Gabriel Daly in The Tablet

In a recent article in The Tablet, the distinguished Augustinian theologian, Gabriel Daly, had the following paragraph:

“When the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith offends against justice and peace by identifying its own traditionalist opinions as ‘the immutable teaching of the Church’ and then accuses, and even punishes, fellow Catholics for not conforming to them, we have a situation that makes dissent and protest not only permissible, but a moral and theological duty.”

It is good for me to read that, and I thank Gabriel for such a clear statement of the position that I find myself in.  I have spent the last four days here in Dublin with the gathering of Redemptorists at our Chapter — electing leaders, reviewing the past four years, and deciding priorities for the next four.  I have found it difficult to be here, since so much of what is being discussed is no longer something I can take any part in.  Apart from one intervention from the floor (coming, incidentally from the youngest priest present) there was no mention, nor discussion of, my situation. Since I am fully convinced that a grave injustice has been done to me, both in the nature of the accusations against me, and in the procedure by which they have been prosecuted, I find it disappointing that my colleagues, in reviewing the past four years, have nothing at all to say about it. There are undoubtedly a few people here who feel this deeply, and I am extremely grateful to them.  I know they have done what they can.

While it was, of course, the CDF that was responsible for this injustice, the Redemptorist authorities, both national and international, by fully cooperating with and facilitating the actions of the CDF, are surely complicit in the injustice.

Some of the most senior people in the Congregation have assured me over the past two years that they do not believe I am in any way heretical, and that they fully accept that the procedures were unjust.  But they will not say it publicly.  I believe that, in the present climate under Pope Francis, if they really believe that, then they should have the courage to restore me to ministry, with a full explanation of why they were doing it (and there are numerous quotes from Pope Francis they could  use to justify what they would be doing) and then put it up to the CDF to challenge them.

I await in hope, but not, I’m afraid, in confidence