Fr Fagan is disobedient – big time. Defiant and disobedient. So, answers please. Why is the Vatican not lifting all penalties from the priests and bishops of the Society of St Pius X?

45 responses

  1. I’ll tell you why, Editor: the ring-leaders of the Revolution never need to be consistent. All they have to do is to wield power abusively to maintain their own positions of prestige, their own bloated egos, and to cover their own filthy tracks. Francis the Red-Nosed is just another one of these thugs….with a kindly veneer that may fool quite a few, but hopefully, not us…

    • He is reported to have recanted and his books taken out of circulation. However, the Modernist association of Catholic clergy are up in arms at his persecution.

      The Bishop of Lancaster has now formally banned “Protect the Pope” blog.

      Check Fr. Ray Blake’s blog for hilarious submission by clerical ‘head case’, I wonder if he is a contributor to CTS blog, he is to others Traditional leaning blogs.

      • Sixupman,

        I’ve not seen any evidence anywhere that he’s recanted and I doubt it very much indeed. Have you got a source you could link?

        If he recanted, he’d be thrown out of the ACP. Whatever way one looks at it, he can’t win!

      • “The Bishop of Lancaster has now formally banned “Protect the Pope” blog.”

        I am glad to hear it, but I believe it is only the Deacon who has been sanctioned; his wife, a woman mind, continues to edit, or to be more precise, censor the blog.

        For example, in response to one particular article I merely suggested that, ‘fortunately, we live by the rule of law and any unworthy act must be judged and penalised’. But this submission was censored and suppressed, so I quite understand the Bishop’s formal condemnation.

        • Constantine the Great,

          The Bishop has said that NOBODY may run the blog for the Deacon, it’s to be closed down. Very “let’s dialogue” … NOT.

          Like you, I submitted a comment to PTP along the lines of “stop fiddling while Rome burns and send the bishop(s) a clear message by getting thee to an SSPX chapel without delay” but that didn’t make it onto the blog either. In fact, here, for the record, is a copy of the comment I submitted but which is still awaiting moderation (to be fair, I think this latest thread was to permit bloggers to say “goodbye” so it may have been closed at the end of the day.) Here’s what I wrote – applies to all of those still perched on the fence:

          COMMENT SUBMITTED TO PROTECT THE POPE BLOG – UNPUBLISHED AT TIME OF THIS WRITING:

          Why you people continue to fiddle while Rome burns beats me. This is a total disgrace. These modernist bishops and Pope will not tolerate the slightest orthodoxy, let alone Traditional Catholicism. You must be able to see that and, frankly, “please pray for the bishop” isn’t good enough. He needs more than prayers – he needs a good lesson in Catholicity. Here’s how to give him one…

          Get thee ALL to your nearest SSPX chapel – that’s the best and surest way to get the message across to this bishop and any others of like mind (the entire Modernist brigade, in other words).

          Go on – you know it makes sense. Seriously, otherwise, you are co-operating with the revolution, with the diabolical destruction of the Church, in human terms. Not something any of us wishes to have to discuss at our Judgment.

          It’s interesting, though, Constantine – were you among those screaming “censorship” when Fr Fagan was silenced by the Vatican? It seems to be the same types who are delighted with the censorship imposed by the Bishop of Lancaster on Deacon Donnelly, a bishop who can’t stand even the modicum of orthodoxy found on the deacon’s blog, who are delighted at his draconian punishment of the PTP blog author and, now, of his wife. They’re not “traditionalists” over there at PTP remember, they’re fully on “the spirit of Vatican II” message (check out their links, including this one) so it just shows how totally protestantised the bishops have become since the “Holy Spirit” began his “reform” of Christ’s Church. Ditto those who agree with them.

          In short, Constantine, gerragrip.

          • Your comment of ‘you know it makes sense. Seriously, otherwise, you are co-operating with the revolution, with the diabolical destruction of the Church, in human terms.’, is exactly the same criticisms offered by Marx and Marxists of the Church’s social activity to the poor…. That by doing charity work they are simply feeding the problem…

            • Nonsense…. with respect. Not the same at all. One is right behaviour (helping feed the hungry) and one is wrong behaviour (helping promote a revolution in the Church by accepting false teaching and DIY Masses, doctrine, morality etc.)

