Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The comeback of Father Wagner?

KATH.NET - Katholischer Nachrichtendienst

Linz Diocesan Bishop asked Wagner to resign - Italian Vatican expect Rodari: Vatican undecided on how to now proceed with Gerhard Wagner - Church expert: Wagner may take back his resignation at any time!

Würzburg (

Did Gerhard Wagner resign voluntarily? According to information from the "Tagespost" the Bishop of Linz, Ludwig Schwarz, due to a variety of criticism and threats to the appointed Bishop a question asked for his resignation on Friday. Wagner himself wrote that he had taken this decision "in prayer and after consultation with the diocesan bishop". The "Tagespost" also reported that for the Viennese Nunciature the events on Sunday evening was a complete surprise. Up to the present the resignation of Wagner has not been accepted by the Holy Father.

The Italian Vatican Expert, Paolo Rodari reported on Tuesday that the Vatican is currently undecided on what to do and that matters are still on hold. Rodari writes for this opinion: "There are those on the one hand, who hold it is impossible that before the bishop's appointment the Congregation did not know of Wagner's statements in the past. And that's why there are some who think that, after Wagner for was judged selectable as a bishop, no step backward can be taken and that , on the contrary, in no way should his request to resign be accepted.

But there are some who say that given that a rather critical attitude towards Wagner remains not only in the media but also in the leadership of the Austrian episcopacy, therefore, to avoid tension within the united episcopacy, the express wish of the (nominated auxilliary) Bishop must be accepted ....

In the Roman Curia there are those who believe that the withdrawal of Wagner should not be accepted to give a strong signal directly to the leadership of the Austrian episcopacy. A signal so that they can understand who is in charge here. A signal that has reached both the ears of the new Nuncio, Archbishop Peter Zurbriggen, as well as of Schönborn, a wearer of the purple who believes himself more Ratzingerish than Ratzinger.

One prominent church expert, who said particularly that he did not wish to be named, pointed out on Tuesday to that according to Can. 189 § 2 of the CIC, ecclesiastical authority which appoints to an office may not accept a withdrawal that is not based on a reasonable and just cause. He pointed out that the Vatican here may also consider the Canon 188 could, in which it is explicitly cited that a resignation under grave fear is invalid. The resignation submitted by Wagner can be, as long as it is not accepted, at any time revoked.
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