Church rebels worry the Vatican and Vienna archdiocese apologizes for published list of people who left the Catholic church

The highest representatives of the Austrian Catholic Church gathered with Vatican officials to speak about a group of priests who declared themselves “disobedient”, it has emerged.

The Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper revealed last Wednesday that Viennese Archbishop Christoph Cardinal Schönborn and two other members of the Conference of Austrian Bishops, went to Rome on Monday to meet with clergymen in the Vatican.

The paper claimed that the gathering was organised to discuss how to react to the increasing acclaim among Austrians for the demands of Helmut Schüller’s Preachers’ Initiative.

Schüller – who was president of Caritas Austria for some years before withdrawing to Probstdorf in Lower Austria to head the local parish – presented the guidelines of his movement half a year ago.

He said the Preachers’ Initiative wanted the Vatican to allow Austrian priests to give Holy Communion to divorced people. The rebellious group also want female priests in the Catholic Church and an abolition of celibacy.

A spokesman for the Austrian Roman Catholic Church confirmed today (Thurs) that the meeting took place on Monday.

He claimed that it was a regular gathering at which various topics were raised. Schönborn said already some weeks ago that he planned to raise the controversial issue when speaking with Vatican officials.

Schönborn said in several interviews that he was not denying the urgent need for reforms of the Church.

However, the archbishop also spoke out against Schüller’s suggestions which conservative representatives of the Church consider as radical propaganda. They also accuse Schüller of trying to split the Church. Schüller said the Church was on the brink of breaking up indeed – because of its leaders’ unwillingness to react to significant developments in today’s society.

Austrian Church officials did not confirm that the Preachers’ Initiative was spoken about in the Vatican on Monday. Newspapers report that the movement’s appeals were discussed indeed.

Schüller said he was not afraid of consequences over his actions. The ex-Caritas Austria president announced: “I appreciate that the Worldwide Church starts thinking about our ideals. Maybe this was the start of something.”

Schüller said last week he planned to cooperate with priests abroad who shared his opinions. “We receive a lot of approval from Catholic reform movements all over the world,” he said.

The Probstdorf parish priest also criticised the Vatican for its conservative attitude.
Schüller claimed it bore resemblance to an “absolutist monarchy”.
He added: “The Catholic Church must finally start taking its members seriously.”

Around 400 Austrian priests have joined Schüller’s initiative over the past months. Schüller pointed out that the decision to be “disobedient” towards the Vatican found all-round acclaim. Schönborn harshly criticised the group of priests for choosing this term.

Newspapers report that Schüller and Schönborn have no plans to meet in the foreseeable future to speak about a possible agreement.

Polls show that a vast majority of Austrians generally support the points of view shared in the Preachers’ Initiative.

The development of the feud between the group around Schüller and conservative circles of the Church could be crucial to how things go for reform movements elsewhere since Austria is still one of the Catholic Church’s strongholds in Europe.
More than five million Austrians – 65 per cent of the country’s citizens – are part of the Church.
The number of people quitting their membership dropped by 32 per cent from 2010 to 2011 when 58,603 cancellations were registered.
Posted at 00:20
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 Vienna archdiocese apologizes for published list of people who left the Catholic church
The Vienna archdiocese has apologized for the publication of a list of people who have formally left the Roman Catholic church.
A statement says those affected have been asked “for forgiveness,” noting making the names public “is not allowed by state or church rules.”
The statement was issued Thursday after a priest in a village north of Vienna listed local church-leavers in the diocese newspaper.

The archdiocese says the priest has since “apologized in the form of a Mass and has written those affected a letter” of apology.

The rash of sex abuse scandals hitting the Catholic church has led to an increased number of people formally renouncing their affiliation.

That also frees them from paying a mandatory church tax.

About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
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2 Responses to Church rebels worry the Vatican and Vienna archdiocese apologizes for published list of people who left the Catholic church

  1. Too late to make amends.The exodus has begun.
    God save the church administrators.

  2. Pingback: Vatican reveals secret papers to public « This Day – One Day

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