Germany: “Priestly initiatives” unite in Germanic countries

Source: FSSPX News

The “Priestly Initiatives” of Germany, Austria and Switzerland united on January 25 in Munich. After their first meeting, the delegates, close to 30 in number, announced that they would take action “against the current absolutist structures” and for “the rights of citizens and transparency in the Church.” The participants also invited bishops “open to reforms” to join.

“The bishops are not our enemies, but the system that has developed,” declared Helmut Schiller (on the right on the picture), former vicar general of the archdiocese of Vienna. The delegates believe it is “necessary to act in contradiction with the current directives of the Church’s administration” and to encourage “pastoral action close to men, in the spirit of Jesus.”

According to the organizers, 1,500 pastoral agents are involved, including “priests and deacons,” in the network in Germanic countries. The most significant national group is the “Parish Initiative” in Switzerland, with 500 members, followed by Austria, with 470 members. Groups were recently established in 9 of the 27 dioceses of Germany. Contact has been established with similar movements in Ireland, Great Britain, the US, and Australia.

Bernard Kellner, spokesman for the archdiocese of Munich, welcomed on the one hand the fact that “priests are engaged and want to collaborate with the reform of the Church.” In an interview with the diocesan radio and replayed by the website of the station on January 25, he claims that “the Church must always evolve with the times (…) All the doors are open to a constructive collaboration.”

As for the supporters of the “Parish Initiative” in the diocese of St. Gall, Switzerland, they were able to present their claims during two meetings with Bishop Markus Büchel. In an interview with, on January 31, Fr. Georg Schmucki, a coordinator in the movement, said that the tone was quite different from that taken at Coire (see DICI no. 269, Feb.1, 2013). “At Coire, threats were made immediately, while at St. Gall the discussion was factual, calm and loyal.” The spokesman for the “Parish Initiative” revealed that the bishop had not “spoken with superiority but from the bottom of his heart, explaining that he had to be the link between the local people of God and the universal Church (…) The majority of participants received an impression of an honest and credible Church (…) But we have decided not to say anything else to the media for now, as a matter of respect.” Fr. Schmucki said he hoped “the dialogue would continue.”

(Sources: – – DICI no. 270, 15/02/13)

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