Germany: Priest suspended and then forbidden to teach

Source: FSSPX News


On January 2, Mgr. Reinhard Marx, the bishop of Trier signed a decree of suspension of the right to teach in the name of the Catholic Church for Fr. Gotthold Hasenhüttl. He was previously suspended from his priestly functions in July 2003 for having presided at an interconfessional celebration as a fringe event of the ecumenical Kirchentag in Berlin, in May 2003, and invited the non-Catholics to Holy Communion. This measure was confirmed a year later by Cardinal Ratzinger, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

 “All of his writings, including that of December 8, 2005, have clearly demonstrated that there was not on his part any spirit of conciliation, that he considered his attitude as legitimate and that he saw no reason to accept the discipline of the Church, likewise in the domain which has led to his suspension,” explained the bishop of Trier in the decree dated January 2. “Those who find themselves in dissidence with the authority of the Church in serious matters and do not show themselves ready to observe the rules of the Church, may not teach in the name of the Church,” added Mgr. Marx.

 The 72 year old Fr. Gotthold Hasenhüttl, of Austrian origin, considered his sanction “painful”, after 40 years of teaching on the authority of the Church. The progressive Catholic movement “We are Church” described this latest sanction as “a disciplinary measure out of all proportion and incomprehensible.” In order to illustrate their words, the movement recalled that, last April, during the funeral of John Paul II, Cardinal Ratzinger had given Communion to the prior of the Taizé Community, Brother Roger, a Protestant. At the same time, they point out that the 2003 encyclical on the Eucharist anticipates exceptional circumstances when Communion may be given to non-Catholics.