Austria – Where hell seems, in fact, to be prevailing.

When the Lord entrusted the Church to Peter and his successors He promised that it would endure.  Hell will not prevail in the end.  The Church will remain to the end.

The Lord didn’t say it would remain everywhere.

Andrea Tornielli writes, in my fast translation from the Italian

Dear friends, in these days there is talk of a challenge coming from the Austrian clergy.  It is advanced by the movement “”pastors initiative” [or "parish priest initiative"] (Paolo Rodari also wrote about it yesterday): as their spokesman Helmut Schüller explains, more than 250 priests have signed an appeal in which they ask that women can be admitted to the priesthood.

The pastors [parroci] wanted to challenge the Holy See openly also on another delicate topic of Communion for the divorced.  Schüller said that the Vatican “can’t impose its own convictions on Austrian priests”.  A year ago a poll showed that about 80 percent of pastors in the country declare themselves favorable to the abolition of ecclesiastical celibacy.

What to do?

This is, I suppose, why the Holy Father thinks we need to promote a new evangelization.

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51 Responses to Austria – Where hell seems, in fact, to be prevailing.

  1. William of the Old says:

    Trade ‘em for the 500 SSPX priests

  2. AJ says:

    Father, if the lower clergy doesn’t “obey” isn’t it partly the fault of their bishops as well because they lack obedience as well themselves? I know that Holy Mother Church works slowly but sometimes I pray that with all the dissent and rot that is currently going on, Our Holy Father just remove those bishops who are not up to par with their assigned responsibilities and sign them away.. (Wishful thinking?)

  3. MarkJ says:

    The Holy Father has already stated infallibly that priests can’t be women… but since some people just don’t get it, the Holy Father needs to re-state in clear infallible terms in an official document signed by the Pope himself that priesthood is only for men. And then he needs to repeat several times in writing and in public speaking that YES, THIS IS AN INFALLIBLE DECLARATION THAT EVERY CATHOLIC MUST BELIEVE AND ASSENT TO. The document should declare an anathema against all those who dare to question this eternal Truth, and an automatic excommunication for anyone who publicly goes against it. The time for “pastoral” solutions is over for renegade priests like these. They need to be stopped in their tracks for the salvation of their own souls and for the souls of their flocks. Then we will see who is really in union with the Holy Father and who the real schismatics are. I agree with “William of the Old” above… bring in the 500 SSPX priests who ARE loyal to the Roman Catholic Faith, and make Austria a target missionary area for them.

  4. I admit I am not a priest, but I just don’t understand how one can go through so much seminary, so much discernment, and have enough love for the church to become a priest, and yet still be so blatantly against all the church teaches. That’s like wanting to be a fireman and not believing in using water to put out fire. Shouldn’t something be going off in these priests heads before they ordained that says, “Maybe I’m not right for this since I can’t agree with everything (anything?) the church teaches.” There are plenty of Protestant groups out there that allow women female clergy, married clergy, etc. I’m sure they’d be happy to have these guys.

  5. Liz says:

    Blessed Charles I of Austria, pray for us!

  6. Ah, the fruits of the “spirit” of the council. Two things:

    (1) A clear-cut infallible statement won’t do much good, as these folks don’t believe in infallibility anyway, one suspects, as if they were Old Catholics in spirit.

    (2) One wonders if we’re not living through the Sixth Death of the Faith — Chesterton describes five “deaths of the faith” in The Everlasting Man. And after each — well, darned if the Faith didn’t just up and revive. Hang tough, people, and pray.

  7. digdigby says:

    Four out of five Austrian priests do not believe in their vows. They do not believe in the consecration of their maleness and their sexuality to God’s will. A priest is human, a priest does not become asexual or less masculine but rather these eternal and supernatural qualities of the man attain their highest degree in him. He is ‘FATHER’. Seems four out of five would rather ‘play’ at the plummy role of being ‘father’ and then go home to their ‘real’ families at night. That would be much more worldly, much ‘healthier’, easier.

  8. HyacinthClare says:

    Interdict, anyone?

