National Catholic Reporter

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Sensus fidelium

Fr. Tony Flannery preaches church reform with a brogue

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It was a cool, rainy night Wednesday at Augustana Lutheran Church in Washington, D.C. But the drizzly weather did not keep more than 150 people from coming out to hear Fr. Tony Flannery, a priest from Ireland who has been ordered by the Vatican to sign a statement of orthodoxy and to remain silent. But Flannery -- unlike many theologians before him -- did not sign and won't keep quiet. In fact, this was the first stop in an 18-city speaking tour of the United States, sponsored by a coalition of U.S. church reform groups.

New document gives big boost to 'sense of the faithful'

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When the document from the International Theological Commission was released in late June, it drew little buzz. Its authors -- from Canada, Britain, France, Poland, and other countries -- were unknown to me except for the one American on the panel, Sr. Sara Butler. She taught at Chicago's Mundelein Seminary for many years and is best known for her opposition to women's ordination.

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