Thursday, May 22, 2014

Pope Excommunicates Head of "We Are Church"

I'm not sure if you heard this or not, but I'll blog on it. Pope Francis has excommunicated the president of "We Are Church", Austrian woman Martha Heizer and her husband Gert. Their local bishop tried to deliver the papal decree of excommunication but Frau Heizer refused to accept it. However, that makes no difference, the decree has taken effect.

Frau Heizer, it seems, as well as leading one of the most dissident groups in the Church, was simulating "Eucharistic celebrations" in her home, and it is this which has led to the excommunication. You can get the story here (in German), here (in French), and here (in Italian). At the time of writing no English language news network has reported on it, although one blogger has the story

We shall see how things pan out here. It goes without saying that we must pray for Frau Heizer, her husband and followers, that they will come to recognise the damage they are doing to the Body of Christ through their continual rebellion against orthodox teaching. Sadly this development has not come out of the blue, two years ago Frau Heizer made it known publicly that she was going to "celebrate Mass" even if it meant excommunication, apparently it was the Easter Mass she was going to simulate, so she knew this was coming. In her statement (see link below) she says she is shocked, however it could hardly have come as a surprise seeing as she knew the consequences of her actions. 

I imagine this development might further liberals gradual realisation that the Holy Father, for all his quirky ways, is in fact a faithful son of the Church. Does this action reveal more about what he will do following the Synod in October?  

Last year Pope Francis dismissed and excommunicated an Australian priest, Fr Greg Reynolds, for persistent support of the ordination of women.

UPDATE: The Catholic Herald has the story now. Frau Heizer has also issued a statement on the "We Are Church" website. I notice from her statement she tries to use the abuse crisis to cover over her own breach of communion - the media, if they report it, will probably run with that angle.

UPDATE 2: As expected, the media are reporting on the Church's "double standards".

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