That Irish Dissident Priest & The Synod

An Irish dissident priest, with no apparent rejection of his heretical views embracing contraception abortion and the like, has been restored to 'good standing' with the assistance of Pope Francis.
Pope Francis is believed to have intervened directly with the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) to have all sanctions on silenced Irish priest Fr Sean Fagan (86) lifted. 
It was confirmed to The Irish Times in Rome last night that Marist priest Fr Fagan, who has been subject to sanction by the Vatican for six years, is no longer so.
The superior general of the Marist congregation in Rome, Fr John Hannan, said last night that Fr Fagan is now “a priest in good standing” where the church is concerned.
The book that got Fr. Fagan banned in the first place is entitled "What Happened to Sin" is mostly, as I understand it, about the horror that is Humanae Vitae.

But another part of the book I find very interesting. On page 123, we find a passage that is very reminiscent of a certain Cardinal's preparatory speech for the Synod on the family.

Page 123 ...(and also here)
"I feel the same infinite love of Jesus would not be happy with the way our Catholic church harshly treats its members whose marriage has broken down irretrievably and find themselves in a new relationship where they experience God's love to the full, but are refused a place at the table of the Lord .... Current practice and cannon law have turned the Eucharist, which theologically is for the forgiveness of sins, into a reward for good behaviour. There is very little of the joy and hope of Vatican II in today's church.' (p. 123)
What happened to sin, indeed?

One Pope's heresy is another Pope's 'serene theology'.

*subhead*Ah ha.*subhead*


  1. We live in interesting times. However, I wouldn't be so quick to judge the situation since the exact details are not know as to why he was reinstated as a priest. Perhaps he has changed his position on his heretical views?

    Nevertheless, it is disappointing that he uses Vatican II to push for a change in the sacraments. That was NOT the purpose of Vatican II; Vatican two was to re-engage the Church faithful with new language and opportunities to understand and practice the Faith faithfully, as its been done for the past two millennia. Unfortunately, the world saw Vatican II as the Church modernizing the faith when Vatican II was only modernizing the language and how the faithful participate in the Faith. Nothing was to change in the practice of the Faith. We have our secular media to thank for much of the contortions of the Faith.

  2. "Current practice and cannon law have turned the Eucharist, which theologically is for the forgiveness of sins, into a reward for good behaviour. "

    I hear this sentiment and it comes across as a typical misconception that protestants have regarding forgiveness and the need for actual repentance.

  3. ..... let the bad times roll.....
    We are in for Vatican III the way things are moving so quickly into modernism and Sodom

  4. When Pope Benedict XVI (rightly, IMHO) lifted the formal declaration of excommunication from the four living SSPX Bishops they had not, to the best of my knowledge, repented of the sin (and it surely, indisputably was a sin) of willingly and knowingly participating in their own illicit Ordination as Bishops, nor of their own frequent and illicit action in celebrating the Eucharist (which is a sin for an excommunicated Priest, at least in non-emergency situations), nor of their very public role in administering a Society of Priests that was not canonically recognized, routinely ran afoul of canon law, and that operated chapels which served to lure the Faithful away from canonically regular parishes whose pastors actually have faculties to licitly celebrate the Eucharist, hear Confessions and witness Marriages. Indeed, one could argue that the extraordinary gift that Pope Benedict XVI gave to these four men has not been greeted by an especially warm or docile spirit of repentance since that time, though i suppose that's a judgment call.

    Sometimes the Church rightly acts out of a sense of Mercy (and Mercy is by definition not merited, or at least not fully merited - otherwise it would be Justice). The priest in question has a great affection for the Church (confused and perhaps disordered though his broader attitudes may be) and is quite advanced in years. The medicinal aspect of Church discipline is properly balanced against considerations of whether the medicine of sanction is likely to be more or less fruitful than an alternate medicine of exceptional Mercy.

  5. The SSPX bishops were not excommunicated due to doctrinal reasons. They were excommunicated due to illicitly ordaining more bishops. Prior to that, the Holy See issued no condemnation of any kind of the SSPX's critiques of Vatican II. Just as other groups they have allowed to critique the council (FSSP, the Personal Apostolic Administration of Saint John Mary Vianney, etc.) no recanting of position was require because there was no heresy to begin with.

  6. Fr. Fagan, the morning-star of the Francis reformation.

  7. You make a good point on the "advanced in years" part of this.

  8. It's a highly analogous situation. While the SSPX Bishops had no need to "recant" (because their excommunications were due to their actions and not their statements), they made no effort to repent of grave, public sin. They were granted the mercy of a lifting of their excommunicated status not because Pope benedict XVI determined that they had done nothing wrong, and certainly not because they had taken every reasonable step within their power to reconcile with the Church, but because the Pope decided that this act of mercy would better serve the goal of their eventual reconciliation.

    We have no reason to suspect that the mercy granted to Fr. Fagan was not similar granted because, in the prudential judgment of the relevant ecclesiastical authorities, the act of mercy would further to goal of his full reconciliation.

    And the SSPX doesn't have canonical status (even now after it's Bishops have had their formal excommunication lifted and certainly not before). It's priests do not have faculties to engage in public ministry as Priests of the Church, and under Catholic doctrine and canon law certain sacraments that they perform* aren't even valid as a result.

    *Absolution granted in the Confessional by SSPX priests is not valid due to their lack of faculties (though we should all surely hope that God is very merciful on the Faithful who seek forgiveness in sincerity at SSPX chapels) and weddings involving baptized Catholics performed at SSPX chapels with SSPX Priests as officiants lack canonical form and are considered invalid by the Church. If one takes Catholic Sacramental theology serious then the actions of the SSPX Bishops in leading the Society potentially put many souls at risk, just as do the actions/statements of heretical Priests.

  9. I don't know....the statement ' he loves the Church in spite of all its weaknesses ' makes me wonder where this is actually coming from. The people in the Church have weaknesses but the Church that Jesus founded and His teachings are perfect

  10. Pat -- Thanks for addressing this in a way that is far beyond the capacity of Mark Shea. Well done.


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