We are very pleased to report that Cardinal O’Malley is banning a dissident Austrian priest from speaking at St. Susanna in Dedham. Here is an excerpt from one of two pieces that appeared in the Boston Globe:
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley is banning a dissident Austrian priest from speaking at a parish in Dedham, prompting a coalition of reform-minded Catholics who invited the priest to move their event to a nearby Unitarian Universalist church.
The Rev. Helmut Schuller was invited to speak at St. Susanna Parish on July 17 as part of a 15-city tour of the United States called “The Catholic Tipping Point,” sponsored by a coalition of progressive Catholic organizations, including the Needham-based Voice of the Faithful.
Schuller is the founder of the Austrian Priests’ Initiative, which advocates for women’s ordination, optional celibacy for priests, and greater lay participation as ways of addressing a priest shortage in Western Europe. About 1 in 10 Austrian priests now belong to the group, the Austrian Independent newspaper reported this month. Similar groups have sprung up elsewhere, including the United States.
Terrence C. Donilon, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, said in a statement released to the Globe: “It is the policy of the Archdiocese of Boston, and the generally accepted practice in dioceses across the country, not to permit individuals to conduct speaking engagements in Catholic parishes or at church events when those individuals promote positions that are contrary to Catholic teachings.”
BCI commends Cardinal O’Malley for the decision to ban this talk and speaker from a Catholic church. We also commend the Boston Archdiocese for publicly issuing this policy statement. We have been hoping and praying for a policy like this for many years, and we view it as a very encouraging sign that the Boston Archdiocese is now going to enforce a policy that will not permit any individuals who promote positions contrary to Catholic teachings to speak in Catholic parishes or at church events.