  9. Young Canadian RC Male says:

    William of the Old: Funny. However the Vatican should still thoroughly investigate their organization before giving them an ordinate.
    MarkJ: That is the BEST suggestion here! I say it’s high time that Pope Benedict writes an apostolic exhortation, a motu proprio, or an encyclial and uses the power of infallibility Ex Cathedra (that is he puts it in writing and says it out loud that the whole Church must obey regardless) on a number of issues including no womyn priests, no communion in the hand, altar rails are to be restored, the Tridentine Latin mass in any doicese is NEVER to be disallowed for any reason whatsoever by any bishop, and the Vatican has the ultimate power to defrock a priest or bishop of their position and holy orders and excommunicate them if they are found in direct controversy to these mentioned ex cathedra teachings or any of the Church’s major teachings (abortion, contraception, cohabitation, masturbation, etc. ). I pray and hope that the next Pope after B16 is more melancholic in temprament and traditional.

  10. Jack Hughes says:

    This may seem stupid question, but WHY are SSPX Priest’s ‘suspended’ ? 550 Orthodox Young men who have willingly given up the legitimate joys of Christian Marriage to be more perfectly conformed to Christ, to offer up the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to God for the remission of sin and to teach, lead and sanctify the faithful.

    They are ‘suspended’ while four out of five austrian priests consider their vow of celibicy a joke, think that women can be become priests nearly TWO decades after the opinion was officially ruled as a heresy, where sacraligious Corpus Christi processions and ‘western’ Masses have taken place in the past.

    Prehaps these Austrian Priests are in a roundabout way asking to laicised…………….

  11. jlmorrell says:

    More of the New Springtime!

    As sad as this is, sometimes I think that this really is better than those who work quietly within the Church to destroy it. At least we can identify the wolves when they act like this. Now, if only the Pope would once again assert his authority as in the days of old. This kind of ridiculous behavior is only forthcoming because the Pope and Bishops fail to act decisively.

  12. youngcatholicstl says: I admit I am not a priest, but I just don’t understand how one can go through so much seminary, so much discernment, and have enough love for the church to become a priest, and yet still be so blatantly against all the church teaches.

    Because there are infiltrators. There are some men who enter the priesthood for motives other than love of the Church. Infiltrators are nothing new: the devil has always had his agents in the priesthood and episcopacy ever since Judas Iscariot. St. Thomas More decried rascals who boldly put themselves forward for the priesthood in his own time. St. Alphonsus Liguori wrote at some length of the awful punishments that await men who take Holy Orders without an authentic vocation. For him to give several pages to such a subject indicates that it must have been a problem.

    But during the last century, the campaign of infiltration has grown more intense. The ex-Communist and Catholic revert, Bella Dodd, said that the Communists pursued the same policy of infiltration with the Catholic Church as with labor unions, political movements, professions and polities all over the world, deliberately sending its agents into the seminaries. She told Dietrich and Alice von Hildebrand that while she was an active party member, at least four Communist agents had made it into the college of cardinals. Is it any wonder, after all that, that the doors to the priesthood were opened to so many sexual deviants and other unsavory types? I keep harkening back to Our Lady of Akita’s prediction that the work of Satan would penetrate the Church in such a way that she would be full of those who accept compromise, that bishops and cardinals would oppose one another, and that priests devoted to her would be persecuted by their confreres. And we’re seeing it now.

  13. cblanch says:

    Youngcatholicstl: I agree with you. When I didn’t believe what the Church taught, I “left”. I didn’t expect the Catholic Church to change to my point of view even though I thought at the time I was right. I thought they were wrong and I wasn’t about to call myself Catholic anymore, so I simply left. I don’t get why that’s so hard for these dissident people to do and what kind of lunacy is it to expect a two thousand year old Church to change around them? Praise God for the grace I needed to come back home and thanks to those (whoever they are) who prayed me back in.

  14. daedalus1979 says:

    On the second point that the Austrian priests want to challenge the Vatican on, the reception of Communion by divorcees, it seems that they are following the lead of the Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Schonborn. In his book, “The Joy of Being a Priest,” he provides a lengthy discussion of the problems of ministering to the divorced.

