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Priest's shock at Viagra for sale offers on his website; Cleric baffled by rogue sex pill promos.

Byline: NICK BRAMHILL

ONE of Ireland's top priests has admitted he was left red-faced after discovering followers of his website were being encouraged to buy sex wonder drug Viagra.

Fr Tony Flannery, one of the founders of the Association of Catholic Priests, said anyone who Googled his site hoping to read his latest thoughts on the Church was instead directed to offers for the erectile dysfunction pills.

The 71-year-old from Athenry, Co Galway, even posted a warning on his blog, entitled "A Problem with my Site" to distance himself from the sales pitch.

He wrote: "Anyone who googles my site [tonyflannery.com] will see that I have been invaded by some crowd who are using my name to sell, of all things, Viagra!!!!' And seeing the funny side of the mix-up, he joked: "I can assure you I don't have any secret supplies."

But he said the problem was quickly resolved, explaining: "I got on to the website management people and they EMBARRASSED Fr Tony and, right, sorted it out, but it was very bizarre, to say the least."

Fr Flannery, who was silenced by the Vatican six years ago, also made a fresh plea with his Church superiors to lift the sanctions imposed on him and other censured Irish clerics ahead of the Pope's visit to the country later this year.

The Redemptorist cleric was ordered to step down from his ministry in 2012 by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for voicing his liberal views on issues such as women priests, homosexuality and contraception.

But the outspoken priest, who is a huge supporter of Pope Francis, insists a move to lift the sanctions would be timely ahead of the Papal visit in August and would receive widespread support from the Irish public.

He said: "I do actually believe that my Redemptorist superiors, or indeed the Irish bishops, if they really wanted to, could do something in this very different climate in the Church, to get the sanctions against me lifted and to restore my good name."

news@irishmirror.ie

CAPTION(S):

EMBARRASSED Fr Tony Flannery and, right, Viagra

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 16, 2018
Words:353
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