Monday, March 05, 2007

A priest, Allah and a bad joke

From an original German text of the ever-wonderful (who use a photo from my story, Muslim group transforms chapel.)

During a celebration in an Innsbruck school, a priest insulted Islam last December. There is a local newspaper in Innsbruck called Tirolean Week, by some better known under the name, TIP. There is a regular unsigned column, the editor of which identifies himself as “Town Falcon”. In Edition 50, dated 15 December 2006, this “Town Falcon” reports on a school celebration at an Innsbruck Primary School in which the local priest also took part.

The priest started to put on his stole, during a rather moderately funny joke and then he told his primary school children that “God and Allah are the same”. He then made several comparisons, several times between God and Allah. The “Town Falcon” who cannot stand pseudo-jolly people, began to have a few thoughts of his own, in the process of which he recognised why people don’t like the Catholic Church anymore. There are, for instance, people who no longer find it funny when liturgical clothes are put on, and when a priest explains to small children, without further background that the Trinitarian God of the Christians, one person of whom became man, was identical with the God of the Muslims, then this statement was surely an insult to Islam – and not the content of the teaching of the Magisterium.

It is self-evident that the priest’s statements have gone without punishment. The”Town Falcon” also explained that the pupils have been betrayed in their seach for Truth and the souls of these children have been substantially damaged.

A priest that acts in this way takes the risk that the Mass that is the highest object of humanity becomes ridiculed in the eyes of young Christians. If the City of Vienna were to trust such bishops and priests in the year 1683 with the Turkish Siege, there today be no Cathedral of St Stephen.

It is therefore not surprising that many people leave the Church or do not want to have anything to do with it.

They have after all too little humour left to be part of a happy, fun Church.

The tragedy is that these school children will probably never learn what the difference between the Christian Trinity and the god of the Muslims is. How should a constructive dialogue between Islam and Christianity take place in this manner? Because, if one wants to talk, one has to first recognize what one stands for.

Cathcon comment

No surprises in the modern world, the Bishop of Aachen declared in 2003, "God is not Catholic".

Bishop of Salzburg chases out abortion supporters from Church centre.

..... but six years too late.

Argument over abortion. Seminar won’t take place in St Vigil, Salzburg.

Translation of original article.

The Salzburg Archbishop, Alois Kothgasser has forbidden the seminar of the Austrian Society for Family Planning, in the Seminar and Education Centre of St Vigil

“This organisation is pro-abortion, it is unthinkable for them to organize a meeting in a building which belongs to the Church”, says Kotgasser’s press spokesman confirms to Kathnet.

Kotgasser had put the emergency breaks on on Friday and forbidden that the seminar should take place in St Vigil, which was to start on Monday.

The President of the Austrian Family Planning Association, Elisabeth Pracht, explained “I was called on the phone at my home on Friday evening”. The background was that on one afternoon of the one week-long conference, representatives of Gynmed Ambulatorium have been invited to come to the lectures. Gynmed Ambulatorium undertake the abortions in the Regional Hospital. She was very disappointed to have this cancellation, “We have been to St Vigil for the last five or six years and we also have had meetings in Vienna in the Cardinal Koenig House”. The seminar which was about to begin on Minday in Salzburg was going to train family planners, who have also been recognized by the Ministry. In the first instance, the seminar was about family planning and pregnancy prevention methods. “Abortion is also for us not a kind of family planning, but it is in some cases the only solution. Women should be informed about what is available,” Pracht emphasized.

“If the Church is against abortion, then it should at least not refuse information, not least to prevent abortions”.

The spokesman for the Archbishop said it was unfortunate mistake that the seminar had been planned for St Vigil. “The person dealing with the reservations of the rooms in St Vigil, was not aware who was behind this organisation. The seminar with its ten participants is now taking place in the Hotel Imlauer.

The Bishop was too busy clowning around to notice.

Please vote!

Catholic Church Conservation: Cathcon poll following Msgr Perl's Comments

Times they are a changing

not least in the Pope's own chapel.

Normally, on Cathcon, "before" is much better than "after". The Pope has ensured that there will be a steady stream of good news stories when "after" is much better than "before".

Stick worship

German Parish Prefers Stick Over Cross

Behold the Lamb of God


Lenten Way of the Cross


Month of St Joseph


Patron of the Universal Church

Friend of Poor Souls in Purgatory

Many more devotions to St Joseph.

Franz Jägerstätter to be beatified

Two years ago my wife wrote an article seeking to re-examine the life and death of Franz Jägerstätter. We have met his wife. She became sacristan of the Church when he left which duty she performed at least until recently. The wife, who has a great devotion to Nicholas of Flue who also left his wife for the Faith (in this case, becoming a hermit) has just been awarded a Medal of Honour by the Upper Austrian Regional Government. It was not ever the case, as she was deprived of a war pension in the post-war times.

