Sunday, April 08, 2012

Rebel priest wants a talk with the Pope

Kirchen-Streit: Schüller will mit dem Papst reden «

Pope Benedict has asked questions, so he probably wanted to hear answers, says Helmut  Schüller, the chairman of the Parish Priest Initiative. Schüller is "pleasantly surprised" by the criticism from the Pope .

Church rebel, Helmut  Schüller  wants to talk to the pontiff. The Austrian cleric rejects a withdrawal of his "call to disobedience" (Cathcon- demanded by the Cardinal!) but he is now seeking a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI. "The Pope has asked questions, so he probably wants to hear answers. We would like to answer his questions", says  Schüller  in an interview on Holy Saturday with Die Presse.

The Pope has used his homily at the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday to refer to the Austrian reform movement. "Is disobedience really a way forward?", asked the Pope. And is it not only about a "desperate urge to transform the church according to their wishes and ideas?"

So far, according to  Schüller, there has been no contact between the Initiative and the Vatican. He points out, however, that they had already made two attempts to contact the Pope and they had been rejected. Once on his visit to Vienna in 2007, but also in 2009 in Rome. Now, according to  Schüller, the questions, which the Parish Priest Initiative have taken up, get the weight they should have. The Initiative in their "call to disobedience" announced, among other things, that the ban on preaching for trained lay and religious teachers should be ignored and they spoke out for the admission of women and those married to the priesthood

Schüller showed himself "pleasantly surprised" by the Papal criticisms because the Pope had talked about "institutional inertia" and threatened no sanctions.

Schönborn calls for withdrawal. The Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph  Schönborn  has to take back to the criticism of the pope's vicar for the initiative with a request that the "call to disobedience," responds. A public clarification is needed as the word "disobedience" could not be allowed to stand,  Schönborn  said to the "Zeit im Bild".  Schüller  does not want to withdraw the call for disobedience. "We see nothing objectionable in this disobedience," he says. Finally, the 400 priests who are members of the initiative, had not promised at their ordination no longer to continue to use their consciences. "An obedience without conscience is a dangerous obedience," said  Schüller. Cathcon- and worse is an mistaken conscience without being allied to prudence.

He also refers to the Second Vatican Council, which ushered in the Reform Church in the 1960s and began with an act of disobedience of participating bishops who had refused to sign documents prepared by the Vatican. (Cathcon- it has to be said encouraged by a radical, young theologian at the Council, one Father Joseph Ratzinger, who broke the power of the Curia with a speech he wrote for Cardinal Frings).

Schwarz signals support. At least partial support for the Initiative was signaled by the Linz Diocesan Bishop Ludwig Schwarz. He argues for a greater lay say in the appointment of bishops and that Catholics can imagine changes in the celibacy rules in an interview with the Oberösterreichische Nachrichten.

The Carinthian Bishop Alois Schwarz has, however, whitewashed the concerns of his colleagues Egon Kapellari from Styria, who warned in a pastoral letter of the church schism resulting from the Parish Priest Initiative. "I do not see that the unity of the Church in danger," said Schwarz to the "Kleine Zeitung".

Cathcon- a disunited national episcopate is no way to deal with this crisis. Bishop Ludwig Schwarz has form when it comes to appeasing the progressives- who if they are given anything will always come back for more.