Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Open letter to Cardinal from Disobedient Clergy in Austria

Der offene Brief im Wortlaut «

Peter Paul Kaspar, Academic Chaplain in Linz, author, musician, executive member of the Parish Priest Initiative helped to formulate the "Call to Disobedience" and now writes an open letter to Cardinal Christoph Schönborn

Dear Cardinal!

We - the executive of the Parish Priest Initiative - have issued at Pentecost 2011 a "Call to Disobedience," because we wanted our urgent demands for reform to be made public. This has succeeded worldwide even being cited in the Holy Thursday homily of the Pope. The decades-long internal proposals and suggestions put forward were so far always put politely in the files. We have risked being provocative, which does indeed work well, but your understanding of ministry as hierarchy has been so much hurt that you have since been persistently demanding the revision of a single word- disobedience . To put it bluntly. This word was the door opener - it has allowed us global discourse. That you request the revision of the headline, instead of discussing the content, says a lot about your understanding of authority: you refer to the obedience that we owe to God, his teaching and to conscience rather to you personally and to your office.

You have also described in no previously known position that a Christian obedience is not merely response to an external command, but "to be paid attention to" - from which comes also the idea- to display one's own, educated and responsible conscience. In this formation of conscience for a Catholic priest, the instruction of the superior bishop plays some, but not the first role: "to obey God rather than men," is the biblical rule. Some of us have in discussions with the competent diocesan bishops - in spite of individual differences of opinion -. come to appreciate openness and trust. We assume that it is similarly possible in your Vienna diocese. Asking your colleagues to recant a single word appears to us an all too simple model to deal with disputes. And for the many priests of the Parish Priest Initiative from other dioceses, you are not responsible as a bishop.

You have asked a gay parish councillor elected by a large majority for an interview, because he lives in a registered partnership with his companion. And you have endorsed the decision of the parish. It is possible that you will be blamed by a Roman canonical court. And you have obviously taken this into account and now want to stand by your "disobedience". The fact that you have exposed to public ridicule the obedient parish priest , however, is a small blemish. However, we consider in your decision is a positive example, of when a bishop in his office obeys his conscience, even though the church or Roman law intends something else. We approve of your "disobedience" as gratifying responsibility- in the literal sense - of a "conscientious" public official.

With this hopefully pleasing insight into your certainly difficult office, may God's blessing be given!

Prof. Peter Paul Kaspar, Chaplain for Academia and Artists of the Diocese of Linz

Cathcon- lest we forget, from the town that brought the world Adolf Hitler, came the church, whose Rector is Father Kaspar, that brought the faithful, the Shrine to Judas.    Cathcon has just returned from anticipated Matins of Holy Thursday in the Orthodox Church which takes two hours to savage Judas in every possible way.   This is the normal attitude of Christians.

Truly is Judas to be numbered with the generation of vipers, who ate manna in the wilderness and then complained about the food. For while the food was in their mouths, they the ungrateful spoke against God.

Catholics also have a normal attitude to those in authority that has been completely upset in the post-conciliar era.

Father Kaspar is specifically referring above to his open dialogue with the Diocesan Bishop, Bishop Schwarz, whose tolerance he enjoys.

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