Document I received from the CDF with demand for signatures



 1.  The Reservation of Priesthood to Men Alone

The following paragraph is taken from the Apostolic Letter, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis of Pope John Paul II (1994).

4. Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment  that women are not to be admitted

to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force.

Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.

The following paragraphs  are taken  from the Post-Synodal  Apostolic Exhortation, Querida Amazonia (2020). While addressing the strength and gift of women, Pope Francis at the same time affirms the reservation of the sacred priesthood  to men alone.

The strength and gift of women

  1. In the Amazon region, there are communities that have long preserved and handed on the faith even though no priest has come their way, even for decades. This could happen because of the presence of strong and generous women who, undoubtedly called and prompted by the Holy Spirit, baptized , catechized, prayed and acted as missionaries. For centuries, women have kept the Church alive in those places through their remarkable devotion and deep faith. Some of them, speaking at the Synod, moved us profoundly by their testimony.
  1. This summons us to broaden our vision, lest we restrict our understanding of the Church to her functional structures. Such a reductionism would lead us to believe that women would be granted a greater status and participation in the Church only if they were admitted to Holy Orders. But that approach would in fact narrow our vision; it would lead us to clericalize women, diminish the great value of what they have already accomplished , and subtly make their indispensable contribution less effective.
  1. Jesus Christ appears as the Spouse of the community that celebrates the Eucharist  through the figure of a man who presides as a sign of the one Priest. This dialogue between  the Spouse and his Bride, which arises in adoration and sanctifies the community, should not trap us in partial conceptions of power in the Church. The Lord chose to reveal his power and his love through two human faces: the face of his divine Son made man and the face of a creature, a woman, Mary. Women make their contribution to the Church in a way that is properly theirs, by making present the tender strength of Mary, the Mother. As a result, we do not limit ourselves to a functional approach, but enter instead into the inmost structure of the Church. In this way, we will fundamentally realize why, without women, the Church breaks down, and how many communities in the Amazon would have collapsed , had women not

been there to sustain them, keep them together and care for them. This shows the kind of power that is typically theirs.

  1. We must keep encouraging those simple and straightforward gifts that enabled women in the Amazon region to play so active a role in society, even though communities now face many new and unprecedented threats. The present situation requires us to encourage the

emergence of other forms of service and charisms that are proper to women and responsive to the specific needs of the peoples of the Amazon region at this moment in history.

  1. In a synodal Church, those women who in fact have a central part to play in Amazonian communities should have access to positions, including ecclesial services, that do not entail Holy Orders and that can better signify the role that is theirs. Here it should be noted that these services entail stability, public recognition and a commission from the bishop. This would also allow women to have a real and effective impact on the organization, the most important decisions and the direction of communities, while continuing to do so in a way that reflects their womanhood.

DOCTRINAL PROPOSITION: According to the Tradition and the doctrine of the Church incorporated in the Canon Law (c. 1024), a baptized male alone receives sacred ordination validly.

I, Fr. Tony Flannery C.Ss.R, submit to the above doctrinal proposition given by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Fr. Tony Flannery, C.Ss.R.  ______________________________

2.   The Moral Liceity of Homosexual Practices

The following paragraph is taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church n. 2357.

2357. Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological

genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

DOCTRINAL PROPOSITION: Since the homosexual practices are contrary to the natural law and do not proceed from  a genuine affective and sexual complementarity, they are not approved by the moral teaching of the Catholic Church (cf. CCC 2357).

I, Fr. Tony Flannery C.Ss.R, submit to the above doctrinal proposition given by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Fr. Tony Flannery, C.Ss.R. ___________________________

3.  The Institution of Marriage and Same-Sex Marriages

The following paragraph is taken from the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhoration Amoris Laetitia (2016). In this paragraph Pope Francis affirms that only the exclusive and indissoluble union between a man and a woman benefits society.

52. No one can think that the weakening of the family as that natural society founded on marriage will prove beneficial to society as a whole. The contrary is true: it poses a threat to the mature growth of individuals, the cultivation of community values and the moral progress of cities and countries. There is a failure to realize that only the exclusive and indissoluble union be-tween a man and a woman has a plenary role to play in society as a stable commitment that bears fruit in new life. We need to acknowledge the great variety of family situations that can offer a certain stability, but de facto or same-sex unions for example, may not simply be equated with marriage. No union that is temporary or closed to the transmission of life can ensure the future of society. But nowadays who is making an effort to strengthen marriages, to help married couples overcome their problems, to assist them in the work of raising children and, in general, to encourage the stability of the marriage bond .

