The Austrian Church version of Occupy Wall Street, but with worse arguments.

From CWN:

Austrian dissidents escalate conflict, challenge hierarchy
November 07, 2011

Dissident Catholics in Austria have announced their intention to conduct liturgical ceremonies in which lay people act as priests, preaching and simulating the celebration of Mass.

“Church law bans this,” acknowledged Hans Peter Hurka, the leader of the We Are Church movement. [This lot likes to reduce doctrine to “laws” or “policies”.] His group issued a challenging manifesto just before the Austrian bishops gathered for their annual meeting.

The lay-led ceremonies would violate not only canonical rules but also fundamental theological principles, ignoring central doctrinal teachings about the nature of the Eucharist and of Holy Orders. Nevertheless Hurka made the claim that his group’s stance is in accordance with the teachings of Vatican II. [I can hardly wait for the photos.  Will they have puppets?]

The Austrian hierarchy already faces a challenge from the Priests’ Initiative, another radical group that has called for defiance of Church law. The nation’s leading prelate, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, has warned repeatedly that the dissident priests are creating a danger of “serious conflict” within the Church. However the cardinal has declined to take disciplinary action, saying that he is “counting on dialogue and cooperation.”


Quae enim seminaverit homo, haec et metet.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Rob Cartusciello says:

    Dr. Peters has weighed in quite cogently regarding the penalties for simulation of the Eucharist:

  2. Ezra says:

    However the cardinal has declined to take disciplinary action, saying that he is “counting on dialogue and cooperation.”

    In 1985, Dietrich von Hildebrand wrote:

    One of the most horrifying and widespread diseases in the Church today is the lethargy of the guardians of the Faith of the Church. I am not thinking here of those bishops who are members of the “fifth column,” who wish to destroy the Church from within, or to transform it into something com­pletely different. I am thinking of the far more numerous bishops who have no such intentions, but who make no use whatever of their authority when it comes to intervening against heretical theologians or priests, or against blasphemous performances of public worship. They either close their eyes and try, ostrich-style, to ignore the grievous abuses as well as appeals to their duty to intervene, or they fear to be attacked by the press or the mass media and defamed as reactionary, narrow-minded, or medieval. They fear men more than God. The words of St. John Bosco apply to them: “The power of evil men lives on the cowardice of the good.”

    It is certainly true that the lethargy of those in positions of authority is a disease of our times which is widespread outside the Church. It is found among parents, college and university presidents, heads of numerous other organizations, judges, heads of state, and others. But the fact that this sickness has even penetrated the Church is a clear indication that the fight against the spirit of the world, has been re­placed with swimming along with the spirit of the times in the name of “aggiornamento.” One is forced to think of the hireling who abandons his flocks to the wolves when one reflects on the lethargy of so many bishops and superiors who, though still orthodox themselves, do not have the cour­age to intervene against the most flagrant heresies and abu­ses of all kinds in their dioceses or in their orders.

    Has much changed in the last 26 years?

  3. jonvilas says:

    In this case,Christoph Cardinal Schoenborn should finally act as a true catholic bishop. That is, he should warn all those, so called dissidents within the Church that in case they will attempt the actions they have declared, they will face excommunication. And finally, he should excommunicate all these people. It is time to stop all this confusion and to state very clearly, that these folks are no catholics any more. Even if their money will stop to flow to the Church in Austria.

  4. catholicmidwest says:

    Austria has already been off the rails for some time, and this is just the other shoe dropping, I think. Mass attendance there has already got to be in the basement, so to speak.

    BTW, I used to doubt comments like the one just above mine. However tonight, I happened to come across a very brief but interesting comment about trojan horses, cassandra symbolism, and preces (responsorial prayers) in the 1973 and 1998 and 2010 versions. And it was as much the environment as the comment that I found interesting. I’m a tough sell but I’m no longer a doubter about the 5th column phenomenon.

    The business about authority not being willing to assert itself in the church is an old thing, and yes, that has just added to the difficulty. It has been a real problem. Many bishops are probably far too isolated from the ordinary parishioners of their dioceses and they usually spend too much time with employees of the church who often tend to be dissidents, believe it or not.