              I’m really glad that you are “no-one I know” – otherwise you’d be getting an ear-full next time we meet, with a number of “gerragrips” thrown in for good measure 😀

          • Maybe after Protect the Pope some sort of ecclesiastical embargo will also be placed on Catholic Truth Scotland. Time will tell.

  2. In three words: Ecumenism, Collegiality, Religious Liberty. Reminds me of the French Revolution.

    • Theresa Rose,

      That really is what Vatican II was about, creating a revolution in the Church. Everything is in meltdown now. The Irish priests in the ACP must be cock a hoop now that one of their own has been told by the Pope no less that he’s a priest in good standing even though he believes in women’s ordination etc.

  3. This whole sorry affair just goes to show what a sorry state and crisis the Church is in today. The World is upside down. The more traditional you are, the more you have faith in time honoured and infallible doctrines (i.e the SSPX) the more of a heretic you are seen to be by the hierarchy, whereas, if you drag the Church’s name through the mud and question and criticise it’s doctrines and weaken it’s unity (Fagan, Radcliffe and Flannery et al), the more you are celebrated and lauded. This makes me wild. I care not how old the man is. He is not a Catholic!!!! He should be presented with two choices, either publicly and humbly recant his heresy or be excommunicated.

    As the meerkat says: ‘simples’!

  4. Since I became a Catholic, it at first bewildered me to discover that at parish level, there was, in a thousand small but telling ways, a move to protestantise the Church. Most Catholics now are oblivious of what this means, because they do not know what Catholics were given—— the pearl of great price.
    The mindset most have is to adopt the way, and increasingly now, the compromise that is being adopted by the Protestant church—– though to be fair some evangelical churches do not adopt this. It seems not to cross the minds of those who want to change the teaching of the Catholic church, in order to accommodate what would be more”acceptable” in the present day, that this day too will pass, and then, what will the Church be required to assent to in the future?
    Personally I cannot understand those who do not believe in the deepest truths of a church, but say they love it so much they want it to become what THEY think it should be and believe that only in that way will the Catholic Church fulfil itself.
    Is that not all about self love and ego?
    I have heard these priests in Ireland and elsewhere speak of what they want the Catholic Church to become. They Do not want it to be Catholic in fact. Well then why not do the decent thing, if their longing is urgent and sincere, there is. Church that will welcome them with open arms. Why not go there?
    But that is not enough. Is it?

    • Spero,

      Well put – and you are correct: it’s not enough for them to join another Protestant ecclesial community, because they are literally Hell bent on “reshaping the Catholic Church” as one modernist publication put it recently. It’s truly diabolical and we know that the Devil doesn’t want them joining another “church” – he wants them destroying the Catholic Church. I remember reading an article in one of the modernist rags, in which the columnist said words to the effect that Luther had made the mistake of leaving the Church, but the modern reformers are determined to stay in and get the changes they want. No wonder they detest the SSPX, even more determined to preserve Catholic Tradition! Guess who will win… as if you don’t know !

      • When asked why she stayed in the Church while rejecting most, if not all, of its teachings, the dissident arch-feminist Rosemary Radford Ruether infamously replied:- “I stay because the Church has the xerox machines, and you need the xerox machines in order to win the revolution”. In other words, stay in the visible structure of the Church and steal the hard-earned cash of the faithful for your own nefarious ends.

        • Westminster Fly,

          As always, the buck stops with the bishops and ultimately the Pope for allowing (and in the present case openly encouraging) dissenters like Rosemary Radford. All of the modern popes have, at least implicitly, encouraged dissent, but Pope Francis is an enabler.

          I’m truly dreading my own Judgment but I hope and pray that I’m right behind him in the queue. I just gotta hear that one 😯

  5. Spero and Editor: I’ve often wondered the same thing i.e. why don’t these protestant Catholics just join the protestants. It never really occured to me why they stayed i.e. in order to revolutionise the Church from within! I must have been blind as that really DOES (in a perverse way) make sense. May God help us all! It also explains why the clergy in general are very anti SSPX as the latter are the very opposite of what they (the clergy) want.

    • Crofterlady,

      It’s become clearer and clearer by the minute. The horrendous truth is that an increasing number of priests never knew the Church prior to Vatican II and they drink in, uncritically, what the “experts” tell them at meetings.

