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Hundreds Pack Unitarian Church To Hear Reformist Catholic Priest


0717_helmut-schuller01-300x199(NPR) Hundreds of people, most of them Catholic, turned out Wednesday night in Dedham to hear a reformist Catholic priest from Austria.

The Rev. Helmut Schuller was scheduled to speak at Saint Susanna Parish in Dedham, but was barred by Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley due to his positions on several issues which run contrary to official Catholic Church doctrine. So the meeting was moved to a Unitarian church — First Church and Parish in Dedham.

People lined up in the suffocating heat outside First Church as early as 3 p.m. Wednesday. Shortly after 6 p.m., when the doors opened, a sizable crowd had gathered.

“The windows in a Protestant church open,” someone in the crowd said as people filed into the old church, some of its windows jarred open with electric fans. “Ours haven’t opened since John XXIII died.”

People nearly filled the pews, and another 200 opted to listen via loudspeakers outside on the cooler town green.

Schuller is among Austrian priests pushing for the ordination of women and married priests. He also wants lay Catholics to have more say in how the church is run. Schuller is touring the U.S. this summer. Wednesday night he spoke of the closing of Austrian churches. [more]





  1. TPD says:

    I wonder why the ETWN has not yet given Fr.Schuller an opportunity to speak on their airwaves?? Are their airwaves only for a particular type/cast of Roman Catholic!! Do they thereforth make judgements to deny the opportunity for all of God’s gifts and talents to be offered to all of God’s people!!

    • Jim says:

      Rev. Schuller is pushing for the ordination of women and married priests, something that the Magisterium of the Church has stated is not possible. EWTN does not exist to promote heresy, but what the Church teaches.

      Why doesn’t Fr. Schuller join the Episcopal/Anglican communion where most things are settled democratically. He can have everything he wants: married, openly gay, men & women priests & bishops. Though Anglican orders lack validity, I doubt this would be problematic for Fr. Schuller.

      • TPD says:

        Why does one have to leave to understand and accept God’s message. Traditionlist are not traditionalist, they are modernist. The clergy was married until the 7/8th century when Church leaders became concerned about inheritance. They did not want the wife or children to inherit. There was no discrmination between married & single till the same time period.As you are probably are aware God never spoke about separate of the sexes. Tired men made that edict part o the tradition.

  2. Jim says:

    “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings.” (2 Timothy 4:3)

  3. John Kelly says:

    What has me flummoxed is the position of those who call themselves “traditionalists.” The “traditional” Catholic Church for them seems to be the institution in place in 1550 or 1560, the one Pope Pius V said cannot be changed –talk about hubris. Have the traditions established by the the Apostles and early Church fathers no validity? I want to revive these prototype traditions.

    • cheryl says:

      I so agree, John. I have asked this question in different venues and can’t get a reasonable answer: The church says women can never become priests because all of the apostles were men. However, the apostles were also ALL jews and most, if not all, were married. So why is maleness the only characteristic that the church enforces and not jewishness and being married? Seems like the church picked the one condition they wanted and ignored the other 2. Can anyone explain the logic of this?

      • Ann (WOC) says:

        Yes Cheryl. It’s no mystery. Protecting the privileged status of a particular group has been a constant temptation and a constant practice throughout history. Whether Judaism, early Church after the first generation, or our own American Constitution, male privilege, often white male privilege, has been protected as evidenced in restricted leadership positions, voting rights, equal pay or job opportunities. Even history has been interpreted from the standpoint of those who held power throughout time rather than from the perspective the everyday person or women. Even the gospels, written by male authors, in some cases tell the story from a male perspective, although the inclusiveness of Jesus’ ministry comes through. Elizabeth Schussler-Fiorenza has done a good reconstruction (reading between the lines) of the retelling of the Jesus story. The one characteristic — maleness — chosen by the church as a condition for ordination is no accident. It protects male privilege and power within an institution whose mark of holiness should be, after the example of Jesus, inclusiveness, equality, and ministering love for all. Schussler-Fiorenza recovers some of the spirit of Jesus’ historical ministry in her scholarship and particularly in her phrase characterizing Jesus’ welcoming of women: “discipleship of equals.” One of the “sins” of the institutional church is its continuing exclusivity with regard to male privilege, especially in the world of the 21st century. By the power of the HS hopefully we will be able to move beyond it in the near future.

