A parish priest who encouraged clergymen to be "disobedient" towards the Vatican plans to go international.
Helmut Schüller of the Preachers’ Initiative said yesterday (Sun) that "2012 will be the year of internationalisation". Schüller – who previously headed Caritas Austria – said the Austrian Roman Catholic Church should "finally take members seriously".
Schüller criticised the Vatican due to its conservative approach towards key topics of the 21st century and said the institution resembled an "absolutist monarchy". The head of the parish of Probstdorf in the province of Lower Austria stressed that his initiative "receives a lot of approval from Catholic reform movements all over the world."
Schüller claimed some weeks ago that the Preachers’ Initiative currently consisted of 370 members. He said yesterday there were no plans for further talks with the highest representative of the Roman Catholic Church of Austria, Viennese Archbishop Christoph Cardinal Schönborn. The archbishop condemned the word disobedience as a "term of fight" last month. Schönborn said it was "burdened with a negative connotation".
Schönborn said it was not true that he opposed all kinds of reforms of the Church. He admitted that there was the need to rethink certain decisions and opinions but also made clear that he was against the crucial points of Schüller’s agenda.
The Preachers’ Initiative, which was established more than half a year ago, calls on the Vatican to allow priests to give Holy Communion to people who married a second time at registry offices after getting divorced following church weddings. The group also says women should be allowed to become Catholic priests.
I simply don't have time to write any detailed commentary on this, but after the German theologians' revolt last year, the association of rebel priests in Ireland, the priests' initiatives in Austria and Belgium, and coupled with the overwhelming evidence that the majority of Catholics just do not accept orthodox Church doctrine on human sexuality, or on the detailed concerns carried in the Austrian declaration, it is obvious that there is substantial potential for widespread support in the rest of Europe, and North America. Whether there will be support in Latin America, Africa or Asia, is another matter.
Follow the link for the full report, and consider the implications.
- "Occupy the Church": Austria's Catholic Rebellion Gathers Strength, (queeringthechurch.com)
- Austrian Bishops Respond to Catholic "Rebellion": Continuing Dialogue Promised (queeringthechurch.com)
- Relaxed rules on ex-priests not imminent, Vatican official says | National Catholic Reporter (queeringthechurch.com)