Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Linz priest who opposed bishop's appointment admits living with girlfriend

The Austrian Diocese of Linz has a certain notriety for its own interpretation of the Catholic faith, the was news last week of a priest who blesses gay couples and does conjuring tricks during Mass, and now this week...
An Austrian priest who helped rally opposition to the Pope's appointment of an auxiliary bishop for the Linz diocese has admitted that he keeps a mistress, the German-language Kath.net news service has revealed. Father Josef Friedl, one of the 31 deans who said they would refuse to accept the episcopal ordination of Father Gerhard Maria Wagner, told a public forum that he opposes the discipline of priestly celibacy and lives with his girlfriend; he said that his parishioners have no objections. According to the daily Der Welt, Friedl is one of several deans of the Linz diocese who lives openly with a woman. Meanwhile another Austrian prelate, Bishop Egon Kapellari of Graz, said that Father Wagner-- who has withdrawn from the episcopal appointment-- had "traumatized" the Austrian public with his public statements of opposition to homosexuality and insistence that God punishes sin.
Catholic Culture


George said...

I can't believe what I'm reading Fr Ray. Is this a wind up???

'....he opposes the discipline of priestly celibacy and lives with his girlfriend; he said that his parishioners have no objections'.

Haaaaahahaha ....hahaha!!!!! Oh please, my sides are splitting. The guys a complete idiot!!!! Why is this man a Priest??? For Heaven's sake have they all lost 'der plotz und der brainz' in Austria. What gives?

'His parishioners have no objections' - Oh that's OK then - sorry.

Todays 1st reading comes immediately to mind:

Isaiah 1: 10, 16 - 20

10 Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom! Give ear to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomor'rah!
16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil,
17 learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.
18 "Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;
20 But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

Father Josef Friedl better listen up, do some serious soul searching and seek out a good Confessor and Spiritual Advisor, before he puts himself above the Teachings of Holy Mother Church, whether his parishioners approve or not!

Tom said...


Can we somehow start a prayer/rosary crusade for the diocese?

George said...

Sorry for a second comment Fr Ray, but this post is so unbelievable almost surreal. So this guy (I just can't call him a 'priest' because he is not deserving of that Sacred title) opposed the good Father's episcopal appointment and won????

'Father Wagner-- who has withdrawn from the episcopal appointment-- had "traumatized" the Austrian public with his public statements of opposition to homosexuality and insistence that God punishes sin'.

No doubt he also believes in the 'Real Presence' in the Holy Eucharist, the reality of Sin, the horror of abortion and evil of contraception, the existence of Hell, etc...

Great - please Papa Benedict, if those 'silly' Austrians don't want him preferring 'priests' who take up with mistresses, send him over to England immediately where a rather important soon to materialise 'episcopal vacancy of a slightly grander kind' is about to be filled!

We need a man in Westminster who 'tells it as it is', calls 'a spade a spade', has a burning love for Jesus, believes in a Missionary Church and is Catholic, AND I MEAN C-A-T-H-O-L-I-C, to the core!.

Anonymous said...

So bad. So sad. Another arrow in the bosom of Our Lady. Such are the fruits of the Second Vatican Council.

gemoftheocean said...

So you have to be promoted to head a deanery to have a mistress?

[Why the hell don't they suspend faculties more often? For sure they need a good bishop, but is it possible to find one that doesn't think Katrina is God's retribution OR retains a mistress?]

Fr Ray Blake said...

That was cheap!

big benny said...

I'm sure he doesn't sleep with her and it's just a platonic loving friendship since pre-marital sex is a sin! Or maybe I'm just being naive! What's the etiquette for asking 'Father, do you mind me asking if you have consumated your relationship?'

JARay said...

I am appalled. From time to time, images have appeared on the Internet, of screwball things going on in Linz, things like a Lego tabernacle. It was clear several years ago that Linz was in deep trouble. It certainly needs a good shake up and if the Church "looses" some "Catholics" in the process then it can only be for the good, ultimately. It is quite on a par with the carryings-on in South Brisbane, which is, I must say, still carrying-on.


the owl of the remove said...

