jueves, abril 05, 2012

Pfarrer - Initiative Movement Appeal to Disobedience

The Very Rev. Hellmut Schueller


We are a movement committed to lively communities and against the closure of parishes. It is our aim to encourage communities and to point out that their priests do not live by a devil-may-care attitude. We are searching for new ways in a bid to keep well-tried traditions alive. It is with pressing concern and growing dissatisfaction that we priests observe how those responsible in the local churches and in the world wide church as a whole, are currently handling the major questions and problems facing our church at the moment.

The Roman refusal to take up long needed reforms and the inaction of the bishops, not only permits but demands that we follow our conscience and act independently: We priests want to set a mark for the future:


1. WE WILL include a petition for church reform in every liturgy.


2. WE WILL not deny Communion to faithful of good will, especially remarried people, members of other Christian churches, and in some cases those who have officially left the Catholic Church.*


3. WE WILL avoid as much as possible celebrating multiple times on Sundays and feast days, and avoid scheduling priests travelling around or priests unknown to the community. A locallyplanned Liturgy of the Word is preferable to providing guest performances.


4. WE WILL use the term “Priestless Eucharistic Celebration” for a Liturgy of the Word with distribution of Communion. This is how the Sunday Mass obligation is fulfilled when priests are in short supply.


5. WE WILL ignore the prohibition of preaching by competently trained laity, including female religion teachers. In difficult times, the Word of God must be proclaimed.


6. WE WILL advocate that every parish has a presiding leader – man or woman, married or unmarried, full-time or part time. Rather than consolidating parishes, We call for a new image of the priest.


7. WE WILL take every opportunity to speak up publicly for the admission of women and married people to the priesthood. These would be welcome colleagues in ministry.
We express solidarity with colleagues no longer permitted to exercise their ministry because we have married, and also with those in ministry who live in a permanent relationship.


Both groups live in accordance with their conscience – as we do with our protest.
We see in them as we do in our bishops and the pope our brothers. **


* Here we refer to those who officially leave the Church; some to avoid Church Tax as a means of protest ** This is a reference to the German Word "Mitbruder" instead of "Bruder" (=brother) which is sometimes used by clerics and excludes the laity.


P f a r r e r – I n i t i a t i v e: PROTEST – A PLEA FOR A CREDIBLE CHURCH


Since the 'Call to Disobedience' in which we committed ourselves in future to show a sign of our own responsibility for the renewal of our Church, agreement and encouragement have come to us from all sides both at home and abroad – but on the part of the the bishops essentially silence - and occasionally violent rejection. There has seldom been any dialogue apart from publicity. In the face of the current starvation of parishes and pastoral care under the pressure of the shortage of priests and an ageing clergy, we say again and again NO:


1. We will say NO when we are asked to take on more and more additional parishes, as otherwise we just become itinerant celebrants and sacramentdispensers, whose actual pastoral work is slipping from their hands. We resist the trend to make a fleeting appearance in several locations but not to find and offer a spiritual and emotional home.


2. We say NO to presiding at more and more weekend Eucharists as an excess
of services and homilies all too often turns them into superficial rituals and
routine talks - while encounter, discourse and pastoral care wither away. Arriving shortly before Mass and leaving immediately afterwards makes our service a hollow routine.


3. We say NO to the merging or closure of parishes when no parish priest can
be found. Here the shortage is raised to the status of a law instead of unbiblical
church laws being changed to deal with the shortage. Law is for people, not the
other way round. Even church law is there to serve people.


4 We say NO the overburdening of parish priests, who are being pressured into fulfilling numerous duties, whose time and energy for a devotional life are being eroded by administrative duties, and who are expected to carry on working long after retirement age. The result can even be that earlier effective ministry is damaged by excessive demands.


5. We say NO when canon law gives an all too harsh and merciless judgment: To the divorced who dare to re-marry, to same-sex couples who live in a partnership, to priests who have failed in celibacy and thus entered into a relationship – and to the many who follow their own consciences rather than man-made law.


Because silence is taken to be acquiesence and because we want to be true to our
responsibility as priests and pastors, we have to express this five point Protest. It is a 'protest' in the literal sense - a 'witness for' [Latin: pro teste] Church reform, for people whose pastors we want to be and for our Chuch. The joylessness of the way in which today's church is run is not a good witness to the 'joyful message' which motivates us.

For we want 'not to be dictators but fellow workers to bring you joy' (2 Cor 1:24).

From: http://www.pfarrer-initiative.at/ and http://sapafrance.canalblog.com

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