Article in La Republica on our letter to the CDF: (Translation)

Translation from Italian of the article in “Repubblica” on 25 April:

The revolt of the theologians put on the index of the former Holy Office: “Put an end to secret trials”
For some they are prophets. For others, on the contrary, heretics. They consider themselves simply theologians, united however by an ungrateful destiny. And that arises from the fact that in recent years the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the Holy Office of the past, it has “put them on the index” because of their theological positions, or imposed silence on them, sometimes going so far as to ban their teaching, or even excommunication. But now, strengthened by the arrival to the pontificate of Pope Francis who, in April 2014, recalled the injustices suffered by the “heretic” Antonio Rosmini – “Today, thanks be to God the Church can repent,” he said – they took courage and wrote to Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, who, after Levada successor to Ratzinger at the Congregation, asking that everything change. Namely that the processes, often conducted in secret by the former Holy Office, without calling to witness the people directly involved, and with sentences handed down “as if we were at the time of absolutism of the sixteenth and seventeenth century”, they have gone public, proposing ” strict time limits’, with interviews “face to face” in which the accused may put their cases and arrive at a “fair justice”.
The theologians number fifteen. Some are bishops. Others are simple teachers. Among them also women. They have become notorious, especially in Anglo-Saxon countries, despite themselves, precisely because of the Vatican censure. Judgments arrived at from almost nothing, and above all – this is the most serious charge brought by the fifteen – after anonymous dossiers had been compiled, or of which it was difficult to know the authorship. The many liberation theologians put to the index in the curia of the last two pontificates know something if this, before the fifteen. Often pieces of university lectures, excerpts of articles published in theological journals, clips of public statements were extrapolated, then fashioned for purpose, and finally shipped to the Vatican so that, catechism and magisterium of the Popes in hand, theologians sometimes enemies of the drafters of the dossiers were censured. And as a result, their academic careers ended.
The letter of fifteen theologians, sent a few weeks ago and made public in recent days by the National Catholic Reporter, asked Cardinal Müller to change the rules, because it is not with anonymous reports that his dicastery should act at the same time as “investigator, prosecutor, judge and jury.” Father Tony Flannery, an Irish priest who was victim of the former Holy Office for his initiatives in favour of a reform of the Church in matters of sexual morality, told Repubblica,: “I think the way in which the Congregation behaves is a scandal in the Church. I will do all I can to make this known. The secrecy upon which it is based is the weapon of an oppressor. This is why I refuse to remain silent. “
Among other theologians there stand out the names of the Australian historian Paul Collins, of Sister Jeannine Gramick, already under investigation for her ministry to homosexual persons, of the theologian Elizabeth A. Johnson, of the Spanish Benedictine Sister Teresa Forcades, and of Australian Bishop Bill Morris, this latter guilty, as reported at length by [news] agency Adista “of having speculated on female priesthood.” And then, again, Father Roy Bourgeois, excommunicated for participating in women’s ordination; and Father Charles Curran, forced to leave teaching at the Catholic University of America in 1986 after he was deemed unfit to teach theology because of his views on sexual questions.
Francis knows well the Curial way of stopping careers of theologians and bishops, using the dossiers. As archbishop of Buenos Aires and head of the Argentine Bishops’ Conference often he saw candidates for episcopal appointments rejected by the Vatican its. But the story is not just a recent one. Already at the time of Humanae Vitae many distinguished moral theologians like Haering, Mongillo, Chiavacci, Valsecchi and others were silenced, while ecclesiastical careers were built only on the defence of a narrow interpretation of that encyclical.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly known as the Holy Office, is the body of the Roman Curia responsible for monitoring the purity of the doctrine of the Catholic Church.
Father Tony Flannery is an Irish priest censured because in favour of a reform of the sexual moral teaching of the Church.