Franz Jägerstätter

Various groups and individuals have hailed him as their disciple and surrogate spokesman, but as this study will reveal, few have fully understood the real reasons for his death and that he was a martyr for the Catholic Faith. (But at least Radio Vatican does, calling him a martyr for the Faith).

I will start with a short biography. Then I will highlight several unusual and remarkable aspects of his life that were providential in the way they helped to sustain him and ultimately prepared him for his courageous death.

Franz Jägerstätter was born on May 20 1907 in St Radegund, Austria. Neither his mother, Rosalia Huber, nor his father, who were both farm employees, could afford to marry and start a home. Rosalia Huber left her illegitimate child to be brought up in the home of his grandmother. When she married Heinrich Jägerstätter ten years later, Franz moved into his stepfather's house, the Leherbauerhof. In the absence of any offspring, he became the sole heir upon the death of his stepfather in 1933. He left his home for employment in the iron ore works in Steiermark in 1927, where he remained for three years. During this time, he encountered a Communist movement amongst the workers and this may have been the cause for him becoming more observant in religious matters. He married Franziska Schwaninger in 1936, which became a decisive point in his life in terms of a further deeper engagement in the Catholic Faith. In March 1938 Austria was annexed to Germany and Jägerstätter became a citizen of the Third Reich. He compared the Austrian attitude regarding the German annexation to the sin committed by Adam and Eve. Austria and our first parents had a free choice, but through the sin of pride, opted for evil. 1 In the subsequent election his vote was a clear 'no' to Austria being annexed. The Mayor of St Radegund saved his life by exchanging his 'no' for a 'yes'. Franz Jägerstätter refused any kind of collaboration and support for the National Socialist Party (the NSDAP).

He was called-up for military training in Enns early in 1940 and further training, from October 1940 to April 1941, probably for the intended invasion of Russia. In 1943 he was summoned to active military service. He refused on the grounds that it was incompatible to be a Catholic and to be fighting for a regime that was persecuting the Catholic Church and her priests. He was transferred from Enns to prison in Linz, then the prison at Berlin Tegel. In a trial on July 14 1943, he was condemned to death. Thirty-four days later the judgement was confirmed and he was executed by guillotine in Berlin Brandenburg on August 9 1943.

The first unusual factor in the life of Franz Jägerstätter is that due to his illegitimacy and his mother's poverty, he was brought up by his pious grandmother. Had he been brought up by his own mother, it is doubtful whether the same foundations to his resolute faith would have been laid.

Another exceptional factor occurred: up to 1934 his taste and outlook differed little from his contemporary villagers. He was a conventional Catholic like everyone else in the village. After he left St Radegund to work in the iron mines in Steiermark, it was noted that a profound change occurred. He became much more observant in religious matters and started to attend Mass frequently. He even considered religious life and consulted the parish priest, Father Josef Karobath on this matter, who discouraged him and suggested he should find a suitable girl and get married.

One of the most important and crucial decisions of his life was marrying Franziska, who came from another village (and was regarded at St Radegund as an outsider, even almost a 'foreigner'). Local villagers thought that she was 'too religious', judging by their standards. The couple's choice of honeymoon was a pilgrimage to Rome, which in those days must have raised quite a few eyebrows in this small peasant community. It was an unusual undertaking, involving considerable cost and time as well as various trains and coaches to reach Rome. The pilgrimage included a general audience with the Holy Father, Pope Pius XI, but most importantly, also a trip to the catacombs of the early Christian martyrs; I often wonder whether later on in the dark hours of his prison cell, Franz cast a thought to this very visit. In humility, he never once claimed the term 'martyr' for himself.


The very best teaching on the Mass


Excerpts from Fr Garrigou-Lagrange's commentary on De Eucharistia

My house shall be called a house of prayer....

but this Augustinian Church you have turned into the German Hunting and Fishing Museum

St Augustine. Anarchist


"Love and do what you will"
A is for anarchy or Augustine.
"Freedom and Law"
"Believe with all senses"
Lent Cure or Course

in the Church of St Augustine, Wuerzburg, 2005

Opened with a talk on 1 March
"Limitless freedom, freeing borders"

4 March
"Law and Freedom in Musical Language"
Saxophone and organ improvisations

11 March
"Annoyance with the Church and longing for the Church"

18 March
"Limited by the law, called to freedom"

25 March
"Church Law - protector of freedom or straightjacket used by the powerful"

This was accompanied by a modern art exhibition in the Church itself. As part of the Lenten activities, graffiti "artists" were allowed to paint on part of the monastery walls.

It is the Mass that matters

Pure and beautiful.