Friday, April 27, 2012

Another Irish priest censored by the Vatican

The Vatican seems intent on suppressing all dissent by priests in the Irish Church. The latest victim of censorship is Fr. Brian D'Arcy, a Passionist priest who writes a weekly column for the Sunday World. He is being censored specifically for four columns he wrote dealing with women priests, why US Catholics were leaving the church, why the church must take responsibility for clerical child sex abuse, and homosexuality.

Fr. D'Arcy has also spoken out against mandatory celibacy. Commenting to the press about the case of Fr. Sean McKenna, a Londonderry priest who resigned in 2009 because of a relationship with a woman, D'Arcy said that "mandatory or compulsory celibacy is not only a contradiction in terms but has outlived its use by about 1,000 years and it should be changed."

D'Arcy is the fifth Irish Catholic priest to have been censured by the Vatican recently. The others are Redemptorist priests Fr. Tony Flannery and Fr. Gerard Moloney, Marist priest Fr. Sean Fagan and Capuchin priest Fr. Owen O'Sullivan.

Fr. D'Arcy seems only mildly deterred. This week, his Sunday World column looks at a recent survey by the Irish Association of Catholic Priests that found that 87 per cent of Catholics in that country believe priests should be allowed to marry, 77 per cent believe women should be ordained, and 72 per cent believe that married men should be accepted for ordination. Another 87 per cent of those surveyed support allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion. Referring obliquely to his censorship, Fr. D'Arcy concluded: "Sadly in our church now, it has become impossible to be open and honest about what good people are convinced of. It's as if merely stating unpalatable facts is in itself disloyal. For years I’ve tried to point out the perils of the growing disconnect between church leaders and the ordinary people."

Fr. D'Arcy, who has been a priest for over 40 years and is the author of several books including A Different Journey and A Little Bit of Healing, said the censorship is hurtful. "Personally I've been living with the pain of censure for 14 months and will have to live with it for the rest of my priestly life. In these difficult times, it is the price one has to pay when one is committed to the truth, which is the duty of both the priest and the journalist." He told BBC News that he will not stop speaking out. "I have spoken just as plainly and openly about that, encouraging the church when it has needed encouragement and actually questioning the church when it has needed questioned. I have not changed nor will I be changed on that." He remains a priest in good standing.


  1. Fr D'Arcy is an asshole who knows nothing but self love. He makes me puke!

    They are all dirt bags leading people astray. If the had a scintilla of integrity they would shut up.

    Some times someone has to tell it like it these.

    These so-called priests are a disgrace and a scandal.

    1. Shur what harm did country music ever do to anyone

  2. Spoken truly like a Christian ..... Por favor qur ignorante eres! Que Dios te predone!

  3. Everyone's entitled to their views but I too am amazed by those who pretend to defend the Roman Catholic Church by insulting the men whom it has recognized as worthy to receive Holy Orders. I normally don't post commentaries that contain obscene language but I did so in this case because it is typical of an unfortunate type of discourse I am seeing all too frequently from young traditionalist Catholics. Is this how they were taught to speak of priests? It's sad.

  4. Thanks for putting this story out and thanks also for your excellent blog. The way our church is veering to the extreme right these days is a cause of serious concern. Your site helps to join up the dots and enables people to see the warning signs.

  5. In reality, the historical view of the church shows that it has been too long a machismo ideological driven apparatus that has ignored history and seen women as second class citizen, and married priests (which the church had for over a thousand years) are being not accepted for what reason? Those in the Maronite church, and the Orthodox, the Anglicans, etc. do show that married priests, or at least the free choice to marry or live celibate is healthy! I myself have been ordained in the Roman Church. I have seen so many RC priests all over the world who have their hidden relationships with women because the obligatory celibacy causes more problems than providing help for the priestly vocations.
    Vocation to the Priesthood and Celibacy are two different issues. Obligatory Celibacy is a Church law, not a divine law. It can be lifted if the Pope with a bishops Synod would do so... There are so many priests who could fill all the gaps of merged and clustered parishes that have no longer priests. All these parish closings everywhere, and beautiful Churches being abandoned because so many times lack of priests... It is sad to see the Vatican only reacts, but does not find a way of approaching the dire pastoral situation with a more Christ like heart!