For Immediate Release 6/24/13
National Contacts: Erin Saiz Hanna, email@example.comSr.
Christine Schenk, firstname.lastname@example.org
Boston Contacts: Nick Ingala Voice of the Faithful 617-291-3495 Cell, email@example.com
Marianne Duddy-Burke 617.669.7810 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Fitzgerald 773.404.0004 x262 email@example.com
Statement on Decision by Cardinal Sean O’Malley to Bar
Fr. Helmut Schüller from Catholic Property
It is both tragic and ironic that a leader of Cardinal O’Malley’s stature would bar a faithful and passionate priest such as Fr. Helmut Schüller from speaking on Catholic property. Fr. Schüller founded the Austrian Priests’ Initiative—a movement organized to address the global crisis of priest shortages.
Boston parishes are undergoing dramatic downsizing because of a severe shortage of priests.* Rather than ban Fr. Schüller, Cardinal O’Malley should be encouraging widespread discussion of Schüller’s prophetic mission in every Catholic parish, in every Catholic school and in every Catholic home.
Schüller is scheduled to speak in Boston on July 17 as part of a national The Catholic Tipping Point tour to 15 U.S. cities sponsored by ten progressive Catholic organizations. Boston organizers moved the venue from St. Susanna’s parish in Dedham after beingadvised that Cardinal O’Malley had forbidden any appearance by Father Schüller on Catholic property in the Archdiocese of Boston.
Spearheading a 2011 “Call to Disobedience,” that was positively received by over 70% of Austrian priests, Fr. Schüller calls for greater lay leadership in parish communities without priests, the admission of women and married people to the priesthood, and transparency in Church governance.
Cardinal O’Malley’s action is particularly distressing since it is taken by one of the eight Cardinals appointed to help reform Church governance. This attempt to suppress these long overdue discussions is a disservice to Christ’s body, the People of God, who by virtue of their baptism have also been given gifts and “special graces for the upbuilding of the Church.” (Vatican II: Lumen Gentium,12)
The Catholic Tipping Point tour launches July 16 in New York, and includes a presentation at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on July 22. It concludes in Long Island on August 7. For more tour information and local contacts visitwww.catholictippingpoint.org.
* Currently the Archdiocese of Boston is reconfiguring 288 parishes into 135 clusters that will be served by pastoral teams. An aging corps of about 330 priests in active parish ministry will fall to under 200 in a decade.(Associated Press, 9/13/12).