      The new Bishop of Paisley, for example, was born, I think I’m correct in saying, in 1964. He – and others born after 1962 – just do not know the Faith. That is the frightening truth. Hence they believe the garbage they’re told about the SSPX.

      Not so long ago I asked a priest, born post-Vatican II what he thought of (the, by that time, not so new) Pope Francis. His reply was that he hadn’t made up his mind yet. Incredible. If seeing his performance on the balcony right after election didn’t do it, his “who am I to judge ‘gays'” should have swept away any and all doubts, and if not that, any one of the many scandalous statements attributed, without correction, to him. It’s no longer a case of improving school religious education or catechising the faithful in parishes. It’s about teaching the clergy, including the bishops, the Faith. From scratch. God help us all.

      I’m beginning to think “diabolical disorientation” just doesn’t begin to describe what is going on in the Church right now.

  6. All the usual lay and clerical suspects leading the charge in Ireland to reclaim their own. My, how the modernists do look after their own, like the crafty children of this world who wait stealthily for the moment to pounce, ie., when a severely weakened, or non existent, Papacy, is rife for the taking. Now we see the so-called New Evangelisation in all its deficient insidiousness. Evangelise whom and with what catechesis? The inmates are in charge of the madhouse! Here’s a taster from a Novus Ordo sermon on the election of Francis, somewhat paraphrased: ” I really do believe we’ve got it right this time.” So, what does this say about all the other Papacies before Francis? There are other examples, “Francis is a breath of fresh air;” implicitly, the air was stale before him. Fr Radcliffe goes around Ireland softening up what’s left there of any traditional resistance before he, ++Martin, Mc Aleese, ACPs et al, set about freeing up the voices of dissident Ireland to resume the confusion and consolidate the disorientation. Mary, Queen of the Gaels, help us against the foe.

  7. The way things are going there will soon be no practicing Catholics in Ireland anyway so the ACP will then be as redundant as the LDV.

    • Yes, Frankier, I think if people behave in the future they way they do now then the Catholic Church in Ireland will be extinct in, say, a generation. (Cf. M. Voris on a recent study of decline in Catholic faith among young people in the USA).But that’s not certain as I believe a strong remnant will carry on in the long-term and, please God, bear new fruit in time. That may take decades, or even centuries, but hopefully when people realise, perhaps through long painful experience, that they have no point of reference, no meaning to call upon in life beyond a sterile utilitarian existence, they will reflect and see that in our ‘wanderings’ we took the wrong turn in the mid-late 20th C. and ended up on the wide road to disaster, instead of the narrow road to life. Perhaps I am overly optimistic, but when I see the devotion at an SSPX Mass I see the narrow road and a Church restored. God Bless, Frankier.

      • Bradders,

        We stopped paying any attention to Michael Voris when he publicly chastised those of us who dare to lay the blame where it belongs, right at the top. Voris doesn’t mind a bit of gossip about the Pope, just not public criticism. Doesn’t mind the elite discussing “Holy Father Francis” and his shenanigans, just doesn’t want to educate the hoi polloi. Better to just leave them in their ignorance. So, whatever statistics he chooses to quote about the decline of the Faith in the USA or anywhere else, it’s of no interest to us.

        Your correct assessment of where the restoration lies (SSPX) is also anathema to Mr Voris. In other words, he’s wrong on everything except the facts staring him in the face, that the Church is in crisis and dramatically declining in front of, even, his rose-coloured spectacles.

        Do I sound mad at Michael Voris? Really? It’s just the thought of all the good he could be doing with the resources at his disposal – and he isn’t. Big time.

        Here endeth the lesson 😀

        • Editor: I’m much more aware now about Voris’ shortcomings re Francis: he’s blind to the damage this Pope continues to do daily to the faith, and for some reason fails to see that the scorn he heaps on local bishops for their heterodoxy should also be applied to the Bishop of Rome for the same reasons. The culture of not criticising the Papacy, come what may, is perhaps a result of a (misplaced) fear of not giving the Church’s enemies more ammunition to undermine Her. This seems all the more reprehensible to someone like Voris when Catholics themselves are providing the ordnance. He needs to know that it is out of love and concern for the Church that criticisms of this Papacy are warranted since Francis is compounding the very problems he (Voris) is complaining about in the first place: that is, Francis will hasten, not prevent, the catastrophic loss of faith throughout the world, now presided over by weak Bishops and priests who are leading souls to Hell. Still, in this instance I have listened to Voris because I see merit in what he says. I feel one could usefully look at the survey in the States as they confirm scientifically what we already know about the extent of the rot in the Church from its oldest members to its youngest. The Church cannot dismiss these findings easily if the authors’ methodology has been correct. If the Church’s future lies with the youth of today then it has no future in the light of these figures.

