Monday, 27. April 2015
22. 02. 12. - 18:00
A vast majority of Austrians approve a controversial group of Catholic priests’ demands.
Pollster Oekonsult said yesterday (Tues) 87 per cent of residents of the country welcome Helmut Schüller’s plan to go international with his Preachers’ Initiative. Schüller, who once headed Caritas Austria, established the initiative around half a year ago. The group says the Roman Catholic Church should allow preachers to ignore celibacy. The preachers also support liberal Catholics' appeal for women to hold sermons.
Oekonsult also found that 86 per cent of Austrians know the group organised by Schüller. The Probstdorf parish priest claims that 400 Austrian Catholic preachers joined his initiative in past months. He recently appealed to the Conference of Austrian Bishops to stop ordering more parishes to merge.
Diocese decision-makers argued that such reforms were needed due to a decreasing number of priests. Most of the country’s dioceses struggle finding sufficient numbers of young men interested in becoming preachers to take over from deceased or retired priests. Around 87 per cent of Austrians think that the Church must not force more parishes to merge, according to Oekonsult’s latest public opinion investigation.
Liberal and modestly conservative leaders of the Austrian Church – who were recently summoned to the Vatican to discuss the various problems in their home country’s dioceses – do not deny that the denomination must evolve and start a reform procedure. At the same time, Viennese Archbishop Christoph Cardinal Schönborn pointed out that he disliked the decision of the Preachers’ Initiative to describe their attitude as disobedient. Schönborn, the Austrian Church’s highest representative, also said that no changes would be made to celibacy rules.
Schüller recently said that this year would be his group’s year of internationalisation. He claimed that leaders of the Church "are finally taking us seriously" and explained that the Preachers’ Initiative "receives a lot of approval from Catholic reform movements all over the world." Schüller criticised the Vatican for bearing resemblance to an "absolutist monarchy" in its approach to the decisive subjects of the 21st century.
Austria’s Catholic Church is fighting on several battlegrounds these days. It had to cope with a record number of membership cancellations in 2010 when 58,603 people left. The number declined by 32 per cent in 2011 but experts rule out that a substantial turnaround can be achieved in the long run due to the waning importance of the denomination and other religious groups. While some critics said the Church must stop charging its members, conservative politicians appreciate the idea of introducing fees for every citizen regardless of their beliefs. They argue that everyone benefits from the Church’s achievements from organising events to renovating monasteries and chapels across the country – which are often touristic attractions.
Theologians refuse to rule out that the current wrangles and the increasing popularity of the Preachers’ Initiative could lead to a splitting of the Austrian Catholic Church. Schönborn is interested in carefully opening the denomination to critical, young residents of industrialised areas who planned to turn their backs on it while Andreas Laun represents the Church’s ultra-conservative circles. Laun, the auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Salzburg, gives interviews on internet platform Gloria TV on a regular basis. The under-fire online broadcaster with offices in Vienna has engaged in an aggressive campaign against a gynaecological clinic in the city which offers abortion services to women. Gloria TV has managed so far to fend off its critics’ legal actions by being registered in Moldova.
» Panorama 2012-05-31
A Harvard University professor’s book on the killing of Osama Bin Laden, a collection of funny experiences on planes and many more interesting releases are out now.
» General News 2012-05-31
A renowned economist has warned from reintroducing the drachma in Greece.
» General News 2012-05-31
Austria has been criticised for its high public debts.
» General News 2012-05-30
One in five Austrians consider Viennese Archbishop Christoph Cardinal Schönborn as a reactionary clergyman.
» General News 2012-05-24
Another top-tier representative of the Austrian Church has warned the Preachers’ Initiative from consequences.
» General News 2012-05-22
A Catholic preacher who established a group of "disobedient" priests reacted coolly to Viennese Archbishop Christoph Cardinal Schönborn’s warnings.
Semmering Offers 50% Discount To Selected Heroes
The Magic Mountain Semmering will hold two Weeks of Heroes from 1st to 14th March as Panhans Holding Group says thank you to safety and well-being volunteers and professionals.
Skier Survived Almost Two Hours Buried Alive
A skier had a miracle escape after being buried under two metres of snow for nearly two hours during an avalanche in Austria, it was revealed last night.
Puppies Found Stuffed Inside Suitcase In Back Of Van
A litter of puppies destined for a dog farm was rescued after being found stuffed inside suitcases in the back of a van.
Kangaroo That Hopped It Spotted In Garden
Austrian police investigating reports of an escaped kangaroo have been given concrete proof after a local woman managed to photograph the animal in her back garden.
First Images Of Eurovision Stage
These are the first images of the design for the Eurovision Song Contest stage unveiled in the Austrian capital Vienna which is the home of last year's winner Conchita Wurst.
Russian Mafia Boss Nabbed At Vienna Railway Station
A Russian mobster wanted for a string of brutal murders was arrested in the gentile Austrian capital Vienna when commandos swooped as he went to buy a train ticket.
Teen Girls Arrested After Offering Themselves To IS Fighters
Austrian officials who recently cracked down on terrorism by arresting several people believed to be recruiting and fundraising for ISIS have revealed two more teenage girls tried to leave the country to marry terrorist fighters.
Ebola's deadly reach impacts Vienna student
Austria has yet to record its first case of Ebola, but the feared virus has already had a severe impact on the lives of Africans living in Vienna.
Grigorij Sokolov Works His Magic At Vienna Konzerthaus
Whilst the world-famous Wizard of Oz played at the Volksoper, there was another Wizard in the Konzerthaus giving his 16th performance in Vienna!
Penelope Cruz To Play The Ice Cream Killer
The memoirs of the woman dubbed the Ice Cream Killer after she shot dead two ex-lovers before hacking the bodies up with a chainsaw and telling neighbours the noise was a new ice cream machine are due to be turned into a blockbuster with Penelope Cruz playing the lead role.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Cyclist Disfigured After Truck Door Opens|
|Six Legged Kid Dubbed Spider Goat|
|Teacher Beats Girl As Shocked Classmates Reduced To Tears|
|Father Dresses In Drag To Raise Money For Sick Son|
|Devoted Wife Pulls Blind Hubby Around With Bamboo Stick|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.