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.