Posts Tagged worldwide catholic church

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.

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Voice of the Faithful® Prays for Pope & a Renewed Church as Benedict XVI Steps Down

Voice of the Faithful® prays for Pope Benedict XVI’s spiritual and physical health as he announces his resignation today, a move the Catholic Church has not seen for 600 years. The worldwide Catholic Church reform movement also prays that the new pope will be willing to listen to and discern the collective wisdom of all the people of God.

VOTF also hopes that, following the transition to a new pope, the Church can move more quickly toward full disclosure in the worldwide clergy sexual abuse scandal, accountability for those who have abetted the scandal, less secrecy in Church operation and a greater voice for the laity in how the Church is run.

Once thought of as an American problem, the clergy sexual abuse scandal circled the world by 2010, and revelations since 2002 have clearly shown the Church hierarchy knew about clergy sexual abuse for decades and kept it secret by transferring pedophile priests and covering up their crimes.

Despite Pope Benedict’s efforts to make a greater commitment to cleaning up the abuse scandal and address financial improprieties, the church still faces numerous problems, such as, loss of collegiality between Vatican curia and bishops, narrow doctrinal definitions that challenge valid theological inquiries, refusal to discuss the second-class status of women in the Church, demands that religious woman subordinate their social justice missions to Vatican control and, ultimately, a failure to hold accountable all bishops who were complicit in covering up clergy sexual abuse.

VOTF prays a new pope will emphasize transparency and accountability that can heal rifts in the Church and lead to fulfillment of Vatican II promises for a renewed Church, one open to ministering within today’s world rather than seeking a return to a world many centuries past.

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