Fr Timothy Radcliffe – Absolutely Shocking Papal Appointment

One of the Church’s most controversial theologians, and a strong ally of Pope Francis, was given a boost by the Holy See Saturday.     Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP

In a move sure to raise eyebrows among the Church’s traditional guard, Pope Francis named the Rev. Timothy Radcliffe a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the Vatican announced Saturday.

The head of the Dominican Order for nearly a decade in the 1990s and a professor of theology at Oxford, the English-born Radcliffe has repeatedly challenged Catholic attitudes toward women, gays and lesbians, and the divorced.

Last year, Radcliffe was at the center of a controversy over his invitation to speak at the International Conference of Divine Mercy, Ireland’s largest Catholic gathering. The American television network EWTN dropped plans to cover the event because of Radcliffe’s participation. A host at the station called Radcliffe’s views “at sharp variance to Catholic teaching.”

The row was caused by comments Radcliffe made in 2013 about homosexuality, as reported by The Tablet.

“Certainly it can be generous, vulnerable, tender, mutual, and non-violent. So in many ways, I would think that it can be expressive of Christ’s self-gift,” he said. He expressed surprise that his views caused such a stir, stating that they were “deeply in resonance with the teaching of Pope Francis.”

Still, he has publicly supported the Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage, though for reasons not normally promulgated by Church officials.

For example, in a December 2012 article in The Guardian, Radcliffe wrote, “It is heartening to see the wave of support for gay marriages. It shows a society that aspires to an open tolerance of all sorts of people, a desire for us to live together in mutual acceptance.”

But, he said, a heterosexual notion of marriage should not be imposed on gay couples, though differences should be embraced.  

Tolerance, he wrote, “implies an attention to the particularity of the other person, a savoring of how he or she is unlike me, in their faith, their ethnicity, their sexual orientation. A society that flees difference and pretends we are all just the same may have outlawed intolerance in one form, and yet instituted it in other ways.”

As a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Radcliffe is one of 40 or so people from around the globe who help “draw the broad lines of the action of the Counsel, according to their sensitivities and their professional and pastoral commitments,” according to the Vatican.

He is the author of more than a half-dozen books and an internationally sought after speaker. His book “What is the Point of Being a Christian?” won the 2007 Michael Ramsey Prize, which is awarded by the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury for the “most promising contemporary theological writing from the global Church.”

The release of Edwards’ work is more than a historical contribution. It comes at a moment of renewed interest in the preacher, especially among conservative evangelicals and “New Calvinists.” (Wikimedia Commons) Jonathan Edwards’ collected works now available for download 

Pope to theologians: Listen to the ordinary faithful

Radcliffe, ordained in 1971, is also a proponent of opening up to communion to divorced and remarried Catholics, currently a hot topic among bishops participating in the Synod on the Family.

In a 2013 essay in America magazine, Radcliffe wrote that he held “two profound hopes. That a way will be found to welcome divorced and remarried people back to communion. And, most important, that women will be given real authority and voice in the Church. The pope expresses his desire that this may happen, but what concrete form can it take?”

Regarding the role of women in the Church, Radcliffe is in line with Pope Francis, who has said no to women’s ordination but who nonetheless wants women to hold positions of authority. Radcliffe lamented what he sees as a stronger fusion between ordination and decision-making offices in the Church.

“I think the women’s ordination question has become more acute now because the Church has become more clerical than in my childhood,” Radcliffe said in a 2010 interview with US Catholic.

Radcliffe has pushed for a more open Church, along the lines of Pope Francis’ assertion that the Church be willing to “make a mess of things.”

“Jesus offered a wide hospitality, and ate and drank with all sorts of people. We need to embody his open heart rather than retreat into a Catholic ghetto,” Radcliffe said in a 2013 interview.

Catholic bishops from around the world will gather in Rome in October for the second part of a contentious debate about family issues in the Church. Source

Comment:

It’s very clear indeed now, that to be “a priest in good standing” means “be opposed to all that  is truly Catholic – and that includes true morals.”   How can any Catholic fail to see the diabolical influence apparently holding sway over the current holder of the papal office? We must, really must, pray very hard for Pope Francis while continuing to highlight and resist his scandalous utterances, actions and Vatican appointments.  This latest one is a scandal too far, unjustifiable, as it is,  by any and every objective and measurable standard. Fr Timothy Radcliffe is about as Catholic as the two priests featured on a recent thread who plan to vote YES in the Irish referendum on same-sex “marriage”.  That’s how “Catholic” is Fr Radcliffe.  Anyone who disagrees, speak now or forever hold your peace…

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?

Is This Priest Really In Good Standing?

Image

A women’s ordination group will hold their annual meeting in a Catholic church for the first time in their history.

Catholic Women’s Ordination (CWO), which was founded in 1993, announced in their latest newsletter that their next annual gathering is due to take place at St Nicholas of Tolentino Church in Bristol.

They described the news that the gathering was taking place in a Catholic church for the first time as “historic” adding that their meeting, on 4 October, will focus on the theme of women in the diaconate.

“This appears to be a subject in the air at present and poses the question: could it be opened to women in the future and if so would members of CWO support the idea?” the newsletter stated.

The question of whether women could be ordained deacons has long been discussed and was recently advocated by then Archbishop of Freiburg and Chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference, Robert Zollitsch, who suggested a specific office of deacon for women.

Fr Richard McKay, the parish priest of St Nicholas Tolentino, said he was happy for the parish to host the meeting and personally supported the ordination of women.

“I understand not everyone would agree – that’s not a problem. But I do think it is a problem that you are not allowed to debate and discuss the matter.”

In 1994 Pope John Paul II said that the Church had no authority to ordain women and that this view “is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”

On women’s ordination Pope Francis has said: “the Church has spoken and says no … that door is closed.”  Source

Comment

Fr McKay opines that “it’s not a problem” if people disagree with him on the ordination of women. Wrong. It’s a huge problem. Or rather, he’s the problem. I will send him the link to this thread, in the hope that he comes on to explain why we should regard HIM as a “priest in good standing” when he’s disowned definitive Catholic teaching on male-only priesthood, while SSPX priests – who’ve never denied a single doctrine of the Faith – are in an “irregular situation”, falsely labelled “schismatics”.   Just curious…