Tuesday, 3 March 2009

The Linz Affair

Sitting in my inbox this morning was the following announcement from VIS:

'The Holy Father...Dispensed Msgr. Gerhard Wagner from accepting the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Linz , Austria."

You might recall that Mgsr Wagner resigned after being dumped on by many of the priests and laity of his diocese, his bishop and most of the Austrian hierarchy who objected to the fact that he is a conservative (and Linz is pretty much a liberal stronghold), and was not, we gather one of those formally proposed for the vacancy.

Now personally I wish the appointment had gone ahead. But the biggest problem of all in all this was that Msgr Wagner himself stumbled at the first obstacle - and there would have been many many more ahead. And clearly the Holy Father wasn't quite ready to start the all out war proceeding would have involved! Still, not a happy precedent in terms of the attempt to appoint solid bishops to replace the liberal mafia...

Nonetheless, I think it is pretty safe to assume (not withstanding the headline on this from Rorate Caeli) that the fallout from this isn't over yet. First there is the problem of the fairly outrageous statement by the Austrian Bishops Conference. Secondly there is the problem of what to do about Linz itself (whose bishop was in Rome over the weekend).

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