  15. cblanch says:

    @Miss Anita Moore, O.P.: What you say makes sense to me and helps explain a lot. However, I run into lay dissidents all the time who disagree with what the Church teaches and still insist on calling themselves Catholic. I have a hard time understanding this.

  16. MAJ Tony says:

    It’s almost surprising that there are that many Austrian German Catholic Priests. In Germany, outside the larger Catholic cities like Speyer, Mainz, etc. it seems that most of the Priests are from India, etc. I’ve been fortunate that so far I haven’t seen anything really messed up liturgically, though I’ve heard of problems. Of course, Austrian Mass attendance is about 9% of a population of which 65% calls itself Catholic.

  17. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Miss Moore, Thank you for your very helpful post. I have been dealing with very mysterious events at the parish level recently and now I know why it has been happening. I hadn’t realized this infiltrator problem had been written about so much and that great saints had written about men who take Holy Orders lightly or the wrong way. Your post may help my healing, thank you.

    I was thinking recently about how when I was a Protestant the ministers seemed to be on the whole doing a better job than the priests I have known so far, had more empathy, were less self-centered and interested in their own comfort and convenience, etc. But if you look at it as a job, then a person with a guaranteed lifetime job will not have the same performance incentive as someone who can be summarily fired. It’s not supposed to be a job but in fact it acts like it in the social sense. The really rotten Protestant ministers more quickly end up not being ministers any more, especially those who are in groups which do not have an episcopal structure and can’t be reassigned by a bishop when they get into trouble.

  18. Kate says:

    Fr. Z,

    I could really use some good news about the Church and priests and bishops right about now. I am getting very weary of trying to be a practicing Catholic and having priests and bishops doing all sorts of strange things.

    I keep thinking of the Cure of Ars and how he fasted and prayed and worked for the conversion of sinners. If we all follow his lead a bit more, might God send us some good, faithful men to lead us in the right direction?

    I want some really strong bishops who are willing to defend our faith and lead us to Christ!

  19. robtbrown says:

    Isn’t this just another indication that Paul VI’s detente with secularism has failed?

  20. theophilus says:

    They obviously are not being educated in the seminaries. I would close the austrian seminaries and have all new seminarians from austria be educated somewhere else. Then I would transfer the bishops (who let it get to this deplorable stage), and put some known quantities in place. But alas… that is just my rash opinion.

  21. Jack Hughes says:

    Ms Anita Moore

    I read in Father Doyle’ “Shall I be a Priest” that no man had a vocation to the Priesthood until the day of Ordination when it was given to him by the Bishop and that the only criteria for an authentic vocation were (a) probiety of life, (b) he was able to comprehend the the knowledge needed to discharge the duties of the Priesthood and (c) had the right intention.

    May I assume that it is to the last ciretiron that St Alphonsus refered to?

    [Fr. Doyle is surely right. However, do not forget that the man must d) be a man and e) be baptized and f) actually be called by the Church. The "vocatio" or "calling" actually comes in a definitive way at the moment the man's name is called and he responds "Adsum!".]

  22. benedetta says:

    Agree with Miss Anita Moore, O.P. — St Francis of Assisi also out of love of the faithful and Church encouraged people to receive the sacraments no matter the personal and sometimes obvious failings of their priests. As Miss Anita Moore says “it must have been a problem”. Has there been an organized infiltration along the lines of what she describes? I think yes. Much of the proof is in the way many seem to have taken pages straight out of historical playbook in terms of what steps to take, what to teach, how to teach it. The sacraments are the sacraments. Just as some felt quite willing to tell people to do any number of things which are outside of the faith and go ahead as if it is good, useful, constructive, I also feel quite willing to reject their “opinions” and to not substitute their judgments formed out of secularism with respect to the choices I must make. I can respect for who they are but if by their words or actions their editorializing or even moralizing teaches something contrary to the Church, respect does not require me to happily agree and incorporate it all. And sometimes those challenge the ability to respect.

