The extremely conservative current parish priest of Windischgarsten, Maria Gerhard Wagner, is new Bishop of the Diocese of Linz.
The news leaked from Vienna church sources to the Upper Austrian News will be officially announced in the next few days. Many engaged Catholics of the Diocese of Linz will perceive this as a provocation. The diocese could have a test of endurance.
According to unconfirmed information, no candidate was considered appearing on the proposed list of Linz Diocesan Bishop Ludwig Schwarz. Allegedly, Rome has directly taken the decision. Even the Vienna Archbishop Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn was not directly involved in the decision-making.
Vicar General Severin Lederhilger could feel deep disappointment at this decision. The Vicar-General was considered one of the favorites and was also next to the former Chaplain of the Seminary of Linz, Johann Hintermaier on the Bishop’s three name candidate list.
The future bishop is so far noted mainly for controversial statements and absolute fidelity to Rome. He has said that environmental disasters are close to divine punishment. The diocese was forced to distance itself from Wagner. (Cathcon- nothing comes except God permits it- an understanding of Catholics in all ages but our own.)
Within the Diocese, Wagner stands for a very controversial minority. According to a church insider, the weight of Wagner's future office is less important than the fact of his appointment. Rome wanted to signal to Linz that the era of liberal and moderate courses are gone.
How Catholics in Upper Austria will react is not yet known. Even the recent decisions (end of (Cathcon regular- of course a layman can baptise in emergency) baptism by laymen) has triggered great resentment in the diocese.
Hat tip to http://www.kreuz.net/
Cathcon fears he may get the blame after all he has written about the most liberal Diocese in the whole of Europe.
But if the Pope can do this in Linz, he can also do this in the Archdiocese of Westminster.
The time for partying is over. Time to preach the Cross of Christ.