  5. Catholic87 says:

    God forbid if these were actual Catholics, those who love and defend the traditions of our Holy Mother the Church! ; )

  6. Tom Esteban says:

    Interesting and sad to see what Protestants get up to these days.

  7. Phillip says:

    ‘However the cardinal has declined to take disciplinary action, saying that he is “counting on dialogue and cooperation.”’

    I don’t understand what “dialogue” is to be had here. These people aren’t writing books of questionable theology, for example. They are openly and obstinately acting in a way completely contrary to what the faith teaches and canon law dictates. This is not something to treat as a “teachable moment” if the people involved simply and obstinately refuse to be taught. I really don’t like saying what bishops ought to do. It makes me uncomfortable to presume to tell better men than myself how to do their jobs. In this case, however, the actions are extremely grave and there’s really no grey area in which they might be defensible. The answer seems clear. Cardinal Schönborn needs to give an ultimatum – stop this nonsense, or face excommunication. And then he needs to follow through.

  8. Warren says:

    Dialogue? Give an inch… .
    And, something about casting pearls before swine.

  9. asperges says:

    The Cardinal should take a leaf out of Innocent III’s action against King John. Interdicts all round!

  10. Dr Guinness says:

    Let them do whatever they want… It’s obvious they have absolutely zero respect or honour for the Mass or the Church… Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

  11. Inigo says:

    How long can this madness continue?
    Face it bishops: YOUR FLOCKS HAVE SCATTERED!
    Stop putting sheep’s skins on wolfs to pretend that everything is OK, and start to focus on the few sheeps who have remained dispite the circumstances.
    I fear that Vatican II was right: it’s up to the laity…so fast, and pray! Our Holy Mother Church and it’s sheperds need it!

  12. JimmyA says:

    More to the point, why do these people think that the authentic lay vocation set out in Vatican II and elsewhere revolves around hanging about the sanctuary trying to approximate what the priest does? How on earth is that supposed to bring new people to Christ? Hint: it isn’t and it won’t.

    Here’s a constructive suggestion for an alternative course of action to “build Church”. Instead of wasting your talents and energies trying to cause liturgical mayhem why not simply: (1) take your nourishment daily from prayer and the sacraments; (2) go out into the world to your real jobs and your families; (3) treat them with Christian love and respect even when it hurts you to do so; (4) talk to your friends and relations about the Faith and maybe invite them to Mass; (5) make some new friends; (6) repeat again from (1).

  13. This is a sad development in the Austrian crisis of faith. I am studying in Gaming, Austria now and just last week we heard a talk by the spokesman of the Diocese of St. Pölten about the crisis of faith in the Church. He noted that the Austrian bishops are taking into account what the Holy Father once said about a smaller, but more faithful Church. It is central in their approach.

  14. BaedaBenedictus says:

    What a crisis the Church is in, we are encircled by the howling wolves, and our shepherds are inviting them in for “dialogue and cooperation”! Let us pray for our bishops. Because many of them are going to need it seriously on Judgment Day.

  15. Fortiter Pugnem says:

    That would be a public and direct and knowledgable act of blasphemy. They know it is against “Church law”! I don’t want to say it is demonic, but it’s borderline.
    How is this any different than what Thomas Cranmer did, or what Elizabeth I did? They removed all validly ordained bishops but one, and then “consecrated” new ones. Then they changed the Mass and were not even “catholic” anymore.

    I remember Bishop Bruskewitz excommunicated some Call to Action people a while back- their leader repented and said that excommunication was the best thing that ever happened to him because it showed him the error of his ways. Maybe Schonborn should call up Bruskewitz.

  16. Long-Skirts says:

    Inigo said:
    Stop putting sheep’s skins on wolfs…”


    “The knock-out blow of Satan
    has been to cause disobedience
    in the name of obedience.”
    (Fr. Cyprian, OSB, Prior of Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery)

    Litto froggy cross da pond
    Hope some fairy’s got a wand
    Hit you hard up-side yo head
    Shed some light…yo brains is bread.

