Monday, March 16, 2009

Statement of Bishop of Linz

Dean and Parish priest Josef Friedl has publicly and on his own initiative declared that he in the last few years did not keep his promises on priesthood to live in celibacy and he maintains his relationship. In our service as priests, we have both take on the sign of celibacy for the kingdom of heaven's sake.

This rule still applies today and is clearly underlined in its validity on the level of the universal church. Also discussions on this subject were part of the Bishops' Conference recent meeting and the chairman, Cardinal Schönborn has stated on the matter: "For a priest, as well as for all other people fidelity and promises of fidelity are carrying major values in society. Failure brings no blessing in the long term."

Specifically, we (the Vicar General as the personnel manager and I, the Bishop), have been in contact with Father Friedl in recent days and with today’s discussion.

Father Friedl has understood that as of today he retires from his post as dean. In this position, he was the direct representative of the bishop in his deanery.

The incompatibility with his now personally declared life form with the original promise requires now - as it turns out - a further clarification of what was meant by his “partnership for life”.

He himself has never outlined the circumstances further in any way to the general public. Further talks are necessary in the near future. In canon law, ongoing discussions for such situations are already foreseen.

I ask again for your understanding for these measures and also that this matter is not being dealt dealt with publicly. 

Cathcon: now for the Bishop to start dealing with all the other "relationships" he is well aware of.  But perhaps that will be the next Bishop's job and he knows it. 

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