Austria News Briefs
Austrian Catholic priest Helmut Schüller, formerly General Vicar of Vienna and President of Caritas, has called for massive reforms within the Roman Catholic Church, going so far as to appeal to the Pope.
Schüller’s formal "Call for Disobedience" (Aufruf zum Ungehorsam) is supported by 1,624 clergy and laiety as of Aug. 22, including 429 fellow clerics, according to the movement’s website (www.pfarrer-initiative.at).
The initiative has met with continued resistance, appeals to tradition, and threats of "consequences" from the Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Schönborn.
A survey of 500 Austrian priests in Nov. 2010 by the ORF Mediaforschung and GfK Austria found the desire for reform was overwhelming, with 80% of those surveyed calling for an end to celibacy, and 51% in favor of female priesthood.