          Frankier, I could not agree more with your assessment re abortion etc. I have had many very unpleasant experiences in N.Ireland on this issue alone, and have lost friends and been alienated from my own loved ones over cohabitation, SSM, contraception, divorce, communion for divorced and ‘remarried’ couples, so much so that my heart is broken. The liberal thinking of the sixties has developed and grown and dominates the mind of Ireland today; Catholicism as we knew it is virtually extinct. I have one or two reliable Catholic allies who feel totally inept, as I do myself, at dealing with modernist machinations be they from the Irish Press and Media, or worse still, from within the Church itself. This is why I take consolation in the SSPX, the Church forced underground, as it were, ready to take the helm when all seems lost. Our Lady of Knock pray for Ireland.

  8. Bradders

    I hope you are right in what you say but I don’t think the faith will ever be the same again, especially anywhere in the British Isles.

    At one time, not so long ago, the Irish not only practiced but lived their faith but now I am certain that the vast majority of them will support the ACP, abortion, same-sex marriages, you name it.

    They are, after all, among the top ten atheistic countries in the world.

    • I can’t help but think of Pope Pius XII’s comment, when he said before his death in 1958, ‘I will be the last Pope to keep things as they are’. How right he was, and if only Cardinal Giuseppe Siri had been elected instead of Angelo Roncalli.

  9. The scandal,of abuse by priests and nuns alienated the Irish and the only hope is that from a rump of traditional Catholics a return to the pre-Vatican 2 Church will arise.

    • It seems you are unaware of the large number of abuses that took place in the 1950s, in the pre-Vat II era you miss so much. Check the facts and then retract your misinformed statement.

      • Perplexed,

        I agree with you on this occasion. I have looked this up myself, and Marcial Macias Degollado, for example, was a prolific child abuser prior to Vatican II, and prior to when he founded the Legion of Christ. His abuse dates back to 1940 when he was a seminarian in Mexico. He also, when he ended up being based in Rome in the 1950s persuaded seminarians that he had a medical condition, and required them to ‘massage’ his private parts. He even went so far as to say that the Pope (Pius XII) had given permission for this.

      • Please post some data to back up your insinuation that the pre-VII era was just as corrupt as the post-VII era. Or are you suggesting that the baby should be thrown out with the bath water?

        • I don’t know who you are directing that question to, but I am unable to provide any other information to what I already know. I found the above information in the book, ‘the Pope in winter’ by Anthony Howard, I believe. Sex and physical abuse did take place prior to the council, just look at the convent laundries etc. It is foolish to say it did not, and that the pre-Vatican II Church was stainless. It just wasn’t public knowledge, or if it was, people were frightened to discuss it due to people being scared of the Priest.

          • Catholic Convert

            The girl who “exposed” the laundries in Dublin was exposed herself as a liar – by her own family. I remember a blogger here saying she had worked in the Magdalene Laundries in Dublin and never saw any abuse and even heard the girls praising the nuns who believed them when others refused to. You really don’t need to believe everything you read in the papers, especially about this topic.

      • Perplexed,

        Please provide me with ‘the facts’, specifically relating to Ireland, about the pre-Vatican 2 clerical abuses which were in the public domain prior to the 1960s. The scale of the problem was fully exposed after 1960 and its effect was to alienate the Irish from the Church.
        Your hatred of traditional Faith and doctrine should not necessitate impoliteness towards a fellow,poster. Thanks

        • I must add some confusion to my perplexity, Miki, because you only mention “the scale of the problem was fully exposed after 1960” in your second post, whilst the first gives the impression that the pre-Vatican II days were so much better as far as clerical sexual misbehavior was concerned: “the only hope is that from a rump of traditional Catholics a return to the pre-Vatican 2 Church will arise”. Re. the specific case of Ireland in the 1950s, I suggest you look at: http://colmogorman.com/?tag=clerical-abuse. The article was published in an Irish newspaper and specifically refers to the situation in Ireland in the 1950s. I will not quote from it here as I believe that some of the terminology in the article is not quite appropriate for this blog.

