Austrian bishops in extraordinary meeting with Pope
June 15, 2009
Pope Benedict XVI met on June 15 with a group of bishops from Austria, led by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna. Although the Pontiff meets regularly with delegations of bishops from various countries, as they complete their ad limina visits, his session with the Austrian prelates was scheduled outside the usual channels (the Austrian bishops are not making ad limina visits this year), in response to severe problems facing the Church in that country.
The top item on the agenda was reportedly the situation in the Diocese of Linz, where an open rebellion among the clergy prompted the withdrawal of the Pope's decision to name Msgr. Gerhard Wagner as an auxiliary bishop earlier this year. The Austrian bishops had criticized the appointment, faulting the Vatican for a lack of consultation.
The Church in Austria has been troubled by heavy defections and widespread dissent for years.
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