Father Brian D’arcy told to submit copy to Church censor…

And another liberal priest is brought to account by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith…

It is understood that his column is now run past a church censor, though none has been changed as a result. The disciplining of Fr D’Arcy brings the number of Irish priests censured by Rome to six. The action against the priest was taken by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) last year after an anonymous complaint.

Fr D’Arcy has spoken out against mandatory celibacy for priests, church teaching on contraception and has been a vocal critic of the handling of clerical sexual abuse. In the wake of the Murphy Report into clerical abuse in the Archdiocese of Dublin Fr D’Arcy called for reformation of church structures and accused the Holy See of using legal procedures to shield itself from criticism over its handling of abuse.

  • Pope Canute strikes again.

  • Mick Fealty

    I don’t think so Mark… As Pete has said before, he’s done all this thinking on this beforehand…

  • Drumlins Rock

    Mark has a point though, you have an 85 yr old pope who isn’t in the best of health, the chances are the next pope could be much more liberal, is this one moving the goal posts a far as he can now in order to leave it harder for the next man to move further?

  • Theres actually a bigger story. And that is…..timing. It has to be seen in the context of other statements from spokesmen on the Churchs liberal side. They clearly feel emboldened.
    All of which makes Brian’s next column interesting. The readership will know it has been “approved” and he will have to make reference to this ….which I suspect he wont mind doing. He might even write that he “refuses to be gagged”.
    Either way the timing is significant not least because the article was written some time ago.

    The Liberals are playing a good game. For tactical reasons, an Ireland versus Vatican dispute (and it goes back hundreds of years) is a good move. It gets the tacit approval of mainstream Irish church people. And resonates in an Ireland where interference from Brussels is a daily reality.

    And even brings out some tacit support from nominal Catholics in the media. Ultimately they are not much different to the reaction of the lapsed Catholic in a very old Belfast joke.

    “Paddy Paddy…..the chapel is being attacked”
    “We will soon see about that” says Paddy grabbing his hurley stick and running outside before coming back to sheepishly ask
    “Mary………where exactly is the chapel?”
    Nothing changes.

  • Drumlins Rock…..the age of the Pope suggests that he was chosen for the reason that he was not expected to live long. (that doesnt always work out of course). A subsidiary argument is that he would do less harm as Pope than on the sidelines.
    While it has to be remembered that the voting members at the next Papal election will probably all have been appointed by Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict, the current Pope seems to be acting increasingly lie a man who has been given “more than enough rope”.

    So even the largely conservative gathering at the next election will know that it is time to make a strategic shift to embrace a degree of modernity.

  • “It is understood that his column is now run past a church censor, though none has been changed as a result…. Fr D’Arcy has spoken out against mandatory celibacy for priests, church teaching on contraception and has been a vocal critic of the handling of clerical sexual abuse.”

    Is there any creditable suggestion that these are linked, i.e. that he is being brought to book for his views on celibacy, contraception and sex abuse? I would hazzard a fair guess, I am one of the very few who buy the Sunday World (occasionally) for his column. I don’t read it for his homespun insights on Catholic theology but just to be amazed at the sheer brass neck of a priest who seems to believe so few of core Catholic dogma and still remain a priest. Ask him if he believes in transubstantiation or the relationship of dogma and tradition to the Catholic faith then you might have a real understanding why he now has to run his columns past a superior.

  • “Pope Canute strikes again.”

    You seriously think the Pope has even heard of D’Arcy? This is more likely to do with the recent Apostolic Visitation led by Timothy Dolan who by all accounts was appalled by the heretic view of the Catholic establishment in Ireland – and D’Arcy is part of that establishment, no matter how he pretends to rail against “clericalism”.

  • Ulick – I don’t mean that the Pope personally ordered this action but to say that the actions of the CDF and the boldness with which they are issuing their recent decisions are inconsistent with the views and wishes of its most recent leader is naive.

  • socaire

    How about the old adage – if you don’t like the rules, srl., srl. I find it hard to admire people who rebel from the inside but haven’t the guts to walk.

  • andnowwhat


    This evening’s BBC news said that it believes there was an individual complaint put in

  • Granni Trixie

    If Catholics who find some of the churches rules ridiculous (and not fit for fpurpose) were to leave would there be many left?

    Personally I admire Fr Darcy for questioning celebicy and the culture in which priests /bishops did not seem to grasp just how wrong it was to abuse children or to look the other way. As a teacher I was always aware that if I was caught putting a hand on a child I would not be reemployed as a teacher.

  • @andnowwhat

    It wasn’t me 😉

    Considering the Irish “Magic Circle” have put up with and at times tacitly endorsed him over many years, I expect the complaint was over their heads and direct to Rome.

  • This seems to be part of a wider Vatican campaign:

    Nuncio tells bishops to get tough

    Pope Benedict XVI’s representative to the United Kingdom has told the bishops of England and Wales to be more united and to give a courageous and outspoken defence of Church teaching.

