Posts Tagged ‘Austrian Church’
While Pope Benedict’s former Zauberlehrling , Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn managed to extract himself from comments he made earlier this year about re-examining priestly celibacy in light of clerical abuse of minors, the debate over celibacy continues to rage in Austria and Germany. Bishops have been pitted against brother bishops and the mood is ugly.
The Ober-Oesterreichische Nachrichten reported today that more than 59 per cent of Austrian priests would like to abolish mandatory celibacy—and the number, unsurprisingly, is highest in the ultra-progressive diocese of Linz, where three quarters of the priests would like to abolish the tradition. It is a poorly kept secret that many of Austria’s priests keep mistresses.
One interesting detail on the matter is that, according to the study cited in the OONachrichten, younger priests tend to be more in favour of mandatory celibacy while older priests up to the age of 75 are more decidedly against it.
Over on Cathcon, Christopher Gillibrand has a post on the newest wrinkle in the troubled diocese of Linz. Since Dr Wagner’s interview with the OberOesterreichischen Nachrichten which I posted on last week, the Upper Austrian Church has been in a tizzy. And they’ve taken the fight to the newspapers.
The beleaguered diocesan Bishop Ludwig Schwarz has lashed out at Wagner in public, accusing of raising the emotional temperature to an already heated debate about the future of the polarised diocese.
Last week, upper Austria’s main newspaper Die Oberoesterreichischen Nachrichten ran an article saying that 2009 marked the upper Austrian church’s largest exodus. Ever. (Or at least since such numbers have been kept).
The paper speculates that the reason for the decline lies predominantly with last year’s disastrous Wagner Affair (Causa Wagner–background here) but that secondary reasons include the storm following the lifting of the excommunications from the four Lefebvrist Bishops last January. Read the rest of this entry »