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Vienna archdiocese to cut parishes by 75 per cent

By on Thursday, 18 October 2012

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn (Photo: CNS)

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn (Photo: CNS)

The Archdiocese of Vienna has said it will press ahead with a major reorganisation that will include closing most of its parishes over 10 years, despite objections from some local Catholics.

The archdiocese’s 660 parishes will be merged over the next decade into around 150 larger parishes, each served by three to five priests and offering regular Masses.

Michael Prüller, archdiocesan spokesman, said: “Our emphasis isn’t just on reorganising the Church, but on reinvigorating the missionary impulses of the entire Christian community.

“Although we can debate how best to achieve it, the plan’s main aim isn’t open to discussion.”

Mr Prüller told the American Catholic News Service that falling numbers of clergy and laity had made the changes necessary. He said smaller affiliated communities within the parishes will be run by lay volunteers authorised to conduct the Liturgy of the Word.

Prüller said archdiocesan bishops would draft the new parish boundaries and steps for implementing the reorganisation by January 1.

He added that experiences from Latin America, Africa and Asia suggested ordained priests were not needed “in every small town and village” and that larger parishes could be introduced “without losing the nearness of people to their church”.
“As society changes, the Church has to change its old-fashioned practices and structures, too,” he said.

“The Church’s mission of apostolate and evangelisation isn’t just the responsibility of parish priests, but of the whole community of baptised and confirmed. If this reorganisation creates more vibrant Christian communities, praying, celebrating Mass, conducting mission and helping the needy together, then it could offer a model for Church reforms throughout Europe.”

Speaking in September, after the reorganisation was announced, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna said the reform would be the archdiocese’s biggest for two centuries and would mean “saying goodbye to much that has become dear to us”.
But he said the reorganisation would help pool resources, reduce administration and “leave more time for evangelisation”.

“This is about a new cooperation between priests and laity from their common Christian vocation,” the cardinal told the news conference, which was reported by Austria’s Kathpress news agency.

“We have to free ourselves of the traditional image that the Church is present only where there’s a priest and stress the common priesthood of all baptised,” he said.

Mr Prüller said the reorganisation had been preceded by a “long consultation phase”, but could not be “discussed endlessly”.

He added that it would not alter the ratio of priests to lay Catholics and said other dioceses in France and Germany had also made “groundbreaking structural changes” and re-trained their parish teams.

“It will be much more efficient and robust to have several priests working together, rather than priests left totally by themselves,” the spokesman said. “The local Christian communities will be counted on to take care of those needing help, such as the elderly, so that everyone can get to Mass.”

The reform was supported by several Austrian newspapers, including the mass-circulation Die Presse daily, which said in an editorial it was “not only understandable but imperative” to centralise parish work.

But a theologian and sociologist, Fr Paul Zulehner, said that in an online survey the reform had been opposed by most Catholic respondents.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

     IT LOOKS LIKE WORLDLY WISDOM SPREADING ITSELF

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

     HI, JESUS ALIVE, WHY DO YOU SPEAK LIKE THIS?

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

     “Yes , but its so, so sad isn’t it.”

    THIS IS THE PROBLEM WHEN JESUS THE LIGHT IS NOT FOLLOWED.

    MERE INTELLIGENCE IS NOT ENOUGH; MANY TALENTS AND QUALITIES ARE OF NO USE WHEN COUNSEL OF LORD IS NOT LISTENED TO AND OBEYED.

    SEEK THE CALLER AND LISTEN TO HIM AND OBEY HIM, THEN HE YOUR SON WILL SEE IT DIFFERENTLY. JESUS IS ALIVE.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

    YOUR SON MUST GO DOWN ON HIS KNEES IN FRON’T OF THE CRUCIFIED LORD AND GET HIS ANSWERS FROM HIM.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

     VERY POSITIVE.

    LET US GO AHEAD …..THE PRIESTS SHOULD BE APOSTLES AND  NOT REMAIN AS MERE PRIESTS.

    ALL TRULY GOOD PEOPLE JESUS PROMOTED TO APOSTLESHIP; THE SEVENTY, ST.PAUL, THE YOUNG MAN WHO SAID WHEN CALLED BY THE LORD, “LET ME GO AND BURY FIRST MY FATHER” (JESUS TOLD HIM, ” LET THE DEAD BURY THEIR OWN DEADS, AS FOR YOU YOU COME AND PROCLAIM THE KINGDOM OF GOD”.
    THIS IS APOSTLESHIP WITH BETTER SCOPE FOR JESUS HAD SAID, ONCE I AM BACK TO MY FATHER, “YOU WILL DO GREATER THINGS….”