    You ain’t got sense, no nuffin’
    Brains is made of bran-flake muffin.
    Wolfy-sheep done called you near
    Ups you hopped, ran like a deer.

    Him brother froggies followed too
    And jumped right in wolf-sheepy’s stew.
    Then there you be all puffed with pride
    And one by one them froggies died.

    Then wolfy-sheep, he called,”My sons?”
    And wolfy-sheep, his meal all dones,
    Says, “Litto frog get outa’ hea’.
    Tomorrow bring yo sistas dea’.”

    And litto frog, he hop away
    ‘Cause litto frog, he do obey.
    And litto froggy hopped, hopped, hop,
    Tumbled, tripped into Frog Pop.

    And froggy Pop asked, “What you say?”
    Said litto frog, “I do obey,
    And all my litto brothers, too,
    They helped the wolf make sheepy stew.

    “Then froggy Pop, him hung him head,
    And took him son away and led
    Him hoppin’ down the woodsy lane
    And put in froggy’s hand his cane

    All shiney white to help him see…

  17. alexandra88 says:

    I’m going to Austria for a holiday in January. Looks like I will have to arm myself with a camera at all times. Puppet spotting, anyone?

  18. albizzi says:

    A further rotten fruit of Vatican II, neither the last one nor the least.
    Certainly these poor people have found in the confused texts of Vatican II the pretense for their claims. And since they are crass ignorant about faith and morals, they believe their stance is quite rightful.
    Don’t rely on the bishops to stop that nonsense. The majority of them are at least cowards, some of the others sometimes true apostates.

  19. Stephen D says:

    The dissidents in Ireland who call themselves ‘The Association of Catholic Priests’,have recently called an ‘Assembly of the Irish Church’!! to be held in May and invited all interested bodies to send representatives. It will be interesting to see how many attend and what novelties they will seek to introduce.

  20. Bryan Boyle says:

    Dialogue and cooperation?

    Is that like two wolves and a sheep discussing what’s for lunch?

    Discipline (and faith) is a well-armed sheep. As the old saying goes: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Dialogue and cooperation is, in reality, doing nothing. It’s gotten us nowhere and is a sure sign of weakness, which the enemy will exploit at every turn, since these folks depend on endless, mindless diplomatic palaver without any action to back it up…and their definition of ‘cooperation’ is ‘do what we want’. Chamberlain, in the late 1930s, had many dialogues and apparent cooperation with the personification of evil. FDR was enamored of ‘Uncle Joe’. We’ve (as in the first person plural) been ‘dialoguing’ with these protestants in our midst since they were allowed to crawl out of wherever they had hidden themselves when the radicals had managed to convince us that through faulty catechesis that Our Lord wasn’t really The King, but rather a sandal-clad hippie of the first century.

    We forget (or they do…) that He also bodily threw the money changers out of the temple. I’m thinking we need a lot less of dialogue and cooperation (which is always one sided, it seems) sitting around the campfire singing Kumbaya and a bit more overturning the tables and flushing out the miscreants inside the temple and waiting in the wings.

  21. Andrew says:

    Euphemismus = verba millia in rebus molestis.

  22. Andrew says:

    Verba Mollia non millia

  23. Hidden One says:

    Oremus pro cardinale.

  24. Ralph says:

    When we read of such rubbish, our first instinct is to be angry or even laugh. But really, it should be profound sorrow. After all, these people have souls that they are most surely putting in peril. The devil is a deciever and his lies cost people their reward of heaven.

    Bishops must act swiftly and boldly to correct our errant brothers before it is too late and before they drag even more folks into the web of lies. Layity must pray and support our good bishops without ceasing.

  25. irishgirl says:

    This has gotten so far out of control….and His Eminence wants to ‘dialogue’?
    Oh, give me a break!
    Archbishop, EXCOMMUNICATE THESE PEOPLE! Your episcopal crozier is not some fancy walking-stick! It resembles a shepherd’s crook, and sometimes shepherds have to give the sheep a good hard WHACK from time to time!
    Even better asperges’ suggestion-INTERDICTS ALL AROUND!

