Weird in Linz

CathCon, who is generally all over the German scene, has this report from the Diocese of Linz, which will now be forever famous for fighting off an auxiliary bishop.

Have you wondered why they fought him off? 

This is the sort of thing that goes on in Linz.

He has other pictures at his site.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

(Un) believable in Linz

Linz is already well-known as the Diocese that sought unity without the Mass. Here are pictures from an event called "glaubenswert" (Believable- literally worthy of belief) in parishes of the Linz South deanery. It is not a Mass either but a stealth priestess gets a walk on part- The priest was robed and doubtless many of those sitting at the tables thought it had the same worth as a Mass. Dinner was served on these tables immediately following the service!

What new religion is this?

What do you suppose that image is?   Is it supposed to be something from the Song of Songs?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Ricky Vines says:

    The image might be the Lord meeting Mary Magdalene after the Resurrection.

  2. Peter says:

    Good grief!!

  3. Peter says:


    Where is Inspector Rex when you need him?

    (Indeed in an episode of Inspector Rex, the intrepid Viennese police dog Rex and his handler Brandtner work with a priest who just happens to be filmed wearing a Roman chasuble … perhaps that is all the costume department had of a liturgical bent …)

  4. MargaretMN says:

    Are clergy of other religions ever supposed to give homilies or participate on the altar of a Catholic Mass? Obviously, they shouldn’t take part in the Eucharistic part but the liturgy of the word part I was never clear on. When I lived in London, I used to attend the student chapel for the University of London which at least at that time was run by the Jesuits. Given the tenor of discussions on this blog, I am sure the words “university student” and “Jesuit” will make some people think that we had liturgical dance and priestesses every Sunday but that was far from the case. It was pretty standardi but Jesuits do celebrate diversity and so we had African students do an African mass with a priest from Africa (very orthodox but still unmistakably African) and an Irish Mass, etc. We also occasionally had ministers of other protestant religions give homilies on themes. (A Quaker guy gave a sermon on the meaning of friendship, for example.) It was a little odd but he wasn’t proselytizing.

  5. Fr. Charles says:

    The sad thing is that this sort of syncretism and randomness is not isolated. During my religious formation, I was made to attend many events eerily similar to what is pictured here. Many times our problem is not the persecution we suffer from outside the Church, but the behavior of our own brothers and sisters.

  6. wmeyer says:

    Looks to me like a low-key version of the Call to Action folks and their puppets.

    Though lately, my own parish makes me worry. Last week our DRE tried to tell me that the US bishops are softening their position on abortion. And this at a time when the bishops are, in fact, making strong statements concerning the protection of conscience rights.

    So many have clearly lost their way….

  7. paul says:

    There are times I really believe that a Catholic priest must say “NO” very clearly and unequivically- this would be one of those times.

  8. veritas says:

    Linz seems to be a strange area, not only does it have clergy who appear to have access to the mind of the Almighty as to who he punishes and why, but its other extreme , judging from the photographs, has a rather trendy form of madness. Perhaps there is something in the air or the water of this area which produced Austria’s most famous son.His birthday is on 20th April.

  9. CB says:

    My four year old looked at those pictures and said, “What is that?” Normally he is able to recognize a church and the Mass, even the OF. With the last picture he said, “Is that a restaurant or not?”

  10. Joe says:

    Re MargaretMN’s question ‘Are clergy of other religions ever supposed to give homilies…?’,
    The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) states:
    ’66. The Homily should ordinarily be given by the priest celebrant himself. He may entrust it to a concelebrating priest or occasionally, according to circumstances, to the deacon, but never to a lay person. In particular cases and for a just cause, the Homily may even be given by a Bishop or a priest who is present at the celebration but cannot concelebrate.[…]’

  11. IngridAiram says:

    Sure this is catholic?? Looks more like protestant, but in my experience even protestant services look better than these pictures *-)

  12. Michael says:

    BECKET says in his comment in the “site” from which the pictures were taken: “Why doesn’t the Vatican do anything about this protestantism.”

    I know that some will disapprove what I am going to say, but I will, nevertheless, say it: It is what the New Mass is all about. The Vatican cannot do anything about it, because nobody would take notice; and as a reward, the very same Vatican will remain in communion with these people. In other words, the practice is lawful: it shows the true nature of the New Mass. It can’t be called “abuse”, because it is more frequent than what some would consider to be the proper Mass.

    Let us forget what is in the Missal: the Missal is not the Mass, but a recipe how it should be celebrated. But if it can’t be so celebrated because nobody bothers, the Missal is obsolete, and what the Mass is can only be determined by statistical data about what happens most regularly. And it is highly likely that what happens most frequently is still far from what it “should” be according to the Missal.

    I do not think that the pictures show a typical Mass, but there are cartainly all grades of variation between what is in the pictures and what is typical, as well as between what is typical and what the Mass “should” be according to the Missal.

    With due respect to the Vatican, the idea of “reform of the reform” is an utopia, best forgotten; and if the Tridentine Mass is alowed to be taken over by the same kind of established structures – and that is what I fear most – we will end up with the same scenario.

    Let us not live in illusions: the Tridentine Mass cannot be viable without an ex-teritorial jurisdiction, with its own hierarchy clergy and people.

  13. *Chuckle!*

    It makes me laugh to see “clergy” who make their vestments into some sort of fashion statement (note the clergywoman’s “stole-thingy” draped over her shoulder). Some weird kind of fetish that is.

  14. Joan Ellen says:

    As I travel around to different parishes and see some ‘things’ at Mass…that send me a red flag…(novelties, etc.), I keep my check in my purse…and pray more. In that way, hopefully, the ‘things’ that Our Blessed Lord, or The Church would not/does not want, and that do not serve the common good, can instead preserve the ‘things’ in the Mass that are pleasing to Our Blessed Lord, (His Sacrifice.), in keeping with The Church, (Rubrics.), and for the common good, (The salvation of souls.). Of course, this may not be a good approach, but I have to try and save my soul, and I expect The Church to help me with a Valid, Legitimate Mass and Sacraments. Maybe that’s asking for too much!

  15. prof. basto says:

    If it does not look Catholic, its not Catholic.

  16. teresa says:

    Michael: it is quite queer what you just said. If the Mass doesn’t need be celebrated according to the Missal, so why are the liberals so eager to fight against the FSSP and the SSPX, saying the Traditionalists are celebrating according to another Missal, while the liberals themselves can diverge from the Missal as they like it?

    And by the way, the pictures don’t show a mass. It only a kind of “innovative” “liturgical” experience. And all the people have to sit there watching the woman with a “stola” around her neck.

    And you said as a reward, the Vatican can remain in communion with these people. OH my dear lord. Isn’t it a grace of our Lord that these sinners are still in the Church because the Father is waiting for their conversion.

    And how can you called it an “reward” for the Vatican? Is it a reward for our Lord, that some people still call themselves Christian also they don’t even believe His Resurrection? I think it both a mistake and a blasphemy to talk in this way. Sorry for these heavy words, but I am honestly infuriated.

  17. Aaron says:

    I believe that image was found scrawled on the side of the mothership in Area 51.

  18. Lucas says:

    From looking at all the pictures I can’t find an Altar anywhere… and all the people sitting at tables makes me very suspicious that they are trying to do that kind of “long distance consecration” where the priest attempts to consecrate hosts on all the tables at the same time… which, if this is true, would make this all invalid… and that wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

    Miserere nobis Domine!

  19. LCB says:

    Other blogs (and perhaps this one?) have reported that many priests in Linz openly live with boyfriends and/or girlfriends, that this is a standard practice among the clergy in the diocese and is generally accepted. I believe some reports even listed deans doing so.

  20. Michael says:

    It is not that “the Mass doesn’t need be celebrated according to the Missal” in principle, but that it is not actually “celebrated according to the Missal”, so that the latter has turned obsolete, and all sorts of “abuses”, being so widespread, are no longer abuses but various de facto legitimate performances of what is nominally “according” to the Missal.

    “so why are the liberals so eager to fight against … another Missal” ? Because the Tridentine Missal would not permit them to “diverge …as they like”; while the new Missal, by its ambiguities and the way in which it is interpreted in practice under the watchful guard of the authorities, does allow them to “diverge … as they like”. That is in addition to the doctrinal objections many liberals have against the Tridentine Missal.