    EVEN AMONG PAGANS TOO THERE ARE PRIESTS. PRIESTHOOD IN ITSELF IS NOT THE GREATEST GIFT JESUS CAN GIVE US.

    JESUS MADE HIS MOTHER THE QUEEN OF THE APOSTLES.
    POPE JN. PAUL II CALLED MARY MAGDALENE, THE APOSTLE TO THE APOSTLES.

    PRIESTS GLORY PRACTICALLY IN PERFORMING DEAD RITUALS. WHAT IS SO GREAT ABOUT IT?

    IF THE WORLD IS NOT SAVED, CHRISTIANS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR IT. SAVING THE WOLD REQUIRES APOSTLES; FOR THESE PROCLAIM THE WORDS OF THE WORD WHICH BRING SALVATION TO THE WORLD.

    WHEN THE LEADERS BECAME BLIND ( JESUS WARNED US OF FOLLOWING BLIND LEADERS ) THEY DIVIDED PRIESTHOOD FROM APOSTLESHIP AND SERVED IT ON A PLATE TO EQUALLY BLIND PEOPLE AND IT CONTINUES WITH FEW EXCEPTIONS.

    APOSTLESHIP IS THE KEY.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

     IN THE PRIMITIVE CHURCH EVERY CHRISTIAN WAS AN APOSTLE; SO THE CHURCH GREW AND SPREAD VERY FAST UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF THE SPIRIT OF JESUS.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

     
    THE WHOLE WORLD IS THINKING OF MAKING YOU THE POPE : BENEDICT XVII !

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

     
    JESUS MADE PRIESTS (AND NOT APOSTLES?) OUT OF TWELVE PEOPLE WHO WERE  ABUNDANTLY GRACED WITH GOODWILL, GENEROSITY, MATURITY AND JOYOUS FREEDOM; THESE LEFT THEIR MARRIED STATUS AND FOLLOWED JESUS AND SO THEY BORE FRUITS ABUNDANTLY FOR THE LORD WHO CALLED THEM.

    DEMANDING PRIESTHOOD FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO ENJOY REMAINING IN MARRIAGE! HOW DOES IT GO  WELL WITH THE DEMAND AND EXAMPLE OF THE LORD?

    THE CHURCH OF PETER IS THE BEST EXAMPLE OF FOLLOWING JESUS THE LORD. DOES IT KEEP MARRIED PRIESTS?

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

     
    IN APOSTLESHIP THERE IS PRIESTHOOD. THIS IS THE CASE WITH THE ORIGINAL TWELVE OF THE LORD; BUT  IN PRIESTHOOD THERE IS THERE APOSTLESHIP? MERELY PROMOTING PRIESTHOOD IS REVERTING TO PAGAN STATUS.

    THIS ABOVE HAS HAPPENED, THAT IS WHY THE WORLD REMAINS UNEVANGELISED. ONLY APOSTLES CAN EVANGELISE THE WORLD, NOT MERE PRIESTS. ANYBODY CAN PERFORM “RITUALS OF THE DEAD” TO “BURY THEIR OWN DEAD”. PAGANS HAVE SUCH MERE PERFORMERS OF DEAD RITUALS IN ABUNDANCE.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

    DEMAND FOR MARRIED PRIESTS IS A DIRECT CONSEQUENCE OF INSTITUTIONALISATION OF THE CHURCH OF THE LORD.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

     
    WHEN MEN BECOME GRACED ENOUGH (FOR THEN THEIR ANIMALITY IS DISCIPLINED, AND DISCIPLINE IS THE WISDOM OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST THE LORD IMPRINTED ON NATURE) TO BECOME APOSTLES, WOMEN TOO MAY HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY….MARY, THE MOTHER OF THE LORD WAS THE QUEEN OF THE APOSTLES; AND  MARY MAGDALENE, “APOSTLE TO THE APOSTLES”.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

     “Vatican II has done it….all confidence it lost.”

    VATICAN II HAS DONE AWAY WITH MANY REASONS FOR FALSEHOOD-BASED  CONFIDENCE BUILDING.

    THOSE WHO ARE NOT ACCEPTING VAT.II SHOULD READ THE JOYOUS HOPE OF POPE JOHN XXIII AND POPE PAUL VI REF. SUNDAY SHALOM IN THESE DAYS OF CELEBRATION OF VAT.II

    JESUS THE LORD SAID, “COME TO KNOW THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH WILL MAKE YOU FREE”.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

     
    THE CHURCH OF ST. PETER IS VERY GENEROUS TO MEET THE NEEDS OF ALL.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

    THE RUST FALLING AWAY IS GOOD FOR THE CHURCH. IT IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD EXCEPT FOR THE BLIND.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

    IT IS THE PROBLEM WHICH IS OF TOTALLY CLOSED GROUPS. THE CHURCH IS NOT SUCH A CLOSED GROUP.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

     GODS OF THE EARTH ARE ABSOLUTISTS.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

    “But a theologian and sociologist, Fr Paul Zulehner, said that in an
    online survey the reform had been opposed by most Catholic respondents.”

