Time magazine is covering the story now gaining attention around the world of more than 300 priests in Austria calling for open disobedience because of the hierarchy’s refusal to budge on issues such as mandatory celibacy, Communion for the remarried, and advocacy of women’s ordination.
A recent survey shows widespread support in the Austrian population for the rebellious priests – 76.5% support them. 86.8% believe that celibacy brings more problems than advantages. Only 10.4% believe that women are given an adequate role in the Catholic Church. Although 84.4% believe that the priests’ initiative has already done harm to the Catholic Church, almost 2/3 of the population – 64.7% – would personally sign a petition supporting the initiative.
Meanwhile, a survey in neighboring Germany shows that 53% of Catholics are for the abolition of mandatory celibacy and the ordination of women. A further 24% are for at least the abolition of mandatory celibacy. Only 49% of Catholics and 30% of Protestants think it is good that the Pope is visiting Germany this September. Most (75%) think that the Pope’s visit will do nothing to change the deadlock in ecumenical relations – 80% of Protestants and 72% of Catholics are skeptical.
As Pray Tell reported earlier, 240 theologians and 347 religion teachers in Germany have called for massive church reforms, with 296 clergymen in Freiburg signing on to the reform appeal.
The Pope is visiting German September 22nd – 25th.