Thursday, August 18, 2011

Viennese Dogmatic Theologian: The Pastor's Initiative May Have Schismatic Consequences

Edit: Schism is still brewing in the German speaking countries, like this parish in Freiburg.  Cardinal Schönborn has already asked the participants in the "Pastor's Initiative" to reflect on whether they are Catholic or not and seems determined to carry on without the three hundred signators of the declaration.

Viennese Professor of Dogmatic Theology: This could "have schismatic consequences: in the worst case it could lead to a sectarian counter-church."  A Bishop can't be indifferent to this, "he must intervene immediately."

Vienna ( In some points in the Pastor's Initiative there is "room for discussion", perhaps in the question of those separated and divorced to permit them to receive Communion, or in the assessment of homosexual partnerships, which are of long duration.  This is what Jan-Heiner Tück, Vienna Dogmatic Theology Professor, and author of the "International Catholic Journal Communio",  said in an interview with the "Standard".

The "dissatisfaction with the lack of reforms" is "great in certain parts of the clergy",  explains the pressure, says the professor, which demands priestly ordination for women and lay ministers, he goes on further to explain.  But "a public outcry for disobedience is a provocative act", explained Tück, " which stands in direct contradiction to the promises, that were signed by a priest when he became ordained.  Otherwise the Initiative has a few points against proposals of Church regulations, he named some such as the "Call to Disobedience" demanding the arbitrary allowance of remarried, divorced, non-Catholics and lapsed to receive the Eucharist, according to the "Standard".

A Danger for the Church in reference to the Pastor's Intiative lies in that "which the criticism goes so far, as not merely proposing , rather also at the same time -- without the agreement of the Bishop -- will be applied".  This may "have schismatic consequences: it will lead in the worst case to form a sectarian counter-church."  A Bishop can not be indifferent to this, "he must intervene immediately."  In any case it would be more sensible, says the Professor, from this point forward to "have discussions behind the scenes".

As a solution Tück proposes that both sides come around "and make no denunciations".  What is clear is that: "Should all of the proposals" of the Pastor's Initiative "be adopted with a single blow, then the Church would have a different face than anything that has been seen for centuries."

The so-called "Pastor's Initiative" is an Internet campaign which has about 300 members and in future insists that there is no allowance for a "Roman intervention":  homemade liturgies of the word on Sunday like observing "priestless Eucharistic celebrations" and to rely on "guest lecturers",  "to discuss proposals for Church reform" in every Liturgy while ignoring the rule against lay preachers, and to openly utilize lay preachers and married or female priests at every opportunity and similar such things.

The Viennese Archbishop Christoph Cardinal Schönborn had already been cited  at in an exhaustive discussion, where he "can not tolerate such a call to disobedience".

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