  26. Joseph-Mary says:

    Dialogue and cooperation?

    Hows that working so far?

  27. everett says:

    “Interdicts all around” isn’t even necessary from Cardinal Schonborn. Anyone who attempts to simulate mass is automatically placed under interdict, which, depending on severity, can be increased to excommunication. See Rob’s link to Dr. Peters’ blog above.

  28. anilwang says:

    The key problem with “Dialogue and cooperation” is that neither dialogue nor cooperation are desired.

    In true dialogue there is always a common understanding of the problem or at least a common desire to find a solution. In true co-operation both work to achieve that end.

    But to the typical liberal perspective “Dialogue and cooperation”, dialog means “you listen and we talk until we wear you down” and cooperation means “you do what we tell you to do”.

    From an honest liberal perspective “Dialogue and cooperation” means “neither side knows the truth, so let’s try to find something we can agree on and airbrush over the differences” and cooperation means “let’s work together and have a ‘fair and balanced’ way of resolving issue that gives neither side an advantage”.

    Neither liberal perspective is applicable for a Catholic Priest.

    If “dialogue and cooperation” meant, “I will submit to whatever the Cardinal decides, but we have a real crisis on the ground and from what we’ve been taught in seminary, which we’ve been told is good Catholic doctrine, women priests and lay masses are the answer “, then dialogue and cooperation *can* be fruitful since it exposes the core of the problem and will allow the Cardinal to address the poor theological formation issue which caused the shepherds to be confused and the sheep to be lost.

  29. MAJ Tony says:

    Heilige +Rupert was probably rolling in his grave next door in the St. Peter’s Stiftskirche on 24th of September this year during communion at the Salzburger Dom, when the orchestra played what sounded like some Broadway musical tune. I was there, and flabergasted. It marred what was otherwise a beautiful Feast Day for the most famous bishop of Austria, and patron of my home parish in the Dio of Evansville, IN.

  30. Mitchell NY says:

    Is Interdict still Interdict in the new translation?

  31. Gail F says:

    “announced their intention to conduct liturgical ceremonies in which lay people act as priests, preaching and simulating the celebration of Mass. “Church law bans this,” acknowledged Hans Peter Hurka, the leader of the We Are Church movement.”

    The Roman Catholic Womanpriest people already do this. That they would do this is shocking and horrifying, if they actually believe in the Catholic Church. If they don’t, then they are no different from any other Protestant — and there are plenty of Protestants, even in Austria, that would take them.

  32. jaykay says:

    “Will there be puppets?”

    Maybe, maybe not. There will be muppets, however.

    Jonvilas asks if the money will cease to flow to the Church? Sadly, it wouldn’t make that much difference, I think, as the Austrian church no doubt receives the “church tax” (Kirchenstube) from the State, as in Germany.

  33. Simon_GNR says:

    What it it going to take for Catholic bishops such as Cardinal Schonborn to grow some “cojones” and act decisively against these schismatic heretics? The actions of this group in Austria surely warrant prompt excommunication. Has the Cardinal considered how demoralising and disappointing it is for the faithful to have a bishop who won’t do his duty and decisively enforce canon law? As if the integrity of the Church and of its sacraments are not worth fighting for?

    I despair at the weakness, the timidity and the pusillanimity of some bishops who seem more concerned about being well thought-of by secular society and non-Christian media than courageously LEADING the Lord’s pilgrim Church on the way to eternal life with Christ. Christ himself said: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” As succesors of the apostles, bishops need to realise that sometimes sticking one’s head above the parapet and getting abuse from all around is PART OF THE EPISCOPAL JOB DESCRIPTION!!

  34. Denita says:

    Don’t get me started on lay people acting like they’re priests (see comments below)

  35. Supertradmum says:

    Solzhenitsyn once said that USA could never have detente with Communism in Russia, as one cannot dialogue with evil. Wake up, liberals.

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