Sometime in Autumn last I was invited to give a talk at a venue in Galway. The date, time and place were arranged, and early in the new year the following notice was displayed in the website of the organisers. 

Fr. Tony Flannery.

Reconciling our Religious Upbringing with our current understandings of  Creation, Interpreting Scripture, and the Divine Presence. February 17th

I was looking forward to the event, Galway being my native county, and I had also been very involved in starting up the Galway Novena, and had worked on it for many years.

Everything was fine until about three weeks before the due date, when I got word that the event had been cancelled, and the notice was removed from the website, but no explanation was given for its removal from the site.

My suspension from ministry, which happened in 2012, was interpreted from the beginning to apply to speaking in any property owned by the Church. In my speaking tour of the U.S. in 2014 I spoke in twenty different cities, but the only time I spoke in Catholic property was an occasion when the priest defied the bishop and held the talk in the church. Since the advent of Covid, and my advancing years, I haven’t been doing any public speaking in recent years. 

This event in Galway was due to be held in Church property — not a church in this instance, but a hall owned by a Church institution —so I was apparently not considered a fit person to give this talk. I had been suspended.

I was of course disappointed, since so much has changed in the Church since 2012, and we are now in the era of Synodality, with Pope Francis encouraging us all to speak without fear, and to listen to each other.

Anyway, life goes on, and I tell myself it is their loss!!!!!!!!!!