    “Isn’t it a grace of our Lord that these sinners are still in the Church” ? What is it that makes them be “in” apart from records in parishes? If they are materially sinners, it is now time to bring it to their and others’ attention; it they are sinners formally – God only knows it – they are not worthy to receive Communion. The Vatican doesn’t and can’t do anything about it and, by remaining “in communion” with them, it de facto legitimizes their behaviour. It is not a “reward for” the Vatican, but a reward to them by the Vatican. They are materially “out”, but technically “still in”, although far less in than the Orthodox are who are technically “out”.

    I am sorry they some are “honestly infuriated”; so am I. All that I can say is “chill !”, because that is what the blogoshpere is about.

  21. Mitchell NY says:

    If I were visiting Austria and stumbled upon this I would not feel at all comfortable or at home which is to be expected anywhere in the Church. It is remotely familiar to I do not know what. Where is the sense of universal appeal to all Catholics?? How far they have fallen..It looks more in line with the parish in Australia that has been under fire and its’ Priest removed. Brisbane was it?? With scenes like this I sometimes think the Church is heading in two opposite directions instead of converging more towards the a center praxis. Where is this headed???

  22. teresa says:

    Michael – well, perhaps I just misinterpreted you, you have a very complicated way to think.

    But I do believe the Vatican can do something. These curious behaviors exhibited in diverse parishes are result of a lack of faith and lack of knowledge of the faith. We can do a very useful job explaining the real faith to these people.

    I do think many posts here at the blog of Father Z. do show the fruit of this kind of effort.

    As Father Z., brick by brick. And every single one of us has a mission to change this quite deplorable situation.

  23. Jason Keener says:

    The Holy Father never should have allowed Bishop-Designate Wagner to withdraw his name for the Linz position. The Roman Pontiff should have just pushed ahead. If the citizens of Linz couldn’t stand it, they could have left the Church. These Linz “Catholics” couldn’t have held the Catholic Faith anyways if they were protesting the appointment of an orthodox bishop.

  24. Theodorus says:

    It is outright pagan.

  25. Bill in Texas says:

    I think I’m going to be sick.

    My German Catholic ancestors would have thrown these people off the church property and stood guard to keep them from coming back.

  26. Father Totton says:

    Do we know that is a protestant “clergywoman”? I think not. I think her “stole thingy” is something ala “Fr.” Mary Ramerman from “Spiritus Christi” in Rochester a few years back. I am sure this is a Catholic parish (though by no means a Mass) and they are trying to make a statement. I don’t think there are many protestants (at least those who are honest about it) in Austria. Though, from the looks of things, there are a lot of Catholics who are seeking to outdo the protestants we know in the States.

  27. Steve says:


    You’re right. Here’s a link to a statement by Bishop Ludwig Schwarz saying that he had to remove one of the deans, Josef Friedl, because he had not kept his vow of celibacy and was intent on staying in the relationship:

  28. Antiquarian says:

    According to many Austrian web sources, these “Glaubenswert” events are described as dinner parties to thank, and inspire, church workers and volunteers– not liturgies. As I read it, several people describe what Catholicism has meant to them, everyone eats, and the event ends with prayer.

    I see no particular problem with anything except the woman in the alb and stole, which seems clearly inappropriate. The original reporter’s claim that “doubtless” those attending thought this was the same as a Mass seems like a huge stretch to me.

  29. Perhaps a neo-version of Zeus and Athena?

  30. Fr! Please! Don’t display liturgical pornography, the altar boys could be shocked if they see such shameful pictures!!!

  31. NM of NC says:

    Man! You aint makin this stuff up, are you?? Seems to me that them folks are doin’ Catholicism something like Gene Wilder was doin’ a hip black man with Richard Pryor when they had to sneak past detectives to board the “Silver Streak” in the movie by the same name. And hey, if you watch closely, you can see a priest in that scene too!
    The church things not as funny though…..

  32. Michael says:

    “But I do believe the Vatican can do something.” It can’t: a manager can effectively manage only five direct subordinates, and the Pope is supposed to manage 2500 or so bishops. Without their active cooperation he is powerless.

