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Leader of 'We Are Church' is excommunnicated

May 22, 2014

A leader of the European dissident group We Are Church has been excommunicated.

Martha Holzer was automatically excommunicated, along with her husband Gert, for “simulating the Mass,” the German-language news service reported. The couple issued a statement saying that they were “immensely shocked” by the disciplinary action.

The Holzers had regularly performed a ritual at home simulating the Catholic Mass, sources reported. The simulation of a sacrament is a grave crime under canon law, and the penalty is automatic excommunication. Bishop Manfred Scheuer of Innsbruck said that the Holzers were responsible for their own “self-excommunication.”


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  • Posted by: Defender - May. 22, 2014 10:27 PM ET USA

    It "only" took almost 20 years to do something, no wonder things are so messed up.

  • Posted by: Oliver Plunkett - May. 22, 2014 6:44 PM ET USA

    Shrink: I understand what you are saying but look at the prodigal son story. The younger son leaving the father, by his own accord, was not a victory for the father but left him always watching for his son to return. Disunity, which is diabolic, hurts the Church. The victory for the Church will be when these folks, like the prodigal son, come to their senses and return to the Church in humility and penance. We can't have the attitude of the older brother that remained faithful.

  • Posted by: mcomstoc6740 - May. 22, 2014 5:36 PM ET USA

    A prime purpose of the Church is to save souls. When this seems to be impossible then this is a defeat for the Church.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - May. 22, 2014 2:51 PM ET USA

    Are there other actions that result in automatic excommunication? What about the "specialty" of many American Catholic pols, giving public scandal repeatedly?

  • Posted by: shrink - May. 22, 2014 2:37 PM ET USA

    The linked article has this quote "Bishop Manfred Scheuer of Innsbruck described the development as a “self-excommunication”, which he said was “not a victory, but always a defeat for the Church”." What a strange thing to say. How is an exercise of justice a "always a defeat for the Church"? Was Arius a defeat? or, Pelagius?, or Stalin?. All started Catholic, and all walked. It was a loss to them, but not to the Church.