    Archbishop Antonio Mennini, who addressed the bishops at their biannual meeting in Leeds this week, also urged them to forge alliances with other faiths against government proposals to introduce gay marriage, as well as on life issues such as abortion and euthanasia. The archbishop quoted Pope Benedict XVI’s concern at the “serious pastoral problem” of pre-marital cohabitation.

    Cardinal Dolan was not impressed by President Obama’s blunt,”You don’t have my permission, you’ve got my request”.

    Evangelical Protestants could well side with the Vatican on a range of moral issues, even though they differ on some of the theological small print.

  • carnmoney.guy

    Petty Fr Darcy doesnt use his exposure on the British media to question the 195000 abortions carried out each year,
    or the 13 year girls given contraceptives in Southampton, soon to be rolled out to a pharmacy near you
    or question why the President of South Africa can have four legimate wives, but can cure hiv by sleeping with a virgin.
    Fr Darcy should stop nasal gazing at the rules he knew about and start speaking out against the immorality of current society

  • “speaking out against the immorality of current society”

    c.g, I recollect seeing the following entry in a Presbyterian church record from a few generations back: pre-nuptial fornication. Presumably the decision by the church session followed the early arrival of a baby post-marriage.

    The 1803 census of the parish of Ballintoy has a sprinkling of B.S. and B.D., labels which would be most unlikely to appear in church records now.

  • sdelaneys

    carnmoney.guy, you seem to think Irish priests should speak about events all around the world but keep quiet about what is happening in their own church in Ireland, strange and as for ‘nasal gazing’, it could be dangerous.

  • Granni Trixie

    It says something (not sure what) that Sluggerites are so negatively disposed to Fr Darcy.

  • Im not in any way negatively disposed to Fr D’arcy.

  • Not as negatively disposed as I am towards Ray D’Arcy, but that’s another matter.

  • BluesJazz

    Of whom is he a father?

    Daft bollocks from a medieval charade worthy of Chaucer, the Pardoner’s tale.

    If this priest, or minister, whatever, has at last came out and said their particular cult is bullshit and that science/evolution is the only show in town, fair play to them.

    If Sheik Pope Mohammed Jesus Yahweh wants to censor him, no big deal, different snakes produce different kinds of snake oil.

  • Drumlins Rock

    thanks Jazz, its amazing how your anti religious rant can make even this Pope look tollerant.

  • BluesJazz

    if you read ‘The Canterbury Tales’ you’ll realise the hypocrisy has been about for centuries. Science just added the stake through the heart of the delusion.

    As for *tolerance*, yeah all for it, along with evidence.

  • andnowwhat

    I say this as a catholic; Benny was elected because it wasn’t thought he would live long. The cardinals elected him, time for him to “live” up to his end of the bargain

  • Zig70



    Some would say momentum big enough to create a few historic changes in the church and I always like to see the rug pulled from under those in power. Can’t see a decent solid argument against women priests.

  • babyface finlayson

    Surely the argument is that a club can decide its own rules..
    It’s not rocket science. If you don’t agree just form a new club.
    That is what all religions have done for ever.
    The rest of us will just get on with being sane.

  • Zig70

    Babyface, most clubs modify the rules, some do it every year, some every few centuries. It’s just a survival thing , otherwise we would still be sacrificing sheep.

  • andnowwhat

    I read today’s piece by Fr D’arcy, about how a seemingly bitter rector made the 17 year old novice cut down 20 beautiful cherry trees. He related how the gardener rightly berated him and how it was the gardener that was in touch with the true spirit of God and not the rector.

    Sounds like he hasn’t bowed down but don’t tell the vatican

  • I think thats the point. Fr D’arcys column was probably more read this week than in several recent weeks. And it seems to be a parable.
    Fr D’arcy also made himself available for several interviews.
    There was a protest about “gagging” outside churches.
    And most significantly the Archbishop of Dublin has made it clear that it is all a matter for the Heads of the Orders.

    As Ive pointed out in other threads Fr D’arcy (a Passionist) and others priests (Redemptorists etc) are less dependent on patronage.
    The liberal priests are therefore leading the attacks on the Vatican and the official Church hierarchy is happy enough with that.

  • andnowwhat


    I think it maybe did happen but yes, it was as you say. took it as saying the clergy do not have any more authority in the understanding of God than other men and the church’s vanity of self-importance is so arrogant that it will attack and even kill that which is clearly God’s simply to assert it’s authority.

    I hace to ‘fess up. As a lover of people of conscience and a lover of nature, I did get emotional reading the article. I’m from a very catholic family but they have always viewed the vatican as a (in the words of the great philosopher, Paul Calf) a bag o’ shite.

  • We’ve already had Barney the Dinosaur appear at Mass in Cork. Fr D’arcy and the “liberal” ACP would have Holy Mass transformed into a circus like the “liberal” Austrians in this video:


    or this farce of a “Mass” from the ‘Neocatechumenal Way’


  • andnowwhat

    Someone called Benny, Pope Canute but I think Pope Nero fits better.

    Where Irish Catholics to expand Python’s “what have the Romans done for us” to “what has the Roman Catholic church done for us” I fear the sketch would have been much shorter and bereft of the irony