VATICAN CITY — The head of the Vatican's powerful doctrinal congregation Sept. 22 defended his office's request that an Irish priest sign four strict oaths of fidelity to Catholic teachings, saying the move, while "very unpleasant," was part of the congregation's duty as the global church's orthodoxy watchdog.
Responding to a question from NCR about the case of Redemptorist Fr. Tony Flannery, who has been suspended from ministry for eight years, primarily over his support for women's ordination, Cardinal Luis Ladaria said the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had done "everything possible" to dialogue with the priest.
"On some points, we have had to take some measures, which were never a judgment on the person, because this is left only to our Lord, but [a judgment] on his teachings or his behavior," said Ladaria.
"We have tried always to maintain our respect towards Fr. Flannery, but the duty that we have, according to the arrangement of the church, is to protect the faith and therefore to indicate some things that do not conform with this faith," said the cardinal.