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Linz priest who opposed bishop's appointment admits living with girlfriend

March 09, 2009

An Austrian priest who helped rally opposition to the Pope's appointment of an auxiliary bishop for the Linz diocese has admitted that he keeps a mistress, the German-language Kath.net news service has revealed. Father Josef Friedl, one of the 31 deans who said they would refuse to accept the episcopal ordination of Father Gerhard Maria Wagner, told a public forum that he opposes the discipline of priestly celibacy and lives with his girlfriend; he said that his parishioners have no objections. According to the daily Der Welt, Friedl is one of several deans of the Linz diocese who lives openly with a woman. Meanwhile another Austrian prelate, Bishop Egon Kapellari of Graz, said that Father Wagner-- who has withdrawn from the episcopal appointment-- had "traumatized" the Austrian public with his public statements of opposition to homosexuality and insistence that God punishes sin.

 
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