Monday, October 10, 2011
GOING BACKWARDS CAN HAVE A POSITIVE EFFECT BUT THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO GET BACK ON THE RIGHT ROAD
In their latest newsletter, the 407 priests and deacons of Austria say: "We have been asked to revoke our 'Call to Disobedience' but cannot do so in good conscience as we continue to stand by its contents."
The priests are demanding reform or dialogue on the issues of priestly celibacy, women Communion for the divorced and remarried. They also want an enhanced role for the laity in the Church.
"Disobeying certain valid and strict church rulings and laws has for years been part of our life and work as priests. If we were to profess publicly that we did not think or act in this way that would only further exacerbate the discord in the Church and its pastoral work," they said in their letter.
Speaking this week in Dublin, where he was addressing a meeting of the Irish Association of Catholic Priests (ACP), Mgr Schüller told The Tablet that when he became vicar general in Vienna in 1995 – a post he held until 1999, working under Archbishop Christoph Schönborn – he had hoped for change in the Church in line with what was permitted by the Second Vatican Council.
"But now we have the suspicion that the Vatican wants the Church to go backwards," he said.
My comments: Many progressives believe that the Church is going backwards and that this is a bad thing. Yet they would have not said that in the 1960's when many progressive theologians wanted the Church to return to the early Church in terms of the hierarchy, the liturgy and lay involvement.
Occasionally, I've seen people exit an interstate realizing they've made a mistake and backing up in a dangerous way to get back on the right way. Actually all they needed to do was to get back on the on-ramp at the end of the exit they were on and integrate back onto the right road without causing an accident.
There is nothing wrong with going back to the right road, just do it safely. I believe what Pope Benedict is doing in his ministry is the safest way to do it. He is steering a huge ship which is the Church and going backwards is not an option, nor is any strong right turn, but merging back into our tradition is the best way to go even if it takes longer to do so, it's the safest.