    I know of other instances where priests get together and sign some big petition like this. It just has lost its shock value really. I’d prefer pastors to celebrate and teach the sacraments faithfully, authentically, with humility and reverence than issue big press releases about what the priests must do…or else. The ‘or else’ part is the brunt the faithful must then bear first and foremost, not the people they seem bent on attracting attention from. Still there are faithful priests everywhere who do what they have committed to doing well with little to no fanfare, popular adulation.

  23. Andreas says:

    Greetings from Austria, Father Z. and Readers! I have not before heard of the small group discussed in the article, and I would be quite surprised if their ‘seven theses’ indeed represent the way of thinking of most in this part of Austria. Indeed, from my experience here in the Tirol, I have found that most of us tend to be religious and respectful of the tenets of our Holy Catholic Church. Whilst it is true that some do not attend Mass regularly, there never-the-less remains a deep unbreakable bond with the sacred traditions and practices of our Church…these very attributes that continue to define our lives and Catholic culture. It is on this basis that I most respectfully do not believe that Hell has prevailed here. Yet.

  24. Juergensen says:

    These heretics will be allowed to remain in public ministry while Father Corapi was forced out of public ministry. Has the Great Apostasy begun yet?

  25. Andrew says:

    Andreas:
    Has there been any action on the part of the episcopate regarding this “initiative”?
    http://www.pfarrer-initiative.at/ and the so called “Aufruf zum ungehorsam”? (Call to disobedience). How is it that the president of this project continues to function right under the Archbishops nose? (I assume that the bishop of Wien has authority over Probstdorf?) Not that we don’t have similar groups here in the US, but there have been statements of condemnation issued by respective episcopal authorities.

  26. Sixupman says:

    I seem to recollect that such thinking, action and publication reared its ugly head in the Liverpool Archdiocese some years ago!

  27. Jerry says:

    @Juergensen – “hese heretics will be allowed to remain in public ministry while Father Corapi was forced out of public ministry.”

    Er… Fr. Corapi wasn’t forced out of public ministry. He chose to leave.

  28. merrydelval says:

    I have been living in Austria for the past several months, and I can tell you, it is worse than you realise. There are bright spots, like Heiligenkreuz, Klosterneuberg, and the Vienna Oratory. Outside of that, not too much. I went to Mass at my local parish church to see a Lutheran ministrix concelebrate and receive Communion. Many people with whom I talk are of the attitude, “If the priest doesn’t care, why should we?”

    Austria does have an important lesson, though. Although there are things like Country and Western Masses and consummate weirdness, in many places there are still Orchestral Masses, Latin, ad orientem, Baroque vestments and lace. And at the same time, rabid dissent from the Magisterium. The thing I have discovered living here is that, contrary to the liberal Catholics in the US, who hitched their wagon to liturgical anarchy, Austria, where We Are Church was born, did not express contempt for post-Tridentine Catholic externals, but vested doctrinal and moral anarchy in Tridentine vesture in many, many cases.

    The faith on the parish level will be extinct before enough momentum gains with the few sound places to make much of a difference.

    I am reminded of what happened in Quebec in the 1960s. Ten years ago I came to a very different, and much more Catholic, Austria.

  29. RichR says:

    October 28, 1995

    Dubium: Whether the teaching that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women, which is presented in the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to be held definitively, is to be understood as belonging to the deposit of faith.

    Responsum: In the affirmative.

    This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium 25, 2). Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman Pontiff, exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32), has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, explicitly stating what is to be held always, everywhere, and by all, as belonging to the deposit of the faith.

    The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, approved this Reply, adopted in the ordinary session of this Congregation, and ordered it to be published.

    Rome, from the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on the Feast of the Apostles SS. Simon and Jude, October 28, 1995.

    Joseph Card. Ratzinger
    Prefect

    Tarcisio Bertone
    Archbishop Emeritus of Vercelli

  30. ‘Schüller said that the Vatican “can’t impose its own convictions on Austrian priests”.’