        • cheryl says:

          Thanks, Ann. I kind of knew this was the reason because there is no other rational reason to exclude women. Kind of ironic, too, as today is the feast day of Mary Magdalene, also known as “apostle to the apostles”; she was brave enough to stand at the foot of the cross while the other apostles were in hiding. And the fact that Jesus chose to reveal his resurrected self to her before the apostles is a powerful statement of apostlehood.

  4. Ruthann says:

    Where else will Fr Schuller be speaking around the US? Does anyone know? I know our bishop would be open to having him speak at our diocese!

    • Recovering Catholic says:

      Ruthann: I believe if you contact any one of the organizers listed below through their e-mail link, they could get a request to Fr. Schuller when he is in their city.

  5. Catholic Lady says:

    Conservative Catholics do not own the Catholic Church either and therefore have no right telling others, Liberal or otherwise to leave their home (Church) and seek to join another church. You, Antonio, are not God and do not speak for Him! Also saying that Liberals (Tony, Ann, etc.) are liars is not the Truth…in saying that liberal ldeas are satanic is also not speaking the Truth..If you believe that the Church is truly established by our Lord and if it will prevail against Satan and all his angels then: Why are you so afraid of new ideas?

  6. Tony says:

    The Church must respond to the times and cultures in which it lives. Women have become leaders in every area of modern society and should be able to share their gifts in every level of Church ministry.
    Married men are priests in other Eastern Rites in the Roman Church, and should be able to be priests in the Latin Rite as well.
    More lay people must emerge to take on leadership roles in the Church and not just, pray pay and obey.
    Lets all listen to Father Schuller and respond as mature, thinking, adults.

    • Antonio says:

      NOPE… Women have their respective places in the Catholic Church and this MUST NOT change…. White Liberals DO NOT own the Church, and the Church is universal…. Most worlwide Catholics do not support “radical changes”, no matter how much liberals lie otherwise…..
      If you cannot take what the Catholic Church teaches, then go to the Anglican ones… they need more help than ever, since their numbers are falling faster than Catholic ONES!
      If you DO NOT like it then move on…. do not force us traditional Catholics to accept your satanic liberal ideas!

      • Catholic Lady says:

        Yep! keep im’ a home shoe less an’ pregnant – right on Antonio! LOL

          • Ann (WOC) says:

            CL and all the rest of the wonderful post here: I wouldn’t take Antonio too seriously. He’s sort of funny. I love the way he assumes liberals are “white” and women have their “respective” places in the community. Quite quaint Antonio!

      • cheryl says:

        Antonio, can you possibly step back and re-read your comment? Can you imagine Jesus saying anything as hateful and judgmental as you said? No one can force you to accept their “liberal” beliefs so why do you think you have the right to force your “conservative” beliefs on others? The Holy Spirit will direct the future course of the church no matter what anyone believes. So I suggest you just chill out and mind your own business!

      • Recovering Catholic says:

        Antonio, I’m appalled by your very naive, male chauvinist remarks. The only PLACE women have in the Roman Catholic Church was forced on them by the male chauvinists who have always had the POWER & CONTROL in the Roman Catholic Church — NOT something that Jesus or St. Paul ever intended.

        • Recovering Catholic says:

          P.S. Continuing on with his speaking tour, Fr. Schuller will be speaking at an event at The Theatre Building, 7400 North Ridge Blvd., Rogers Park, IL (which is located immediately South of St. Scholastica Montastery). The event begins at 6pm, with Fr. Schuller speaking at 7pm.

          • Recovering Catholic says:

            P.P.S. The date is Wednesday, July 24, 2013. Networking begins at 6pm, and Fr. Schuller speaks at 7pm.

      • Concerned says:

        Antonio accept the fact that you are not the traditional Catholics you are the ones who have broken tradition. Priests were originally married – itonly stopped as the institutional church became fearful of loosing their property. Communion was received in the hands. Communion was always under both species. Celebrations were in the vernacular. So in fact those you refer to as the liberals are traditionalists and those who you call traditional are in fact trying to make the church into something that it was never intended to be.


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