Fermoy priest explains controversial homily
Fr Damien Lynch said this week that he regrets the fact that some people walked out of 12 o’clock Mass on Sunday last at St Patrick’s Church in Fermoy while he was speaking in his homily about well known Irish missionary priest, Fr Tony Flannery. Fr Flannery said recently he’d been censored by the Vatican for airing his views on homosexuality and women priests in a monthly column in the religious publication ‘Reality’. His column has been discontinued on orders from Rome. He has also been forbidden to minister as a priest. There’s been a groundswell of support for Fr Flannery since his difficulties with church authorities were highlighted in the national media.
At weekend masses, Fr Damien in his homily was critical of the position adopted by Fr Flannery. A small number of people left the church during his sermon.
Speaking to The Avondhu this week, Fr Damien said he was aware that Fr Flannery has done a lot of good work, including retreats in Fermoy parish but he felt he ‘needed to say what he did’.
“Fr Flannery has adopted a position inconsistent with the faith the church promotes. I didn’t want the good work he has done or the goodwill towards him to cloud the reality that he has taken this position. His ideas about core aspects of the faith, I feel, if people were to take them on board would be damaging to the faith,” he explained.
Fr Damien went on to say that the clergy’s job is to promote the Church’s faith and while there is a place for discussions, the stance taken by Fr Flannery on certain matters is so at odds with fundamental church teaching that it can’t be adopted. “It would not be a good thing,” he said.
Fr Damien assured it was not his intention to offend anyone. He had delivered the same homily at three masses last weekend and it was only the 12 o’clock Mass that people walked out of. It was just a few who left, he said. Others came up to him after Mass to register their disquiet over his remarks while some agreed and supported what he said.