    What a very non-sensical thing to say of the authority to which one has written an appeal. Why are these priests questioning the convictions of Rome if they don’t think Rome’s convictions affect them? I’m not even sure this rises to the merit of an argument relying on fallacious logic. Non-sense, this is as nothing as non-sense can be, methinks.

  31. Andreas says:

    Andrew: I have not as yet seen any reports on responses from Vienna, so I fear that I cannot address your query at the moment.

    Merrydelval: I am sorry to learn of your unfortunate experiences here in Austria. I can only note that I suspect such anomalies as those you have encountered would prove unacceptable to many if not most here in the Tirol and (I hope) other regions of this country.

    Any angst that I might have about the future of our Catholic Church here and across the rest of Europe is fueled not by small vocal groups such as those discussed here, but more by the unfortunate ‘confusion’ (I’m attempting to be tactful here) that seems to exist in terms of religious and identity and conviction in general. To wit, might I refer you to the following link:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-13989013.

  32. Tradcarlos says:

    Give them an Indult!
    Well it worked for Altar Girls and Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist.

  33. James Joseph says:

    Austria = Febronianism

  34. digdigby says:

    James Joseph:
    Considering the leftist ‘internationalism’ so fashionable among ‘dissident priests’ wouldn’t it more accurately be described as Semi-Pseudo-Febronianism? Anyway, that’s more fun to say.

  35. helgothjb says:

    Miss Anita Moore, O.P. is right to some degree, but where most of this happened was in the seminaries. That is where young men were taught disdain for authority and all sorts of wacky interpretations of doctrine. Many of those who teach in “Catholic” universities and seminaries do not leave because no one would listen to them if they left the Church. Also, they think the Church is the evil in the world and that if we could just get rid of all of the doctrine and authority we could return to the pristine Church that Jesus wanted. I think that what these people are really reacting to is the over burdening bureaucracy that weighs down the Church in so many places. What they sense is real, but what they think is the cause is erroneous.

  36. Tom T says:

    Sadly the problems are not confined to Austria. This from an artical in Renew America on May 23 2011 titled “Liberal Woman Rule Rochester diocese.” Bishop Matthew Clark who runs the Diocese
    has been at odds with Rome as early as 1986 when Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and he clashed over a book he wrote. As of May 11, 2011 there are five woman religious in charge of 11 churches
    including a Sr. Joan Sobula SSJ, a key player in the womans ordination conference, who runs two churches, St. Ann and Our Lady of Lourdes and on and on. Six woman run 12 churches. “These
    lay administrators are in charge and answer to the bishop. Priests assigned under lay administrators serve as ‘sacramental ministers’ or ‘assisting priests’ and are little more than pez
    machines. The administrator calls all the shots, often delivers a homily ,wears an alb, and sits in the sanctuary alongside the priest, stands up to deliver a commentary during Mass, and some have even performed the preliminaries of Baptism. The administrators preside over parish council
    meetings in violation of canon law and of course, they list their names at the top of parish bulletins.”
    Unfortunately it takes many years to remove a bishop as was the case of Bishop William Morris from the Diocese of Toowoomba who refused to wear anything that even looked sacramental and only suits and ties and was removed after an apostolic visit by Archbishop Chaput
    when he released a pastoral letter that expressed he was open to ordaining woman priests and married men. I pray for Pope Benedict XVI he has his work cut out for him. Pax.

  37. Maria says:

    Oh my!

    I will definately pray against this, not just half of me but all of me.

  38. moconnor says:

    @Jack Hughes, the SSPX does not consider Vatican II a valid Church Council. Their disobedience is just as bad as any other.

    What a shame that this is all happening in the old Holy Roman Empire. We need a new Charlemagne to shake things up.

  39. Tom T says:

    The FSSP is my fav. They do it right . I just wish there were more of them around.

  40. These kinds of antics appear to me to be a last gasp for air in a dying movement.

    How many seminarians and younger priests (along with some older faithful priests who have endured so much suffering these past few decades), are rolling their eyes at such nonsense?

