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Friday, February 13, 2009

Austrian Church in Turmoil- crisis meeting of the Bishops' Conference

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from the APA – Austria Presse Agentur

Special meeting of the Bishops’ Conference convened
Its now official that the mitres are now burning red hot in Austria. As the appointment of the arch-conservative priest Bishop Wagner has kicken up a storm for weeks, Cardinal Schönborn has this Friday at short notice announced a special meeting of the Austrian Bishops' Conference. Wagner, who has already been reminded by his future colleagues that he should be moderate, however, is not invited.

That the topic of the meeting will be the "current situation of the Church in Austria", is official. "The Catholics have a right to insist that we do our best to overcome the crisis," said the Cardinal, who has officially talked about "damage limitation". The current tensions have brought irritation and resignation brought, but this is mainly about the future of the church in Austria, said Schönborn.

Only the diocesan bishops, including the military diocesan have been invited to the special advisory meeting on the crisis, which excludes Wagner as a designated auxiliary Bishop. He will meet his colleagues for the first time in this forum at the spring General Assembly in Innsbruck in March - even before his inauguration . The special meeting will be held on Monday at 10 clock in the Archbishop's Palace in Vienna.

Few bishops on Friday spoke about the crisis meeting . The Diocesan of Styria, Bishop Kapellari expects that a "careful analysis with a sense of proportion." Problems were not to be talked down, "but should be clearly identified," he said.

Wagner must already take criticism from his colleagues, Kapellari let ring out at the conclusion of his visit to Rome. Wagner spent the last few days in Rome, where he apparently was requested to fulfil his new role as pontifex- bridge builder. Previously, interview restrictions had already been placed on him. Wagner had "admittedly not very cleverly argued," said Kapellari.

Cathcon: that’s Episcopal code for “why on earth has a man as Catholic as this been made a Bishop in Austria?”
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