Austria: Laypeople May Not Celebrate Mass

Austria’s Catholic bishops have rejected a call by dissident church members for laypeople to begin celebrating Mass in parishes with no priests. The bishops said they had discussed “heavy demands for change” at their plenary meeting from Nov. 7 to Nov. 10. However, they said, “the summons to disobedience has not only left many Catholics shaking their heads, but has also triggered alarm and sadness.” The bishops were responding to a statement issued on Nov. 5 by the Austrian branch of the We Are Church movement, which said laypeople should start making up for clergy shortages by consecrating and distributing Holy Communion, as well as preaching and presiding at Mass. The bishops said that some demands connected to “this call for disobedience at the initiative of priests and laity are simply unsustainable” and breach “the central truth of our Catholic faith.”

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

“To the Bone,” which recently premiered on Netflix, tells the story of 20-year-old Ellen (Lily Collins), who is living with anorexia nervosa.
Karen RossJuly 21, 2017
The distinction between the disciplines of theological work and how these function in our common life is necessary.
What is it about habits and cassocks that capture the imagination of even secular audiences?
Ashley McKinlessJuly 21, 2017
Why Ron Hansen will never read the Gospels the same.
Ron HansenJuly 20, 2017