Comment: Culture of silence

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Portlaoise priest, Fr Paddy Byrne has defended Fr Tony Flannery who has been silenced and threatened with excommunication by the Church authorities for his perceived liberal views on women priests, contraception and homosexuality.

Portlaoise priest, Fr Paddy Byrne has defended Fr Tony Flannery who has been silenced and threatened with excommunication by the Church authorities for his perceived liberal views on women priests, contraception and homosexuality.

Fr Byrne has equated equated the treatment of Fr Flannery to ‘repression, and has said that it is distressing and creating an atmosphere of fear and repression.

Fr Flannery, a Redemptorist and well known missionary, is the founder of the Association of Catholic Priests.

He has been censured by Rome for his views, and has not been allowed to practice as a priest since then.

He is entitled to his views, as equally are those to take a rigid view of Church dogma.

However, it is hardly healthy for any institution to silence and gag those who offer alternative and challenging views.