  41. theophilus says:

    Hi Diane,

    That many in open defiance doesnt sound like it is a dying movement. I am concerned about schism when I hear of numbers like that. Something needs to happen to remedy this before it gets worse. The currently sour relationship with between church and state could see political forces finding opportunity in supporting liberal schismatic groups( a la the northern princes of the reformation). Not to be overly dramatic, … but that many misguided priests is dangerous. Of course, I hope I am wrong in my assessment.

  42. fxkelli says:

    The European church has been heading in this direction for sometime. Austria is just an example. Pope Benedict must be intimately familiar with this reality. The German church has reflected similar beliefs in the past.

    The question becomes where does the church put up it’s fences of core beliefs and take a firm stand that it will defend.

    My sense is that there’s a desire not to alienate the many Roman Catholics who might be sympathetic to these ideas, not just the clergy.

    We talk as if a return to strong orthodoxy of past generations might be a solution, but public sentiment suggests that that might be a very effective mechanism to further depopulate the pews of our Holy Church.

    Let us be under no illusions. We’re already in the midst of a schismatic movement toward evangelical protestantism and have been for several decades. While often misguided in doctrine, and less than intellectually developed in worldview, they are extremely effective, on an emotional level, connecting people with God while holding a solid conservative line against secularism.

    At this point, it’s likely difficult for the church to emphasize structure, rules, and ritual without reaffirming the confirmation bias of those who left the church over the past 50 years.

  43. Brendan McGrath says:

    Hello; I often read this blog and the comments on it — I posted here once or twice a while ago, but not since then. Although I’m more “liberal” than post commenters here on many issues, I’m also rather traditional on others. In any case, I wanted to say something that very often occurs to me when I read this blog and the comments:

    Why is there so much outrage and calls for reform here over stories like this one, but seemingly very little over the lack of accountability for the bishops in the sex abuse scandals? I’m talking specifically about the bishops who “covered up” things (probably with varying degrees of malice and/or culpability), not about the actual abusers. Why do people express outrage over this sort of thing, but don’t seem to care about Cardinal Law still being a member of various congregations, etc. at the Vatican?

    The overall trouble really seems to be a lack of accountability to the laity and to religious and “lower” clergy, along with corruption. But it seems like “conservative” Catholics just don’t get as worked up about that as they do about issues like heresy, dissent, liturgical abuses, etc. Which should anger us more — priests who sign petitions for women’s ordination, or a situation like that in Philadelphia in which information given to victim assistance counselors ends up being given to the archdiocese’s lawyers? Which offends God more — saying “became human” rather than “became man” in the creed, or moving abusive priests around to different parishes so they can continue to abuse? Which is more despicable — using inclusive language, or closing Catholic schools and ignoring the will of the people while you continue to live in a mansion? Shouldn’t Cardinal Rigali (I’m from Philadelphia) sell his mansion before closing even one more Catholic school?

    I’m just frustrated, because I wish the passion and energy I see here on this blog and the comments could be directed towards reform of other, far worse instances of corruption in the Church. The bishops won’t care as long as calls for reform are only coming from groups that look like Voice of the Faithful — but they WILL care when calls for reform come from groups that look like the Knights of Columbus.

  44. BenFischer says:

    Brendan, I think there is concern about issues like the sex abuse scandals. Certainly Fr Z has ranted on that issue more than once. The comments about Bp Finn in KC did not appear to excuse or diminish sex abuse or the cover up by the Bishops.

    However, I’d have to say that current cultural issues aren’t the primary focus of this blog. Fr Z is liturgically minded and so tends to focus on that and also liberal dissent, which often leads to more liturgical issues. There are other blogs and sites that focus on the sex abuse crisis or any other number of topics in Church life. For instance, you can go to CatholicCulture.Org and find a group of “conservative” Catholics who care about little else than the sex abuse crisis and are very hard on Bishops who they feel are too soft on the matter (which is most of them).

  45. Brendan McGrath says:

    Thanks Ben — yes, I have seen Fr. Z post about the sex abuse scandals before; I remember reading one in particular (I can’t remember what exactly it was about, but I remember it was in spring 2010), and being glad he talked about it. (I missed the one about Bishop Finn — probably because I usually only look at the posts that are linked to by newadvent.org.) I guess I wonder why it often doesn’t seem to lead to anything for many people — but compare that to the whole movement on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, with a push by some for peope to withhold donations to it.