    THE REASONS ARE:

    1.LACK KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE CHURCH AND WHY IS IS HAPPENING.

    2.THEIR OWN CONCERN WITH SECURITY, OF COURSE IT IS ONLY SKIN DEEP SECURITY WHICH THE PEOPLE CONCERNED MAY NOT ACCEPT AS SUCH.

    THE SECURITY THAT COMES FROM THE PERFORMANCE OF SOME RITUALS AND BEING PARTICIPANT  IN THEM  IS THEIR GREATEST CONCERN PERHAPS.

    3. NOT FEELING WITH THE LOCAL AND UNIVERSAL CHURCH.

  • No more NO!

     A) Christ was Celibate and a Priest is supposed to be married to the Church. – and like Christ to be willing to lay down His life for His Bride and be faithful to Her Traditions, Her virtue must be beyond question, Her innocence, like Christ, Spotless, pure and unblemished.

    B)  Christ promises blessings to those Male Virgins who forgo the Mortal transient Married state and choose to be Celibate  for the Kingdom.- Apart from other key passages advocating the blessings gained for those who remain celibate (as Christ did) for the sake of the Heavenly Kingdom, look at THESE words from the Book of the Apocalypse Chapter 14

    1] ……..and lo a lamb stood upon mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty-four thousand, having his name, and the name of his Father, written on their foreheads.  
    ………. THESE ARE THEY WHO WERE NOT DEFILED WITH WOMEN: FOR THEY ARE VIRGINS.  These follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. 

    THESE WERE PURCHASED FROM AMONG MEN, THE FIRST FRUITS TO GOD AND TO THE LAMB:  And in their mouth there was found no lie; for THEY ARE WITHOUT SPOT BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD.

    http://www.drbo.org/x/d?b=drb&bk=73&ch=14&l=1#x

    ,,,also, as St Paul instructs us in I Corinthians 7

    ….”He that is without a wife, is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please GOD. [33] But he that is WITH a wife, is solicitous for the things of the WORLD, how he may please his wife, and he is divided. [34] And the unmarried woman and the virgin thinketh on the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she that is MARRIED, thinketh on the things of the world, how she may please her husband…… 

    PS  - re:  The 140,000 – As you possibly realise, the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe themselves to be the 140,000 special people mentioned in the BIble – On which translation do they base it?  This is an exact translation of the wording of the original 4th Century Latin Vulgata of St Jerome  (The Vulgate was decreed at the Council of Trent, and by Pope Pius XII to be “without error”  for ever!  However, Trust and obedience being what it is today, New Translations containing different words are being encouraged.  Consequently, some believe (erroneously it seems) that the Vulgata of St Jerome can now be found fault with? This English language version of THAT Vulgate is called the Douay Rheims, – Translated in the 16th Century  The passage regarding the 140,000 is directed at Disciples who have chosen Celibacy and the Kingdom over Marriage to a Earthly Spouse. ie: Priests or Monks, who forgo the Married Life to be more closely linked to Christ and His Bride the Church.  Consecrated women – Nuns, are the Earthly Spouses of Christ -.so their situation is different to that of the Male Consecrated Religious.

    PPS By the way – it is a fact, that  the Douay Rheims (and Vulgate of St Jerome ) have many more pages and passages of Scripture in them  than the Modern Bibles do –  ?????  I have a scanned copy (hardbacked) of the original text.  It is unbelievably different to the modern versions.  Our Lord seems so beautiful and the wording of the modern versions is very often incorrectly translated and does not appear to be in context.

  • Basil Loftus

    So you can use lower case letters!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    What are you on about?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    We’re not in the time of the primitive church now though, are we?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    BUT IT’S NOT “RUST”, IS IT? 

    IT’S IMMORTAL SOULS.

  • Inquisator

    “…. they are all ‘weird’, “strange”, odd”. Such an arrogant comment for him to make; and then for you to qualfy it by declaring him to be the ‘normal’ one. 

    I wonder what they all thought of him.

  • Neo-cat

    “Sigh”  My sons formation is ongoing, who knows where he will be in a few years time. My son is a typical young man, its not arrogant to have an opinion., you have just given one with far less information at hand than me or my son.
    If Society cannot relate to its Priests, and its Priests cannot relate to Society ythen the Church will be in big trouble. My Son is just a microcosm of that.
    After watching the excelent “Catholics” series on the BBC, the 1st thing my friends commented on was that the Seminarians were a bit odd and uninspiring !