Austrian dissident priest not allowed to speak at Boston parish

I saw this on CNA:

Cardinal bars dissident priest from speaking on Archdiocesan property

Boston, Mass., Jun 27, 2013 / 02:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Archdiocese of Boston verified that an Austrian priest will not be allowed to speak on archdiocesan property during a stop on his U.S. speaking tour due to his dissenting views on Catholic teaching.

“It is the policy of the Archdiocese of Boston, and the generally accepted practice in dioceses across the country, not to permit individuals to conduct speaking engagements in Catholic parishes or at Church events when those individuals promote positions that are contrary to Catholic teachings,” spokesman Terrance Donilon said in a statement provided to CNA.

Fr. Helmut Schüller, who was set to speak at St. Susanna Parish in Dedham, Mass. on July 17, is the founder of the Austrian Priests’ Initiative – a group founded in 2006 that advocates for “optional celibacy” for priests, women’s ordination, and other positions contrary to Catholic doctrine. [Doesn’t this sound similar to the agenda of an American group of priests I posted about recently?]

To this end, Fr. Schüller has raised a “Call to Disobedience” – or the refusal to accept basic tenets of the Catholic faith – in order to “reform” the Bride of Christ.

Auxiliary Bishop of Boston, Bishop Walter Edyvean called St. Susanna Parish last week to notify them that Cardinal O’Malley would not allow the priest to speak “at any Catholic parish because he espouses beliefs that are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church,” the National Catholic Reporter wrote June 24. [What’s with the priest at that parish?]

Among the sponsoring organizations of the tour, “The Catholic Tipping Point,” are the Women’s Ordination Conference and Future Church, both of which promote initiatives contrary to Catholic teaching.

The priest’s July 16 to Aug. 6 speaking tour includes stops in New York City, Baltimore, Detroit, Denver and Los Angeles. All the stops except for Detroit are scheduled to take place at local Protestant churches. [I wonder if this priest will be allowed to speak at any parishes in those places.]

As of publication time, Fr. Schüller is still set to speak at Sts. Simon and Jude Parish in Westland, Mich. on July 26.

Fr. Schüller previously served as the head of Caritas Austria and as the vicar general of the Archdiocese of Vienna until 1999 when he was dismissed by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. In 2012, the Vatican revoked Fr. Schüller’s title of “monsignor.”

Fr Z kudos to Card. O’Malley.

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  1. LarryD says:

    I’ve tweeted several times to the Archdiocese of Detroit (@DetroitCatholic) asking that they tell Ss. Simon and Jude (@SsSimonandJude) to revoke the invitation. I don’t expect a response – anymore than I would if I mailed a letter directly to Archbishop Vigneron – but it’s a start. I’ll be tweeting on it every day from here on in. Any readers from Detroit who want to join in?

  2. O positive says:

    hardly surprising that this man is being welcomed in protestant churches – his views are essentially protestant. ireland’s equivalent group, the association of catholic priests, recently published a 15 point list (under the name of a lay person, rather than any of their priests, naturally) titled ‘what kind of priest do we want?’ a more protestant view of the clergy would be hard to find.

  3. Liam says:

    This Fr. Helmut Schüller prowls about the land as a roaring lion seeking to devour whom he may!

    Tu autem, Domine, miserere nobis.

    The poor souls of Cleveland (headquarters for FutureChurch) are subjected to his poison twice! Ugh!

  4. jpii_rox says:

    “To this end, Fr. Schüller has raised a “Call to Disobedience” – or the refusal to accept basic tenets of the Catholic faith – in order to “reform” the Bride of Christ.”

    Reminds me of Hazel Motes and his “Holy Church of Christ Without Christ”. No wonder this guy is speaking in Unitarian Churches.

  5. pkinsale says:

    No worries. He’s still presenting in Dedham:

  6. Cathy says:

    Just as a practice, look on your diocese website links under vocations. Then look at the social justice links. How many links do you find for Future Church? I don’t understand why these orders remain under the guise of diocesan vocations. I can’t help but think of a woman coming to the vocations director saying, “I want to change the Church’s fundamental teachings regarding, X, Y or Z, and the vocations director saying, hey, we have a vocation for you!” In fact, here’s a list, pick one! I don’t know if bishops or vocations directors read this blog, but, do you look at these websites?

