the power of a jpeg

By Diogenes (articles ) | Feb 03, 2005

We've seen it happen already in Minnesota, South Africa, and Austria: the faithful complain about irregular or deviant practices; they get brushed off by the Chancery; someone posts a photo illustrating the situation on the Net and -- quicker than you can say, "We're on a learning curve here" -- a midlife change in career has been announced for another clergyman.

It appears that lightning has struck a second time in the Danubian hinterlands. A week or so ago Fr. Bryce Sibley blogged a photo of a man dressed as a deacon seeming to enact the Liturgy of the Eucharist at a children's Mass. Samy Schrittwieser, the creative deacon in question, tends a parish in the Linz diocese and had imprudently displayed jpegs of himself on the parish website, among them pix of his sharing suspiciously sacerdotal altar duties with his pastoral assistant and a Protestant minister, both female. Even though the Austrian Church has been renewed to the brink of oblivion, a remnant of skeptics was not amused by Samy's Mystery Eucharist Theatre, and said so.

"His Excellency can't come to phone right now..."

As of Tuesday (according to the Austrian Kath.Net story) the diocese had made no public statement about the case, although all the controversial photos have been taken down from the parish site. It's too early to predict in detail what explanations will be tendered, but we can confidently assume that the situation merits further study.


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  • Posted by: - Feb. 03, 2005 5:51 PM ET USA

    ISO 9000 is a good program. We used in when I was in IT. It got our response time from 4 weeks to 5 days and that's initial request to PC on the customers desk. The problem is the using ISO 9000 takes practicality, analyitical skills and management skills. So far I haven't seen many bishops or diocesan bureaucrats manifest those skills. Cutsy Masses, sentimental slop about community, and just as sentimental junk music. I don't think the bishops has the skills necessary to implement USO 9000

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Feb. 03, 2005 5:26 PM ET USA

    Deacon Samy needs a charitable slammy upside the ol' noggin'. If I were a priest in his diocese, I would help to tie the millstone around this deacon's neck. Where is his bishop? Deacon Samy should be removed immediately and the people in the diocese need to know the truth of the matter. Or does Samy's bishop need to be removed and have his faculties suspended as well? Jesus, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 03, 2005 11:26 AM ET USA

    My recommendation, as a retiree from industry, is that the Church mandate quality training and a thorough examination before elevating to the episcopacy. Only ISO 9000 (which is still prostitutable) will do - no Baldwin, etc. The primary objective of a quality program is to guarantee the cash flow of the company - not the objective here. But it also teaches how to manage - in our case for orthodoxy and holiness - something which our Bishops seem congenitally immune to.