The following article is taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church n. 1660 (cf.

GS 48; CIC 1055, §1).

1660. The Marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has been founded and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator. By its very nature it is ordered to the good of the couple, as well as to the generation and education of children. Christ the Lord raised marriage between the baptized to the dignity of a sacrament.

DOCTRINAL  PROPOSITION:  The Marriage  covenant,  by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has beenfounded and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator (CCC 1660). Otherforms  of union do not  correspond to God ‘s plan for  marriage andfamily.  Therefore, they are not allowed by the Catholic Church.

I, Fr. Tony Flannery C.Ss.R, submit to the above doctrinal proposition given by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Fr. Tony Flannery, C.Ss.R. _______________________________

4.   “Gender Theory”

The following paragraph is taken from the Congregation For Education’s document on gender theory in education, “Male and Female He Created Them” (2019).

2. The context in which the mission of education is carried out is characterized by challenges emerging from varying forms of an ideology that is given the general name ‘gender theory ‘,

which “denies the difference and reciprocity in nature of a man and a woman and envisages a society  with-out  sexual  differences, thereby  eliminating  the  anthropological  basis  of the family.  This  ideology  leads to  educational  programmes  and  legislative  enactments  that promote  a personal  identity  and emotional  intimacy  radically  separated  from the biological difference  between  male and  female.  Consequently,  human  identity  becomes  the  choice of

the individual, one which can also change over time.”

DOCTRINAL PROPOSITION:  In sofar  as it contradicts thefoundations  of a genuine Christian anthropology, gender theory is not accepted by Catholic teaching

(cf. Congregation for Catholic Education, Male and Female He Created Them, nn. 2-4; 19-23 and passim ) .

I, Fr. Tony Flannery C.Ss.R, submit to the above doctrinal proposition given by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Fr. Tony Flannery, C.Ss.R. __________________________

I, Fr. Tony Flannery C.Ss.R, submit to all of the above doctrinal propositions given by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as they pertain to the Church’s teaching on the: 1. Reservation of the sacred priesthood to men alone; 2. The moral liceity of homosexual practices; 3. The legal recognition of marriage between persons of the same sex; and 4. “Gender Theory.”


Fr. Tony Flannery, C.Ss.R. Date


It came with the following covering letter from the Secretary of the CDF to the Superior of the Redemptorists:

I will not be signing this document.


00120 Cittd de/ Vatica110

Palazzo dcl S. U ffizio

July 9, 2020

PROT.  N. 50/2013 – 77665

Dear Reverend Father,

Thank you for your letter of February 27, 2020 [Prot. N. 1300 040/2020], which proposed that this Dicastery consider permitting Fr. Tony  Flannery to return to public ministry. The letter followed a meeting which occurred on  the same day here at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The effects of Fr. Flannery’ s situation on the Irish Church, and in particular the Irish province of your Congregation, were presented within the proposal.

After reflecting carefully upon your request, the Congregation has decided that Fr. Flannery should not return to public ministry prior to submitting a signed statement regarding his positions on homosexuality, civil unions between persons of the same sex, and the admission of women to the priesthood. With this letter, the Congregation provides some recent doctrinal propositions on the above-mentioned topics. The Irish Provincial should ask Fr. Flannery to give his assent to the statement by providing his signature in each of the places indicated (enclosure). After Fr. Flannery has provided his signatures to the enclosed statement, it should then be transmitted to this Congregation.

After the statement is signed and received , a gradual readmission of Fr. Flannery to the exercise of public ministry will be possible by way of an agreement with this Congregation. Furthermore, given the fact that he has stated numerous times that he is not a theologian, he should be asked to not speak publically on the above-mentioned topics which have caused problems in the past.

Taking this opportunity to give you my warmest regards, I remain

+ –

ffi Giacomo MORANDI Archbishop tit. of Cerveteri Secretary

(with enclosure)

Rev. Fr. Michael BREHL, C.Ss.R.

Superior General

Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer

Via Merulana, 31

00185 ROMA