Thanks once again to Bridget Mary's Blog for this revolutionary news from Vienna. Lay Catholics will begin to celebrate the Eucharist on their own in priestless parishes. This is just the kind of prophetic act the Church needs in this time of crisis to highlight the fact that the hierarchy, who have become mere bureaucratic administrators of Church 'buildings' and little more (except as signs of contradiction), do not possess some charismatic superiority, some special supernatural power, that elevates them above the laity. It is this misinformed adulation and 'idolization' of hierarchical power that the community called Church needs to purge from its body, this powerful addiction to sacral power residing exclusively in specially blessed male leaders. This act, if carried out, has implications far more profound than simply providing a solution to the priest shortage. The very system of clericalism needs to go and nothing less than a shock of this magnitude will effect such a profound purification. Blessings upon the We Are Church group in Vienna.
VIENNA Mon Nov 7, 2011
(Reuters) - "Dissident Austrian Catholics announced lay people will start celebrating Mass when a priest is unavailable, a clear call to disobedience just as the country's bishops hold their autumn conference.
A manifesto adopted by dozens of activists at the weekend said lay people will preach, consecrate and distribute communion in priestless parishes, said Hans Peter Hurka, head of the group We Are Church.
"Church law bans this. The question is, can Church law overrule the Bible? We are of the opinion, based on findings from the Second Vatican Council, that this (ban) is not possible," he said Monday...
Schoenborn, a former student and close associate of Pope Benedict, has ruled out sweeping changes demanded by dissident priests led by his former deputy, Rev. Helmut Schueller...The group, which claims to represent about 10 percent of the Austrian clergy, has challenged Church teaching on taboo topics such as priestly celibacy and women's ordination..."
"...A record 87,000 Austrians left the Church in 2010, many in reaction to sexual abuse scandals."