Can we be totally indifferent about a community which has 491 priests, 215 seminarians, 6 seminaries, 88 schools, 2 university-level institutes, 117 religious brothers, 164 religious sisters and thousands of lay faithful? Should we casually let them drift farther from the Church? I think for example of the 491 priests. We cannot know how mixed their motives may be. All the same, I do not think that they would have chosen the priesthood if, alongside various distorted and unhealthy elements, they did not have a love for Christ and a desire to proclaim him and, with him, the living God. Can we simply exclude them, as representatives of a radical fringe, from our pursuit of reconciliation and unity? What would then become of them?
requesting an amnesty for Father Friedl
On Monday priest Josef Friedl must meet Bishop Ludwig Schwarz. The conversation topic is sensitive, Friedl has finally admitted that he has had a companion in life. Protection for the parish priest of Ungenach now comes from a group of priest in relationships. A group of eight priests who are in affairs with women - most of them with children - will now support Father Josef Friedl with a letter to Bishop Ludwig Schwarz . "We want to ask the bishop to show understanding for the situation of Josef Friedl and let leniency prevail," says Werner K. (Editor's name known), parish priest in a parish in Upper Austria.
He and his wife have several children and meet regularly with eight priests also in relationships. "There are still plenty of others that share our fate," he says. In his parish, the relationship with a woman and the children together was not a secret and "no problem".
Cathcon had cause to visit a priest near Linz a few years ago and found himself sitting around a table with cohabitee and some "adopted" children. Report tomorrow on Cathcon- its just the tip of the iceberg. How did the Bishops ever allow it to get into this state?