Clearing out the rot in the Catholic Church

BELGIUM, February 25, 2009 ( – Pope Benedict’s selection of an orthodox Austrian priest as auxiliary bishop in the ultraliberal diocese of Linz has generated a firestorm of protest from liberal Catholics in the laity, among priests and even the bishops of Austria.  The furor was venomous in the media, priests voted to reject the nomination, and last week the priest himself – “not entirely voluntarily” – signed a letter asking the Pope to withdraw his appointment to the bishopric.  The Vatican has not, however, accepted the resignation.

The priest’s request to withdraw his nomination may be rejected by Rome according to a prominent German-speaking blogger, who is the main source of the developments to the English-speaking world.

In a recent interview with the Austrian newspaper Tagespost, Fr. Gerhard Wagner stated that his resignation was “not totally voluntary,” according to Chris Gillibrand, who covers the Linz diocese on his blog “Catholic Church Conservation.”

Fear of ongoing opposition, which had been fierce in the days following his nomination by the pope, was the basis of his decision, Wagner told Tagespost.  He was reportedly concerned that parishes might turn him away when he came for confirmations or parish visits.

He also stated that the diocesan bishop, Ludwig Schwarz, was himself experiencing “anxiety and distress” at the thought of his ordination and its likely consequences. “The deaneries perhaps I could convince, but what happens when the bishop gets scared?”  he said.

Gillibrand calls the statement by Wagner an “ecclesiastical bomb,” because resignation from an office due to “grave fear” unjustly or maliciously inflicted is invalid, according to ecclesiastical law.

Gillibrand says that the diocese of Linz is overrun with dissent and heresy against the Church.  “The diocese is no longer ruled by the bishop but by a libero-clerical elite which is itself dominated by a pseudo-clerical lay elite,” he told LifeSiteNews.

Wagner has in the past provoked the ire of the diocese’s liberal establishment by speculating that Hurricane Katrina might be retribution for sin, and speaking of the idea of curing people of homosexuality.  He has also denounced the Harry Potter books, echoing the sentiments of Pope Benedict XVI, expressed while he was still a cardinal.

Many of the ultraliberal Austrian bishops, including Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, have joined in the assault on Wagner, indirectly scolding Benedict for his decision to appoint him.

“The faithful are legitimately concerned that the process of candidate search, examination of the proposals and the final decisions should be carefully undertaken and with pastoral sensitivity are possible,” they wrote in a recent statement. “This can ensure that bishops are appointed who are not ‘against’ but ‘for’ a local church. We bishops will make every possible effort to support the forthcoming episcopal appointments in the sense of monitoring these procedures in close cooperation with the relevant Vatican offices.”

However, bishop Andreas Laun, auxiliary of Salzburg, has openly defended Wagner, comparing his treatment to a crucifixion.  “With the indictment, the verdict is known: ‘Away with him!'” wrote Laun recently for the German website

I saw this report a few days ago on Catholic World News.  I know a lot of people are going to be upset by this, but I’m not.  I feel more relief than anything else because FINALLY the Church is beginning to push back against the liberal elements within its body.

If schism has to come, then let it come.  It will be the most liberating feeling, I guarantee you.

Best to be honest about the Catholic faith, then pretend. And we’ve been pretending for the last 40 years.

My only hope is that the same muscle is applied right here in Canada.  Please, dear God, clear out the rot here too!

6 thoughts on “Clearing out the rot in the Catholic Church

  1. I am relieved as well. There needs to be a purification as well as a conversion of modern day catholics. I am tired of the confusion that is reigning in our media over what the church if for or against. I hope that lukewarmness will not be considered a virtue anymore. Authentic catholicism does exist and is not just relative to cultural norms. God Bless Pope Benedict XVI!!!!

  2. 2 Timothy 4:3
    For the time will come when people will not tolerate healthy doctrine, but with itching ears will surround themselves with teachers who cater to their people’s own desires.

    Hallelujah for Benedict

  3. Also: re media yidder-yadder about this, (or anything else regarding what we, Christ’s Holy Church do) …who cares. We attend to our business and they can attend to theirs.

    But he told him, “Let the dead bury their own dead. But you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
    Luke 9:60

  4. I don’t think its fair that the article called Cardinal Schönborn an ultra-liberal. Schönborn was the Cardinal who caused a big stir by defending Intelligent Design. He directed the writing of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which has been a great help combatting the lies of the liberals trying to take over the church. He’s often called a “close ally of the pope”.

  5. “Beloved, being very eager to write to you of our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3/RSV) This is exactly what the Holy Father is emulating, as an appeal to widespread dissent in North America and Europe. As a Catholic convert I am shocked that a Cardinal (Schonborn) would award one of the Church’s highest orders to an abortion supporter!

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