What about putting the entire diocese under an Interdict? This is clearly a diocese not in communion with Peter and the Church - drastic steps need to be taken. I fear there will be much more of this open rebellion in the Church as we head towards the time of trial.

Ottaviani said...

Mea culpa Father!

Riccardo said...

Well the bishop will have to suspend him now. I can't see what job prospects the man will have in his late 50's in the middle of an economic downturn. I imagine that his mistress will have to adopt to a more frugal way of life. Let's hope he gets dispensed from the clerical state and makes a good woman of her.

Red Maria said...

Well, if Friedl isn't immediately disciplined by his bishop, we'll have an idea why the Austrian church is in such bad shape.

And in bad shape it is. It has a parasitic relationship with the state, subsisting on an absurd Church tax - a ludicrous arrangement in this day and age, is stuffed with priests who are or have fallen of the edge of Roman Catholicism and is led by an aristocrat who thinks people committing adultery should receive communion, which sacrament he allows to be celebrated in a most eccentric fashion. That's without even having mentioned the malicious and mendacious We are Church (WAC) or Wir sind Kirche group.

A word about that. WAC cannot be said to be Catholic in any sense at all. Among its demands are the usual anti-natalist, pro adultery measures and getting rid of the idea of the Mass as a sacrifice. It also has very close links with the anti-Catholic porn-funded "Catholics for Choice" (CFC) group. Elfriede Harth, previously spokesperson for WAC is now CFC's pointwoman in Brussels.

The malaise in the Austrian church mirrors and is probably linked to the murkiness of its politics from WW1 to the present day. Austria had a large and enthusiastic Nazi party and provided many of the Reich's war criminals, including Adolf Hitler himself. Nonetheless, it was never denazified by the allies and many of its war criminals were cheerfully shielded from justice. In 1986 a majority of the Austrian electorate voted Kurt Waldheim into the presidency despite revelations about his wartime past. In more recent times, the neo-fascist Austrian Freedom Party and Alliance for the Future of Austria, both of which were led at one time or another by the Nazi sympathiser, Jorg Haider, have performed well at the polls.

Behind the attractive chocolate box image of snow draped mountains and charming chalets there's something rotten in the state of Austria. It should not, therefore, come as a surprise that the Austrian Church is infected with that rottenness.

Jane said...

At the time of the Fr Wagner withdrawal there was talk of an Apostolic Visitation to Linz. Has anyone heard anything further about that?

Seraphic Single said...

Can you imagine what St. Teresa of Avila or St. Catherine of Siena would have to say to such nonsense? Austria needs a tough saint to take care of business!

Volpius Leonius said...

It seems to me that they should all be excommunicated anyway for denying the Popes authority.

Anne said...

Instead of messing about trying to appoint a Bishop to the liking of these people, why doesn't the Holy See just make Linz Diocese immediately subject to the Pope?; then let them complain that they don't want to be subject to 'that Bishop'!

Francis said...

Fr. Ray,

Well, let's see what happens. It will come as a very pleasant surprise to me if this priest is disciplined. If a priest has been publicly living in sin for a long time and there has been no censure, I doubt any action will be taken now. In fact, it's highly likely the opposite will now happen: there will be an episcopal "expression of solidarity" with the offending priest and a "plea to the Holy Father to reconsider the cruel imposition of celibacy on all priests, while recognizing the value of celibacy freely chosen by certain individuals..." or some such Tabletesque guff.

The Holy Father needs to summon the entire Austrian episcopate to Rome, bring in the top-level disciplinary team at the Vatican (CDF, Apostolic Signatura, Congregation of Bishops etc. etc.) and read the riot act to the Austrian prelature: action plan for reform, deadlines and disciplinary measures in the event of failure to comply. The central pillar for reform must be dispensing with the Church Tax. It has created the lazy and worldly ecclesiastical culture that has protestantized Austria, where Luther failed.

nickbris said...

We had a priest in this Parish who "went off the rails" as my mother put it, and he left and was never heard of again.

What this goes to show is that we are all human and suffer the same urges as every living thing on the planet.

The garbage press will dig up anything to sell more papers to the morons who read them.

Those who make the most noise about this sort of thing also have skeletons in their cupboards.

georgem said...

I'm (almost) speechless. I had to read this several times to make sure I wasn't dreaming. It takes man-centred ministry to new heights - I mean depths.
But it makes comprehensible the virulent protests against the appointment of a conservative auxiliary. There was so much to lose, not least a highly immoral lifestyle among some of the clergy. Pity those who are swimming against the tide and trying to be faithful to Church teaching.
Satan is well-established in the diocese and among some of its priests. The answer is to get rid of the lot of them.
The shennanigans in both Austria and Australia also explain why E&W has not been top of the list of the Pope's priorities. By comparison E&W is a model of orthodoxy and it demonstrates how low the bar has become.
It also becomes clearer by the day why so many cardinals voted in this particular Pope. If anyone knows what's going wrong in the Church, they do. Unfortunately, some of their peers are the problem, not the solution.
The Pope has a heroic task. He cuts one head off the Hydra and another two grow. He hasn't much time. I pray for him every day.

Thomas said...

A friend of mine, an ex pat living in Germany, not in the Linz diocese, told me that one day after remarking that the parish priest looked a bit harried was told that his girlfriend was in hospital having their second child. I didn't believe him at the time.

Red Maria said...

I broadly agree with Francis. The Pope must act and do so without delay. The rot in the Austrian Church has been left untreated for decades which is why it is so out of control. It can't be allowed to continue like this.

But merely summoning the entire Austrian episcopate to Rome and reading the riot act to the prelature is no where near enough. There must be demotions and sackings at all levels starting at the top. Schonborn is as infected with the rot as any of them. He ought to be sent off into early retirement. The Austrian bishops are clearly incompetent. Most of them should be demoted. Priests openly defying Rome's authority and boasting about their tawdry sexual exploits should be removed from the priesthood with all its attendant financial privileges. By all means let them sleep with anyone they want but not at the Church's expense. The church tax should be immediately abrogated and the flabby dissolute living-high-on-the-hog Austrian Church should fend for itself. Putting it on a diet would do it the world of good.

Finally, it's time for the man once celebrated as the German shepherd to show his teeth. Less indulgence, more iron fist is what is needed. The Wir sind Kirche group should be excommunicated. As soon as possible. Bishop Bruskewitz has done something similar in his diocese - decision confirmed by Cardinal Re - and clarity is restored. The same thing needs to be done in Austria.

George said...

Have to agree with Red Maria - this sordid episode scandalizes those Faithful Catholics in Linz and the entire Catholic Church and cannot continue. The bizarre goings-on in Linz are just simply 'no-way' in accordance with any Church Teaching that I know of - even in the wildest of 'acid-trip' post Vatican 11 'in the spirit of' interpretations.

Hence something must be done to stop this behaviour lest the ideas spread ever further and wider. The 'do-nothing' option merely sends out the message that it's OK to have a girlfriend (or even boyfriend if we want to be completely PC) and remain a practicing Priest. How can this be??????

Big Benny - 'platonic relationship', oh please! And even were it true it is completely against the grain for a Catholic Priest to have a 'live-in' girlfriend. Sorry my friend but yes, you are being naive, read what Thomas has to say in his comment further on. Unbelievable!

gemoftheocean said...

George, I think you missed the invisible "sarcasm" emoticon Big Benny used when he mentioned the "platonic relationship."

Old Believer said...

Look on the bright side, it could be much worse - Fr. Friedl could have been living with a boyfriend.

Co-habitation has not exactly been unheard of before in the history of Western Christianity.