  46. moconnor says:

    @fxkelli – I understand your concern for reaching out to people. Just about every priest I’ve ever worked with has this same dilemma. He needs people in the pews to keep the parish solvent, but if he tows the orthodox view and teaches the real catechism, most people find this too difficult and wander off to another parish that doesn’t make them feel uncomfortable. Remember the rich man in the Gospel? Jesus tells that it will be difficult. Most people don’t like difficult. My feeling has always been that solid orthodox teaching and practice will eventually attract people. It will take time and certainly loving care must be used, but folks have consciences buried under that layer of post-modern nonsense and the truth will be a light in the darkness. The Gospels show this time and again.

  47. ttucker says:

    I always wonder which is worse, an official schism or a de facto schism.
    At least if it’s official, the lines are clearly drawn, and people must take sides.
    OTOH, if it’s not official, in time it is probably more likely to fizzle out.
    Yet in Austria it appears that it is the Roman Catholic Church that is fizzling out.
    How does one know in a place like that whether or not one’s priest/parish/bishop is in communion with the Apostolic See?

  48. Imrahil says:

    Dear @digdigby,
    maybe it is of interest – I don’t want to say anything with this piece of information but it may be of interest – that in Austria a priest is not “Father” – though there is a Holy Father, and religious clergy (!) are “Pater” in Latin – , but Herr Pfarrer, i. e. Mr. Parishpriest.

    Dear @cblanch,
    oh yes I understand them. They may not know it, and if they know they may not say it, they might even vigorously exclaim that this be sort of outdated mysticism – but they feel it that they’re members of the Body of Christ, that they do not want to be cut off from it, and even that Catholic Christianity is the one and only true religion (though they may shun the latter sentence as intolerant). Now that’s all the more decisive because it’s true. – Then they draw the syllogism: If Catholic Christianity is the truth, then all truth is Catholic Christianity. And this, as well, is all the more decisive because it is true; true not even only as a triviality, but the Christian is right to claim all truth, good and beauty the world has produced as his own.

    So just as it was a natural reaction of you to say “who am I to wish a change in the Church teachings”, it is a natural reaction of them to say, or at any rate feel “it can’t be Christian and Catholic what the Church teaches because it is not true what the Church teaches”.

    But: If they want women priests, they are wrong – not with the sentence “if there are to be women priests, the Church is wrong about not wanting them”, which may be called right in itself, but with “there are to be women priests”; and there’s an end of it.

    Dear @ Banjo picking girl,
    in the question of “job with lifetime guarantee vs. summarily fired as incentive for better performance”, you’ll of course find the whole Continent united in favor of the former, including – though he was against employment in service of others at any rate, where evitable – the Servant of God Mr. G. K. Chesterton, Fid. Def.

    Dear @Andreas, isn’t Holy Tyrol somewhat different? I mean, a country, consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, where the national hero is dubbed a Catholic reactionary taliban by the Greens in Parliament and then the majority responds vigorously: “For such talk about Andreas Hofer you’d just deserve one [scil. slap] to the left and one to the right, but no more of discussion.” – doesn’t it extend the normal conceptions of wonderfulness? [Sadly, it was my own tribe the Bavarians who Andreas Hofer fought against, even being right to do so.]

    Dear @Brendan McGrath,
    let us not forget that His Eminence was deposed from the Archdiocese of Boston and transferred to a post of no influence in Curial politics.

  49. Brendan McGrath says:

    Imrahil — Should the consequence for covering up child sexual abuse really be getting to be archpriest of the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major?

    Also, according to the Vatican’s website, Cardinal Law is a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Congregation for the Clergy, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, the Congregation for Catholic Education, plus the Pontifical Council for the Family. How can he have “no influence in Curial politics”?

  50. Fr. Z, is turning this discussion into a debate about sexual misconduct going “down the rabbit hole”?

  51. It seems that this discussion has run its course.