The pope reminds his
hostages flock that if he wanted their opinion he would ask for it.
In a rare public rebuke, Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday (April 5) denounced a call for optional celibacy and women’s ordination that was issued by a group of Austrian priests, saying true reform will not come as a result of open dissent.
How will it come then? As a result of obstinate resistance by a tiny body of priests?
The Austrian group launched an “Appeal to Disobedience” last year, asking for an end of compulsory celibacy for priests, the ordination of women and allowing divorced people to receive Communion. The group says it has the support of 400 priests, or around 10 percent of Austria’s clergy, and similar initiatives have taken root in other European countries, including France, Ireland and Germany.
In his Holy Thursday homily in St. Peter’s Basilica, the pope took the unusual step of directly responding to the critics.
“We would like to believe that the authors of this summons are motivated by concern for the church, that they are convinced that the slow pace of institutions has to be overcome by drastic measures, in order to open up new paths and to bring the church up to date,” he said. “But is disobedience really a way to do this?”
It’s more likely to do it than obedience is, wouldn’t you say?