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Austria: pastor bars homosexual from parish council

March 22, 2012

The parish priest of a small parish in the Archdiocese of Vienna has refused to allow an openly homosexual 26-year-old to serve on the parish council. Florian Stangl, who is disabled, lives in a registered domestic partnership and obtained 96 out of 142 votes in the recent parish council election.

Father Gerhard Swierzek also asked Stangl not to receive Holy Communion.

The vicar forane who heads the local deanery, Father George von Horick, criticized Father Swierzek’s decision, “When we have permission for those candidates who are divorced and remarried,” Father von Horick said, then “homosexual tendencies and life” do not preclude a parish council candidacy.

The archdiocese, however, said in a statement that living in a domestic partnership precludes one from serving on a parish council.


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  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Mar. 22, 2012 12:47 PM ET USA

    Father von Gorick pretty well explained it. Pray for Father Swierzek.