Austrian Withdraws After Opposition

Bishop-designate Gerhard Wagner has asked Pope Benedict XVI to withdraw his nomination as auxiliary bishop of Linz, in the face of fierce criticism. The uproar stemmed mainly from comments Wagner made implying that Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was a punishment from God for sins committed in New Orleans. The diocesan bishops of Austria issued a statement saying they supported Bishop-designate Wagner’s request to withdraw, although they also reaffirmed their belief that it is best for the church that the pope appoint bishops. If a bishop were to be elected by the faithful at large, they said, “conflicts would be inevitable.” The bishops also said, however, that the canon law procedure for choosing a bishop, which calls for consultation with other bishops, priests and lay leaders, is important. “The procedure provided for in canon law for the selection and the examination of candidates [for the office of bishop] has proved its worth, if this procedure really is followed,” they said.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

This is not a country at ease with itself, if it ever were. The United Kingdom continues to display more and more intolerance and anger.
David StewartFebruary 24, 2017

On St. Patrick’s Day, we celebrate our Irish heritage and our good fortune to be Americans.

George J. MitchellFebruary 24, 2017
“The Catholic Church stands in love with the Jewish community in the current face of anti-Semitism.”
Michael O'LoughlinFebruary 24, 2017
Addressing 90 experts from many countries, Francis said that “all people have a right to safe drinking water.”
Gerard O'ConnellFebruary 24, 2017