Second Irish priest silenced by Church as anger grows over gagging attempts

Is this the end of celibacy for Irish priests?

Irish priests are at war with the Vatican again after attempts to silence a second rebel cleric.

Veteran Marist priest Fr Sean Fagan has been ordered to stop writing and commentating in public.

The 84-year-old has been reprimanded by the church after he had called for an inquiry into clerical sexual abuse in all Irish dioceses.

His order has also bought all remaining copies of a theological book written by Fr Fagan who was required to give an undertaking not to write again.

The latest move came after Fr Fagan publicly advocated allowing women and married men to be ordained as priests.

The Association of Catholic Priests has condemned the moves to silence Fr Fagan, just days after another rebel priest was ordered to return to his monastery after his newspaper column was pulled by the Church.

ACP spokesman Fr Sean McDonagh told the Irish Independent that the silencing of Fr Fagan is ‘just outrageous’.

Fr McDonagh added: “The church is throwing a fatwa at the priest. Some of the church’s recent actions are like a return to the Inquisition.

“This isn’t the time for heresy hunting. Fr Fagan’s writings were clear, well written and interesting. He wants to start a conversation about the church’s views on sexuality.

“I believe that the silencing of priests by the Vatican is out of a desire for control rather than because of sincerely held belief or intelligent argument.”

The Irish Bishops have refused to comment to the Irish Independent on the story.