Nuns and priests wore gags in the Vatican colors as they protested in Dublin against the Catholic church’s latest censorship moves.
A silent vigil outside the Papal Nunciature was held to oppose recent Vatican attempts to silence five high profile clerics.
The move came after celebrity priest Fr Brian D’Arcy confirmed that he had been censored for his Sunday World newspaper column.
Redemptorist priests Fr Tony Flannery and Fr Gerard Moloney, Marist priest Fr Seán Fagan and Capuchin priest Fr Owen O’Sullivan have also been the subject of Vatican censorship in recent weeks.
The Dublin protest attracted more than 200 lay Catholics and religious.
The Irish Times reports that several of whom wore gags in the Vatican colours of white and yellow as they handed in a letter at the gates of the residence of papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown.
The protestors called on the recently appointed Papal Nuncio and the Vatican to revoke the censures.
One of the protestors, Dominican nun Sr Siobhán Ní Mhaoilmhichil, told the paper she was angered by the way the priests had been treated.
“These are all good theologians who have worked for the church for many years and we are here to show our solidarity with them,” she said.
Organizer Brendan Butler, spokesman for the We Are Church Ireland group, said the Vatican had been heavy-handed in silencing the priests.
“The treatment of these priests goes against the teachings of Jesus Christ and the church founded by Jesus. These are outstanding priests and people are outraged by the disrespect that has been shown to them,” he said.
Butler also told the paper that he is aware of four other priests who have been silenced but have chosen to remain anonymous.