(Vienna) He was named in 2009 but an unprecedented smear campaign prevented Bishop Gerhard Maria Wagner of the Diocese of Linz. He has today presented and talked plaintext his new book. 2009, the Upper Austrian priest Wagner had become a victim of bishop-bashing, which is a popular smear game in trend-setting circles. Now, he said the church in Austria is not only in a precarious condition, but is a "pig stye" in which it "stinks".
Pastor Wagner 2009 Victim of the Bishop-Bashing
The list of victims of the bishop-bashing is already considerable. It ranges from Bavaria with Bishop Walter Mixa of Augsburg to Hesse with Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz van Elst of Limburg and Grisons with Bishop Wolfgang Haas from Chur to Lower Austria with Bishop Kurt Krenn of St. Pölten. The blocking of Rev. Gerhard Maria Wagner 2009 as auxiliary bishop of Linz is a special variant of the smear game. Wagner was then not allowed to take office.
The persecution is only possible because authoritative church circles are interested in the jettisoning personal rivals because of personal or ideological reasons and have been actively involved behind the scenes.
The fight against Wagner was tantamount to an exemplary execution, while the Windischgarsten priest was supposed to have only been an auxiliary bishop, i.e. auxiliary bishop of Linz. An auxiliary bishop has entrusted to him only as much decision-making power as is given him by the responsible diocesan bishop, and ig may be withdrawn from him again at any time. In the Diocese of Linz, however, there was the anxiety that the appointment of Bishop Wagner by Pope Benedict XVI. would be followed by an early position in the Episcopal succession by the same Wagner, if Diocesan Bishop Ludwig Schwarz were to complete his 75th year and become emeritus.
It's not only the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) write about Linz as "Left". The same could be said of the full-time staff apparatus of the diocese. At least the more influential part. With the subtle difference that it is not so much the SPÖ, but is more close to the Greens. There are hardly any Diocesan priestly voacations. Who would want to become a priest, would do this in the context traditional communities or seeks refuge in the still reasonably intact community of a monastery.
Feeble Roman Knees
The lay Apparatchiks and the Liberal, often effeminate clergy of Upper Austria quickly found allies in the media to begin shooting practice on a living object. In Austria it was belched loudly and Rome was already in its knees. Although Pastor Wagner was appointed over Pope's brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger and Pope's secretary Georg Gänswein handpicked him and with the best knowledge of the situation on the ground, the priest's career as a bishop ended after 30 days and did not get beyond the appointment status.
Pope Benedict XVI. would lose face because of the weak knees of Rome, Wagner asked formally to withdraw the appointment, which the Pope "granted".
On January 31, 2009 Wagner was appointed, and on 2 March 2009 Benedict XVI. granted a dispensation from the appointment. In the meantime, Pastor Wagner experienced hell on earth and the devout Catholic nation rubbed its eyes, as to how lies can produce a smear campaign. Each day new lies were unpacked. It wasn't until Wagner's "chalice" had passed over to progressive part of the Diocese, where it was presented as a trophy for hunted prey, that the whole nightmare was over.
Question of Episcopal Succession in Linz Directs Media Attention on Pastor Wagner
An Auxiliary Bishop Wagner would have done the Diocese of Linz, more good than ever, but his prospects to once again be considered for the episcopate by Rome are very small. Nevertheless, the retirement of the Diocesan Bishop Ludwig Schwarz is fast approaching. In this context, the media is again suddenly paying attention to the absent pastor Wagner again after years of peace.
Wagner obeyed in 2009 as a faithful son of the Church. Rome wanted him as auxiliary bishop and he accepted. Rome had changed her mind again under heavy pressure and he obeyed as well. After some time of silence, Wagner, however, took stock and spoke of a "conspiracy" to which he had fallen victim. Wagner today is also the publisher and editor of a Little Penny Sheet, with a wide circulation in Austria, which has the rare virtue of wise, but clear speech. He just said what was obvious, but at that time almost no one dared speak out.
New book "Heaven or Hell" - "Many People Feel Disoriented"
Wagner had raised his voice even after the appointment that it was not for him, but much more so for the Catholic Church in Austria a fiasco. The media hardly cared. But now someone feels their toes being stepped on. Today, Pastor Wagner has presented his new book, "Heaven or Hell." At the book launch, the sharp witted and eloquent priest was not sparing with plain writing and a gaze at the Archdiocese of Archbishop Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. Schönborn had supported Kasper's "mercy" last October at the Synod of Bishops in Rome and would also like to see a new "gradation" applied to all the sacraments. Wagner commented that the Archdiocese of Vienna was a "pig stye" in which there is a foul stench.The situation of the Church in Upper Austria, and born by opposites, says Wagner.
He wished "all the best" to the future Bishop of Linz. For himself, says Wagner as once before, he had already credited the need to "shovel out the pigsty". After all, the position of the Church is questionable because she is not on the right track. There were many tensions and many people are disoriented.
"We Basically Obey to be Catholic"
Pastor Wagner founded an initiative two years ago to strengthen the sacrament of penance in daily life. He called all the priests of the German-speaking countries that committed themselves, to sit every day for an hour to make confession available. In this context, Wagner complained today that in many parishes the Sacrament of Penance is "dead". In the liturgy there is a "momentum" that "disturbs" him. The reason for this is, among other things, an incomprehensible competition between laity and priests. There were quite a few priests who would"fear of the parish council meeting." "There's something wrong," said Wagner.
It's a disorientation, which is reinforced by the church or is only caused by it. Pastor Wagner quoting a priest who complained to him about his suffering, "that today we have to basically stop being Catholic."
In the Diocese of Linz There is an "Oligarchic Business"
However, his opinion was not in high demand in the diocese of Linz and he accused his home diocese of operating "quite a bit of an oligarchic business". He took to his bishop's defense, because not a few bishops are simply "alone" and isolated. As the homosexual Conchita Wurst Thomas Neuwirth was imposed as a Euro Vision winner, he had put "shame on Austria," said Pastor Wagner.
As for Pope Francis, Wagner says in his new book that he was pleased that the new Pope could find sympathy and confidence all over the world, but he does not notice in fact that the churches have become full, "people go to confession more and all that, praise Pope Francis, have become more religious in recent times," said Pastor Gerhard Maria Wagner, almost Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Linz.
The church circles referred to by Wagner responded with offense. The pastor "disqualifies" himself with these statements themselves, suggested the Vicar of Linz, Wilhelm Vieböck to the ORF: "I find it appalling that Father Wagner used the dramatic word, pigsty 'for the whole Church in Austria". Vieböck confirmed the same time, what is really going on in the background: Such an attitude does not qualify Wagner for higher church offices.
In June 2015 the Diocesan Bishop Ludwig Schwarz completed his 75th year. In Linz, nobody expects an extension in office. The Diocese sent Rome sent a shortlist few days ago of three candidates for the succession. What are names on the list, is not initially known. It can only be that the name of Father Wagner certainly not there.
Text: Martha Weinzl
image: ORF / JfdL (screenshot)
image: ORF / JfdL (screenshot)
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