Posts Tagged Catholic Tipping Point

Austrian Reformist Priest Fr. Helmut Schuller Concludes U.S. Tour in Front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC

Austrian reformist priest Fr. Helmut Schuller started his 15-city U.S. speaking tour, Catholic Tipping Point: Conversations with Helmut Schuller, in New York City July 16. He concluded his tour there Aug. 8 in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. He brought his Roman Catholic Church reform message to more than 5,000 people during his tour and received a good deal of media coverage in the U.S. and Europe. After speaking to supporters in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Fr. Schuller delivered thousands of actual and virtual red ribbons symbolizing the Holy Spirit and support for reform goals to the office of Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He also delivered the following letter to Cardinal Dolan:

August 8, 2013

Dear Cardinal Dolan:

Over the past three weeks, I have met with thousands of Catholics – laity and clergy – in 15 cities across the U.S. to share experiences and to learn from one another. At each place I visited, participants in our conversations wore red ribbons, signifying the gift of the Holy Spirit given to all the faithful. These ribbons as well as nearly 2,000 online signatures have been collected, and we offer them to you as a sign of our commitment to our church, a community where the People of God should be represented at every level of leadership and decision-making.

I learned much during my conversations with American Catholics. I discovered very many who are working hard to meet the challenges facing us all and to give voice to their needs, as is their right and obligation under Canon 212. I also heard from many priests who are concerned about the future of their parishes and their ministries. Sadly, many do not feel free to speak openly about their concerns. This must be a matter of concern to you as president of the USCCB. I do not believe that there is any place for fear or intimidation in our Church, and yet I found it time and again in my talks with fellow priests. I also found this same intimidation in the attempts to prevent Catholics from hearing me in Boston, Philadelphia and Detroit.

My hope is that my visit contributed to an authentic Christian conversation that must take place across our Church in every country. As we all are inspired by the example of Pope Francis, we should engage in an honest dialogue about the challenges we must overcome in making our Church a sign of the Kingdom and a sacrament to the world of the 21st century. As you know, I and my fellow priests have been working in Austria and in other parts of Europe to cultivate this dialogue. We stand ready to assist you here in the U.S. in any way we can to encourage the same honest and fearless exchange of views.

In the peace of Jesus Christ,

Rev. Helmut Schüller

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Fr. Helmut Schuller in Los Angeles: Decrying ‘Dictatorship of Church Hierarchy’ / National Catholic Reporter

It was 7:15 p.m. Friday (Aug. 2). Seats in the dimly lit auditorium adjacent to the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Pasadena, Calif., were beginning to fill. More than 200 Catholics from the Los Angeles area had gathered to hear the presentation by Austrian priest Fr. Helmut Schüller, who is calling upon Catholics to defy church hierarchy … ‘We don’t have any rights in this church,’ he said. ‘You are I are citizens in two worlds: citizens of the secular society — a democratic society — and citizens of the church — citizens without any rights — in a dictatorship.’ Murmurs of agreement from the crowd at this indicate the message has resonated.” By Gabrielle Canon, National Catholic Reporter

Read all of Canon’s article in National Catholic Reporter by clicking here.

Fr. Schuller makes the last stop on his Catholic Tipping Point U.S. speaking tour in Manhasset, Long Island, tomorrow, Aug. 7.

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Evangelizing the Institutional Church: An Interview with Helmut Schuller / National Catholic Reporter

Much has been written about Austrian priest and reformer Helmut Schüller since he opened his 15-city U.S. tour, called “The Catholic Tipping Point,” in New York last week. Hours before Schüller’s July 16 debut in New York City, he and I sat down for an interview. Since many of the goals and ideas we discussed — such as the plan for an international meeting of priests, the new evangelization, his thoughts about Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s barring him from speaking, and the institutional church’s treatment of same-sex couples — have not made it into most of the media coverage of his speaking engagements, I am offering the text of our conversation, which has been edited for length and clarity. By Jamie Manson, National Catholic Reporter

Read Ms. Manson’s entire column by clicking here.

, , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Fr. Helmut Schuller Begins U.S. Speaking Tour

Voice of the Faithful® was the major sponsor of the first two stops, July 16 and 17, on reformist Austrian priest Fr. Helmut Schuller’s 15-city U.S. speaking tour this summer, “Catholic Tipping Point: Conversations with Fr. Helmut Schuller.” Here is are a couple of early news stories about his talk:

Fr. Helmut Schuller Kicks Off ‘Catholic Tipping Point’ Tour

Fr. Helmut Schüller should be on summer vacation right now. Instead, the Austrian priest, who gained international attention in 2011 for his “Call to Disobedience,” has chosen to spend his time off from parish ministry offering a presentation titled “The Catholic Tipping Point: Conversations” in 15 U.S. cities. The tour kicked off Tuesday night at Manhattan’s Judson Memorial Church, a historic community in Greenwich Village with affiliations to the United Church of Christ and the American Baptist Church.” By Jamie Manson, National Catholic Reporter

Read Jamie Manson’s entire article by clicking here.

Priest Says Grouping Parishes Will Weaken Church

An Austrian priest who advocates ordination of women and married men, a position that led Boston church leaders to bar him from speaking at a local parish, said Wednesday that plans like the one Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley has put forward to group parishes and priests into clusters weaken the church rather than strengthen it. The Rev. Helmut Schuller, who has long been concerned about how power is concentrated at the top echelons of the church hierarchy, is organizing a major priests’ movement in Austria that grew out of priests’ opposition to parish closings and restructuring plans that require clergy to minister to multiple churches. He argues that expanding the priesthood is a better answer than clustering plans that spread priests too thin, undermining their relationships with parishioners. By Lisa Wangsness, The Boston Globe

Read Lisa Wangsness’ entire article by clicking here.

Hundreds Pack Unitarian Church to Hear Reformist Catholic Priest

Hundreds of people, most of them Catholic, turned out Wednesday night in Dedham to hear a Catholic priest — a reformist — from Austria. The Rev. Helmut Schuller was scheduled to speak at St. Susanna Parish in Dedham, but was barred by Cardinal Sean O’Malley due to his positions on several issues which run contrary to official Catholic church doctrine. So the meeting was moved to a Unitarian church. By Fred Thys, WBUR-FM

Listen to Fred Thys’ entire story by clicking here.

Voice of the Faithful® and nine other Roman Catholic Church reform organizations have formed a coalition to support Fr. Schuller’s tour.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Reformist Austrian Catholic Priest Will Undertake U.S. Speaking Tour — Calling for institutional change and an inclusive priesthood

Fr. Helmut Schuller

Fr. Helmut Schuller

Amid calls for institutional change and an inclusive priesthood for the Roman Catholic Church, Austrian reformist priest Fr. Helmut Schuller is touring the United States this summer to raise awareness of his campaign.

Fr. Schuller’s speaking tour, called The Catholic Tipping Point: Conversations with Helmut Schuller, will cover 15 U.S. cities. The worldwide Catholic Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful® is a member of a coalition of Church reform organizations sponsoring his tour and is directly sponsoring his talks in New York City on July 16; Dedham, Massachusetts, on July 17; and Manhasset, New York, on Long Island on Aug. 7.

VOTF supports Fr. Schuller’s calls for transparency in Church governance, a greater lay voice in running the Church and the ordination of married Catholic men as priests.

Fr. Schuller founded the Austrian Priests’ Initiative in 2006 to address a global priest shortage and his U.S. tour comes in the midst of a crisis in the number of Catholic priests. A 2009 National Federation of Priests’ Councils study found that for every 100 priests who retire, only 30 are available to replace them.

In 2011, he led a “Call to Disobedience” among Austrian priests that was well received by more than 70% of them. Pope Benedict XVI rejected this initiative, and Fr. Schüller, who once served Cardinal Christoph Schönborn as vicar general, was stripped of his honorary title of “Monsignor, Chaplain of His Holiness,” though he remains a priest in good standing.

For more information about Fr. Schuller, his initiatives and his U.S. tour, click here.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment