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"I no longer believe that there is one set of doctrines that encompass the whole truth and that all other belief systems are false. Life is Mystery, and none of us can fully comprehend the vastness of it; there is space and an open door for all, for those who are searching..."  

A co- founder of the Association of Catholic Priests, Tony Flannery is well-known in international reform circles and in his native Ireland.

A modest, gentle, and tenacious soul, he was popular in Irish Catholic parishes as a thoughtful and sympathetic preacher of retreats. He saw the struggles of Catholics with Church teachings, and the failure of the institution to understand, and began writing articles in Reality magazine.

In 2011, the CDF, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, decided that some of his writings were heretical. Refusing even to meet him face-to-face to explain the charges against him, they instructed his superiors in 2012 to ban him from priestly ministry. 

His crime was to have been a decade ahead of his time. 

Working through the deep painfulness of this ban, Tony now sees his exclusion as a gift, enabling him to see things from the outside. 

Come and spend time with Tony at Empowering Ourselves and hear the man who,  as religious affairs commentator Kevin Hegarty says, "has borne his exclusion with grace and fortitude.He has devoted his time to reading and reflection.

... In parched terrain, he has discovered new wells that are worthy of further exploration".

We are where we are, says Tony, but how did we get here? The challenge, as he sees it, is "to escape from the straitjacket of doctrine and liturgy"... "to be aware as best we can of the loving presence in the heart of everything."

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