Upper Austrian priests to prevent the consecration of Bishop-designate Linz Gerhard Maria Wagner and thus start a kind of "referendum".
According to reports in the "Tiroler Tageszeitung" and the "Rundschau am Sonntag" a circular letter is to be sent to all priests. Moreover, wave of Catholics converting to the Protestant church is reported. The idea comes from a group of liberal priests, whose aim is, in this "referendum" to collect as many signatures as possible and thereby convince the bishop not to take up his office. Also, they want to convince Bishop Ludwig Schwarz not to consecrate Wagner.
According to the “Rundschau am Sonntag " the discussion about Wagner and the withdrawal of the excommunication of the Holocaust denier Richard Williamson has triggered a wave of Catholics converting to Protestant churches. "Many disgruntled members of the Catholic Church now turn to the Protestant internet chaplaincy with the question of what they do need to become Protestant," said the Senior Church Administrator of the Protestant Church in Austria, Hannelore Reiner.