    The New Mass is, in my opinion, the maim cause of what you call “curious behaviors exhibited in diverse parishes are result of a lack of faith and lack of knowledge of the faith.” Yes, we can do “a very useful job explaining the real faith to these people”, and Father Z’s Blog is a great blessing. And we all, as you say, “have a mission to change this quite deplorable situation.”

    But we must not be afraid to face the facts as they are. To start with, the realization that the Novus Ordo, as it actually is, not as it is vaguely in the Missal, is a disaster.

  33. Crux Australis says:

    Libera nos Domine.

  34. Athelstane says:

    I’ve already lost count of rubrical abuses.

    I dread to imagine what was improvised in the order of the mass or said in the homily (or *who* said it).

    It’s bootless to get exercised over every liturgical irregularity one sees (especially in Austria). But a display like this warrants a visit with the pastor, and then the local ordinary, and, failing all that, a letter to the CDW.

  35. Jim says:

    These people do not practice the apostolic faith. How long will it be before the Austrians of Linz formalize their schism?

  36. Athelstane says:

    P.S. I do very much hope that what Antiquarian says is correct.

    It would still be regrettable, but not nearly the offense this would constitute if it were supposed to be a mass.

  37. Christbearer316 says:


  38. Matt says:

    I think I have located the fire. You know the one Pope Paul the VI was speaking of.

    In all reality this could be wican gathering. Just seeing the pictures sends a chill down my spine.

  39. Mark says:

    I guess this event was designed to habituate as many Catholics as possible to the presence of a dressed up “priestess”. Her function appears to be simply seen and “do things” near a real priest, and under some kind of his vague “imprimatur”. In other words, this is a cheap psychological trick.

    It seems to me that proponents of female ordination will continue to stage these types of events, hoping that Catholics will eventually begin to view them as a normal part in the life of the Church. Somebody’s been studying psychology 101.

  40. pinoycatholic says:

    here in manila, they call it inculturation! HAH! maybe the diocese of linz ought to follow manila’s example and issue out a “clarification”

  41. Mike Morrow says:

    It was asked: “Are clergy of other religions ever supposed to give homilies or participate on the altar of a Catholic Mass?”

    I never attend a novus ordo service unless it is for funerals or to take my Mom to her church when I’m visiting. A few years ago I took my Mom to a funeral at her novus ordo church in north Arkansas for a Methodist man who had coverted to Catholicism the day before death. Most of the attendees in church were Methodist, and a “co-minister” in the sanctuary during the service was the local Methodist minister. SHE participated actively, and even sang those artless banal novus ordo hymns that only novus ordo catholics have ever sung as if she had been singing them all her life. I had to commend her for that. For some reason, none of those many great old protestant hymns had been selected for the service. The “mass of Christian burial” (novus ordo types never use the word “requiem”) was modified to have no kneeling.

    In some sense, it was an appealing service. But it was hardly Catholic.

  42. Daniel Hill says:

    It’s the annunciation…

  43. Antiquarian says:

    Folks, even if you don’t or can’t check out the relevant websites, read what the commentator says– it’s not a Mass. It’s a party to honor church workers and volunteers.

    Now why the woman is wearing a… what? a boa? Is another issue.

  44. Looks like she is wearing something like a deacon’s stole…

  45. michigancatholic says:

    There are really 2 churches under this one roof, only a lot of people are still in denial about that. These are photos of the other one.

  46. Upon further pondering, this is the neo-pagan brick by brick approach. Desensitize the people to women ministers, in garb that looks like a deacon (close but not the same to avoid complaints), and in a “service” not a Mass so there isn’t a blatant promotion which could be reported easily to the Bishop or Rome. It’s the warm-up-the-frog-slowly method, very deliberate and not a cheap trick.

  47. Luke says:

    OH! I know! I know! I can explain the artwork! Yes: that’s Adam and Eve dancing before the Fall. The only way I could explain the other pictures is that somebody else already fell and hit their head.

    I’d also bet that this is happening at one of those churches where you get a prize if you can find the tabernacle.

    Prayers and sacrifices are clearly needed in larger numbers. . .

Comments are closed.