Sunday, December 09, 2007

Leading Lichtenstein into pastoral isolation

~Here's a rather curious article from Cathcon about the Archbishop of Vaduz, Wolfgang Haas. Please note the whinging...actually, it's hard to miss.
No, the Archbishop won’t give the foreign press an interview, advises his Vicar General Mark Walser without discussion. Even Walser himself has no desire for a conversation.

There would be too much to discuss. Exactly ten years ago, Pope John Paul II separated the Principality of Liechtenstein from the Diocese of Chur, elevated it to an Archdiocese and installed Archbishop Wolfgang Haas. The Papal decision was a reason to rejoice for many in Switzerland. In the Diocese of Chur, where Haas had served previously as Bishop, the church bells even rang in places. The arch-conservative cleric had made himself thoroughly unpopular for his reactionary views and ruthless personnel decisions. The cantons and the Cantonal Churches as well as parish priests protested, the Swiss Bishops' Conference appealed to colleagues for his resignation and even Foreign Minister, Flavio Cotti made inquiries in the Vatican. They all were relieved when the Pontiff promoted away the hated Haas....

...Wolfgang Haas celebrates this Sunday in the Vaduz Cathedral with a Pontifical Mass the tenth anniversary of the Archbishopric. The Chief Shepherd has used the time. Right at the beginning, Haas abolished the unwanted Deanery (Cathcon note- a sort of Lay Council), sending the laity to the rear pews in the church (Cathcon note- surely that should be pews- where they belong- if they wish to go to the back, that’s their problem). Liberal clergy left their posts either racked with nerves, or they were replaced with Haas-loyal clerics after their retirement. About staff shortages, the archbishop did not need to worry: about 50 priests have been incardinated by him and are always ready to serve their Lord (Cathcon-bit of liberal sarcasm here!). Even conservative believers are drawn to the little country. When Bishop Wolfgang reads a Mass, coaches from Switzerland and Austria stand in rows in front of the church.

"Liechtenstein has become a conservative refuge," laments Christel Kaufmann, a catechist from Balzers, who feels there is nothing left of the former People's Church (Cathcon note- the Catholic Church is not the People’s Church, it is God’s). Death and damnation are preached, as well as sin, purgatory and hell. In religion classes, they tell children that when a woman uses lipstick, it is a sin. "There are children who are have sleepless nights as a result," says Kaufmann.
....and we all know that pondering on the Four Last Things is bad for you...calling for a daily conversion of heart and all...heaven forbid that we feel a sense of repentance and come to a fuller understanding of the cost of our salvation.


Jeff said...

Isn't it sad? The People's Church in ashes!

Is anyone still going to Mass in Liechtenstein? I doubt it. :p

Quantitative Metathesis said...

Man, and I was so impressed with the beautiful Latin Mass I found this morning at San Pietro, celebrated (I found out afterwards) by a priest from Liechtenstein. Who would have guessed that the reason it was so beautiful was that his archbishop is so frightening and anti-people? ;-)

*makes a mental note to find the priest again and thank him for his archbishop*

G. Thomas Fitzpatrick said...

Sounds like Archbishop Haas would make a great Cardinal.

Dean Whinery B. said...

This would be a mighty small archdiocese. Or does it encompass more that the Duchy of Liechtenstein?