  7. AA Cunningham says:

    I notifed the chancery in Denver about this on the 4th of June. The response I received from the communications director, Karna Swanson was:

    “I had not heard of this, so I am appreciative of the heads up.”

    Don’t know if this got kicked up the food chain or not. So far, nothing on the Archdiocese’ website warning the faithful to avoid Schuller.

    Helmut Schuller

  8. OrthodoxChick says:

    I just checked out the link above that “pkinsale” provided. Unless I’m cross-eyed, that online announcement from St. Susanna parish states that this Fr. Schuller is a priest in good standing. It even mentions Cardinal Schonborn.

    A parish-sponsored and actively promoted event is outright lying to the lay faithful about Fr. Schuller’s priestly status. I’m glad that Cardinal O’Malley won’t let Fr. Schuller speak in a Diocesan parish, but doesn’t Cardinal O’Malley also need to tweet out to his flock that they are urged to avoid this event? Shouldn’t he give his people some sort of warning? For me, if someone invited me to this event and I see that the parish says this priest is in good standing, I’d walk in there completely unaware of what I’d be getting myself into (that’s assuming I am not a daily reader of Fr. Z.’s blog, of course). In the state of Progressachusetts, this type of event will probably be largely ignored anyway, but still…..

  9. DisturbedMary says:

    Fr. Hell-mutt’s only speaking engagement in NYC is at Judson Memorial Church, an outrageously gay-promoting rainbow-flag-wrapped protestant church. His “optional celibacy” idea will surely go over big at that “church.” And when you’re done “Father”, before Igor ships you to your next destination, will you please send back your ordination papers and your baptismal certificate?

  10. maryh says:

    About the web links, I think it’s very easy to do. At my parish, I found a book that was pro-contraception on the library cart that is sometimes wheeled out after Mass. It had a very innocuous title, that made it seem pro-life, but I recognized something off about it, so I checked the contents. I also saw a pamphlet for the Sinsinawa Dominicans in church rack with other vocational literature at another church.

    When you see things like this anywhere, here’s what I recommend:
    1. Do NOT assume that the person in charge knows about the problem and agrees with this type of thing. Not everyone know what Future Church is, and not everyone knows who Fr. Schuller is.
    2. If you have a chance, talk to someone involved. In my case, I talked to the person minding the library cart and asked her if she knew what was in the book. All I had to do was show her, and she thanked me and removed the book right away.
    3. For something like the Sinsinawa Dominicans, I just took the pamphlet (there was only one) so no one else would see it. You would never guess from the pamphlet the things they’ve supported – it’s all charity and nuns in habits (and some nuns not in habit, too, to be fair).

    If someone with real authority actually IS posting some of these things on purpose, knowing what they are, that’s a different kettle of fish, but don’t start with that assumption. We have more allies than some of us may think.

  11. iPadre says:

    Just a look at their website and bulletin says it all: “50 Years of Welcoming All.” That says it all, a Vatican III parish.

    Look at their Facebook page. One Parishioner wrote: “The Roman Church & Peter Pan — perpetually refusing to grow up — and playing punitive to anyone who dares to even think about it. Absolutely zero to do with the Gospel of Jesus!”

  12. Scott W. says:

    If someone with real authority actually IS posting some of these things on purpose, knowing what they are, that’s a different kettle of fish, but don’t start with that assumption. We have more allies than some of us may think.

    Amen. Be a sniper, not a nuker.

  13. msproule says:

    @LarryD Count me in for pestering the AOD and Sts. Simon and Jude parish via Twitter, email, and letter to prevent this dissident priest from having a voice on Church property.

    Archbishop Vigneron publicly warned the faithful about the dissenting ACC convention that was held here in recent years. The AOD even picked a fight with Michael Voris, for goodness sake! So I would fully expect some action on this one, too. Hopefully, there will be a reprimand for the pastor of that parish, assuming he is aware of what is going on.

