Critical need by 8/31:   $10,000 to cover a crippling immediate shortfall.   $7,370 to go.   Please help now!
Click here to advertise on

Dissident Austrian priests plan to take 'Call to Disobedience' international

Catholic World News - January 23, 2012

A dissident Austrian priest hopes to encourage an international movement of clerics who defy the authority of the Church.

Msgr. Helmut Schüller, the head of the Austrian Priests’ Initiative, said that “2012 will be the year of internationalization” for his protest movement. Last year the group issued a “Call to Disobedience,” urging priests to ignore liturgical rules and Church teachings on questions such as homosexuality, clerical celibacy, sharing the Eucharist with Protestants, the ordination of women, and Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics. The Priests’ Initiative claims the backing of about 400 Austrian clerics.

Msgr. Schüller told reporters that he did not expect any further discussions with Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna. The cardinal had said last year that he was hoping to resolve conflict with the dissident priests thought dialogue. Cardinal Schönborn criticized the Priests Initiative for encouraging disobedience, saying that the term carries a “negative connotation.” If disobedience is applied to the faith, the said, “then it can lead to serious conflict.” Nevertheless the cardinal has repeatedly indicated that he does not plan any disciplinary action against the rebellious priests.

Msgr. Schüller, the head of the dissident group, was vicar general of the Vienna archdiocese until Cardinal Schönborn removed him in 1999; he later became head of the charitable group Caritas Austria.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Spring Challenge Grant
Progress toward our Spring Challenge Grant goal ($17,684 to go):
$35,000.00 $17,316.18
51% 49%
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Bernadette - Jan. 25, 2012 12:25 PM ET USA

    Cardinal Schonborn is lacking in courage. He needs much prayer. He fears the loss of all those priests if he comes down hard on them with excommunications. All of our hierarchy need to realize that they have the Truth on their side, Jesus Christ! So, let the priests leave! They lead the flock astray! Which is worse? To lose the dissident and disobedient priests or to confuse and lead the flock away from the Church? God will reward the cardinal for doing what is right! Excommunicate!

  • Posted by: Chestertonian - Jan. 23, 2012 7:02 PM ET USA

    They might as well rename it to "Call to Heresy" or "Excommunication" and at least be honest about it.Abp Schonborn needs to man up and send them all back to the seminary for some serious retraining in Church doctrine, of which they seem woefully ignorant. Failing that, excommunication would be a mercy, whether they have the understanding to see it that way or not. They need to realize that they can't merely dabble in heresy, which seems au curant in too many dioceses.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on

Recent Catholic Commentary

No, the Pope did not endorse a gay-friendly children's book 2 hours ago
Legal pressure does not make sterilization moral 23 hours ago
Just as you suspected, most polls are useless. August 26
Intrinsic evil can't be evaluated on a case-by-case basis August 26
'Catholicism by osmosis is dead'—Weigel hits the nail on the head August 26

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: welcome with compassion those who have remarried outside the Church CWN - August 5