          From Wikipedia: “In the Republic of Ireland, starting in the 1990s, a series of criminal cases and government enquiries covered allegations that priests had abused hundreds of minors over previous decades. State-ordered investigations documented “tens of thousands of children from the 1940s to the 1990s” who suffered abuse including sexual abuse at the hands of priests, nuns, and church staff in three dioceses..”

          All this data, and more, is easily available on the web. Before I go, however, I would like to ask just how you managed to conclude from my initial post that I nurture “hatred of traditional Faith and doctrine”…unbelievable!! God bless you!

          • Perplexed,

            I am truly perplexed that you would cite Colm O’Gorman with approval and as any kind of evidence to sustain the argument that, basically, priests have always been abusers. And don’t let’s mince words. The critics really mean “all priests” – I’ve yet to hear one on any discussion show, O’Gorman especially, acknowledge that abusing priests are a minority (and of a particular “bent” so to speak – more on that in a minute).

            This man is like a walking talk show, telling the world about his abuse and savaging the Catholic Church without EVER distinguishing the human part of the Church from the divine. And I’m not even mentioning the fact that he is, one presumes, making money out of his abuse via his book(s) and interviews. We all have bad things happen to us – we don’t all tell the world. He, unconscionably, uses his abuse (I’m presuming it’s not an “allegation” and that someone has been called to account for it) as a stick with which to beat Christ’s Church and receives the inevitable roaring round of applause as the inevitable result. When I see him on any of the “discussion” shows over here, I groan and think “here we go again…”

            Add to that the amazing fact that he never misses a chance to express his “pro-homosexual” opinions. Never mind that the problem of child abuse within the Church is almost entirely a problem of men abusing boys – i.e. homosexuals having infiltrated the priesthood – that seems to have passed him right by. Can’t have been a woman who abused him – we don’t have women priests. Get my point?

            So, thanks but I’ll pass on his article which you link. I’ve heard O’Gorman often enough and watched his bitter performances on enough TV shows to know exactly what he says which is, in short. Catholic Church all bad, homosexuals who abuse children all good (except the one who abused me). End of.

            Can you see why I am increasingly VERY perplexed at your posts?

          • Perplexed
            Your expression ‘the pre-Vat11 era you miss so much’ infers a disdain for the traditional Faith as expounded prior to the Vatican 2 changes. If I misread your intention I apologise. My point was that abuses committed in the 1940s and 1950s, for example, were not then common knowledge. When the evils came into full disclosure the Irish walked away from the Church. My point is that it is only from the followers of the pre-Vat 2 Faith can regrowth occur.

            • Mikidiki,

              A few short years ago, Archbishop Martin of Dublin was interviewed by Jeremy Paxman on BBC2, Newsnight, in the wake of one of the reports into the abuse scandals. Can’t recall which one, exactly.

              In the interview, Paxman (a notoriously persistent interviewer) asked the Archbishop if this sort of abuse has always gone on in the Church. Reply, negative. Paxman then asked for how long has it being going on and in the face of no response from the archbishop, Paxman began going through the decades: has this being going on since the twenties, thirties, forties…. Archbishop Martin, clearly annoyed, snapped “sixties”.

              Of course, sadly, there have always been bad priests who have done bad things, but what we are witnessing in regard to child abuse – according to the Archbishop of Dublin – dates from the sixties. Some cases (the reports show) dated from the forties and fifties but very few.

              This, like it or not, is all part of the diabolical disorientation prophesied at Fatima. In 1917.

  10. I’ve just received this shocker from Wendy Walker, our resident hard working pro-lifer.

    Poor once-Catholic Ireland.

    And, remember, the target (student) audience will think this is “progress” – God (literally) help them.

  11. The Holy Father gives one the impression that he likes to favor the rich and important – the President of Argentina and the ex President of Ireland. How humble is that!

    • Was Mary Robinson not a noted heretic? The Irish leaders are an interesting bunch. Were President Hillery and O’Dalaigh and Taoisigh Haughey, Fitzgerald and Cosgrave practising Catholics, and loyal to Church teaching?

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