  14. jhayes says:

    states that this Fr. Schuller is a priest in good standing

    I recall that the Vatican revoked his Monsignor title but I don’t recall any action regarding his status as a priest.

    Here’s the parish website:

    The “Faith Formation” link at the top left takes you to the notice that the lecture has been moved and the explanation “The Archbishop of Boston has just directed that Father Helmut Schuller may not speak at any Catholic parish in the archdiocese.”

    Fair warning, I think.

  15. Everyone should contact the Archdiocese of Detroit and ask that Abp. Vigneron take the same action as Cdl. O’Malley and forbid Fr. Schuller from speaking on church property:

    Archdiocese of Detroit: 313-237-5800

  16. timelord says:

    The Austrian dissidents and their American comrades are by no means representative of the majority of Catholic priests and deacons in the USA. Sadly, these nincompoops get all the publicity and attention whereas orthodox national associations like the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy get barely a whisper let alone a glance from the press and media. Over 500 priests and deacons boldly proclaim their loyalty to the Magisterium and Roman Pontiff under the filial devotion to Our Lady, Queen of the Clergy and no one hears of us. We defend Humanae Vitae and are ignored; a few miscreant dissenting clergy repudiate Humanae Vitae and Ordinatio Sacerdotalis and they get prime time coverage. The CCC is in the USA, Australia and Great Britain. We are priests and deacons who are loyal sons of Holy Mother Church, not a radical group of recalcitrant rebels. We’re sick and tired of a few noisy, overage hippie liberal confusing the lay faithful. Spread the word, there is a haven for Catholic clergy loyal to Rome. (Fr. John Trigilio, Jr., President CCC)

  17. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    For local coverage and insight on this breaking news story, you can go to Boston’s conservative Catholic website and read up:

  18. sw85 says:

    I checked out this “Sts. Simon and Jude” parish in Westland, MI. The first billing on their “testimonials” page features a lengthy and gratuitous screed against the eeeeebil TLM. The seventh testimonial on there is a heart-warming story about a young man “brainwashed” into feeling guilty because he “disagreed with the hierarchy,” until wonderful Sts. Simon and Jude parished healed his soul. They deserve this Call to Disobedience guy.

  19. James Joseph says:

    St. Susanna parish church is fantastically ugly building. I used to drive by it on my daily commute not once but twice.

  20. Bea says:

    Interesting list of sponsors for his visit to the USA:
    from this link:

    Sponsoring Organizations
    Call to Action
    Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good
    National Coalition of Nuns
    New Ways Ministry
    Southeastern Pennsylvania Women’s Ordination Conference
    Voice of the Faithful
    Voice of the Faithful (Philadelphia)
    Quixote Center
    Women’s Ordination Conference

  21. Serviam1 says:

    Google: Fr. Stephen Josoma St. Susanna.

    Enough said!

  22. Charles E Flynn says:

    I suspect that fairly soon, we Catholics will be required to inform the government of the United States that it has as much authority to redefine marriage, the oldest of human institutions, which predates all forms of government, as it does to require us to believe that the moon is made of green cheese.

