Thursday, 05. December 2013
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.
Austria sees biggest increase in property prices in Europe
Property in Austria has seen the highest rate of price growth in Europe since the Lehman brothers bank crashed, throwing the region and other countries housing markets into an economic downturn.
Austrian oil and gas industry report published
A report analysing the Austrian oil and gas markets between 2000 and 2005 has been made available on the Research and Markets website, a publishing platform for industry market research.
Acclaimed comedy show comes to Vienna
Vienna's English Theatre in the eighth district of the city is putting on two new shows in the new year, including one that may help to chase any post-Christmas blues away.
Iran nuclear meeting to be held in Vienna
Representatives from Iran, six mediators, and members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are meeting in Vienna in December to discuss an agreement made last month regarding Iranian uranium.
Austria paving the way in air traffic control
Austria has taken a step forward in the move to unify Europe's air traffic control systems by implementing the latest software from the Co-operation of Air Navigation Service providers (COOPANS).
Talks with China begin on high-speed railway from Vienna to Black Sea
Talks have begun with Chinese partners about the construction of a 'European corridor' that will connect Vienna to the Black Sea port of Constanta in Romania.
What´s on at the Burg Kino cinema this week (6 December – 12 December)
The following films are on at the English language Burg Kino cinema on the Opernring between November 6th and December 12th. From December the 5th to December the 8th Burg Kino will host the “Festival des Russischen Films”.
Campaign to Save Salzburg Airport Steps Up
Thousands of holidaymakers to Salzburg could find their flights in danger over plans by Germany to force the airport to cancel flights.
One million euros from Austrian government supports African peace and security programme
The Austrian government signed an agreement last Friday, pledging 1,000,000 Euros in support of the African Union Gender, Peace and Security Program (GPSP).
Over a third of state aid repaid by Austrian bank BAWAG PSK
A further 150 million Euro is being repaid by Austrian bank BAWAG PSK to the state, leaving the lender with just under two thirds of repayments left to make.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Design markets offer an alternative Christmas in Vienna|
|Two Brothels Closed in Red Light Clampdown|
|Settlement puts an end to scandal between Vienna art museum and former director|
|Baby panda at Vienna Zoo finally gets a name|
|Austria has Top Four Ski Resorts|
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.