  23. Kathleen10 says:

    Yes, kudos to Cardinal O’Malley! It’s nice to see a Cardinal going out of his way to defend Catholicism from heretics and kooks. Let’s have more of that, yes please!
    If anyone is in the area of the dissident on his “Heresy Tour 2013”, I can tell you it is an odd, exhilarating feeling to stand outside a venue with a sign of protest. There is nothing quite like it, and I recommend that everyone do it at least once in their lifetime. It’s just you and God, at that point. It’s almost better if you do it by yourself, sans fellow protestors. Good to experience the feeling of making your point. He may speak, but you have to be acknowledged, and that’s something. If nothing else, you can go home with the satisfaction of knowing that you did something. Something! You defended your Catholic faith. It doesn’t require speaking. It doesn’t require being obnoxious in any way. If you are on public property, outside on the sidewalk, you are within your rights, usually. You may want to check your rights beforehand, but usually on public property you are legally allowed to be there.
    That ought to do it.
    And you might get as many people as you can to contact the protestant church and ask to meet with the pastor, letting him know that this person does not represent Catholicism, and you consider it anti-Catholic to have him there. In the interest on ecumenism and fellowship, “Why are you allowing someone to speak here at your church when this person is generally considered a dissident who does not represent authentic Catholic teaching? As a Catholic, I am upset and saddened by this”. It’s hard to argue with that. I don’t think most protestants are interested in actually upsetting local Catholics, especially a group of them. Groups have more influence than individuals, but an individual has more influence than nobody.
    Get out there once in awhile. It’s a good feeling, defending our faith, and ultimately, our God. It’s really about Him all the while, and while you’re out there, you’ll know it in a very tangible and exciting way. We’re only here a short while. While we’re here, speak up!

  24. cdet1997 says:

    What’s Austrian German for “non serviam”?

  25. jcr says:

    I would say that what he really wants is not to “reform” the Bride of Christ, but to re-form her into the trendy girlfriend of modernity. And if modernitas is feminine, well, that just makes it all the more trendy. Fortunately, non praevalebunt.

  26. JonPatrick says:

    While it is good that his Eminence has prevented this dissident priest from speaking in a Catholic Church, it is disheartening to read the notice linked to above, ironically posted under the parishes’ web site “faith formation” section. It is obvious that the Cardinal’s action has had no real effect on them. They present this as solutions to the priest shortage, so many otherwise faithful people may go to this lecture not realizing what the real agenda is.

    I pray for the Archdiocese of Boston – its dwindling parishes, some of them with orthodox priests retiring and being replaced by progressives (as reported by Boston Catholic Insider).

  27. Imrahil says:

    Dear @cdet1997,

    technically, “i wer net dîna”. But the Viennese populace (or so is the stereotype) generally likes to bring about such-like meaning with a little pepper, and thus, it could be something more like (and I hope our rev’d host’s detector knows no Austrian): “Daßd mir net gàngst mit De’em Schâß, glâbst vleicht i bin Dei Trottl”, etc. etc.

    You could, though, point out that he has no longer the right to use the typical Austrian greeting.
    For the Austrian (and Bavarian friends) greet each other with a very short, and very Latin (!) abbreviation for “I am your humble servant”, to wit, “servus”.

  28. Imrahil says:

    One thing, and I hate to say it:

    Heretics and semi-heretic dissidents the Church has known always.

    The problem is that Rev’d Schüller, except being stripped of the Monsignorship, can still walk around as “a priest in good standing”, as the saying goes. The Archdiocese of Boston says (and rightly so) that he has no right to speak at any Catholic parish. Apparently that excludes Probstdorf, Archdiocese of Vienna, where he remains installed as parish priest.

  29. B Knotts says:

    I would hope that the Archdiocese of Detroit would intervene to make sure this does not happen on church property, given that they asked Michael Voris, a faithful Catholic, not to use the name “Catholic.”

  30. The Detroit archdiocese also has pro-abort nun Sr. Margaret Farley speaking on archdiocesan property in September (sponsored by dissident group “Elephant in the Living Room”). Let’s hope something is done about that as well.

    People can write Abp. Vigneron directly at–particularly since it is likely many of our messages stop at the communications directors’ desk.

  31. Andreas says:

    A member of the military represents the Government wherever he or she goes. If a member of the military disgraces the uniform, that individual is disciplined and may lose his/her rate or rank and be discharged. If the Commander fails to take action, the accountability moves up the chain of command, all the way to the most senior levels if need be, and those having failed to take appropriate action are likewise disciplined. Do not Priests, Nuns (including those on busses) and other religious represent The Roman Catholic Church in a similar manner? With this in mind, I find myself wondering (along with so many others here) why, if those accountable in the Church’s leadership hierarchy truly believe such activities are (at best) confusing and (at worst) harmful, is such behavior seemingly continuously tolerated when it clearly is not in keeping with the tenets of the body to which the individual professes to belong?

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