Priest suspended after concelebration with Methodist
The suspension of a Catholic priest in Salzburg for concelebrating the Eucharist with a Methodist minister has caused nationwide uproar in Austria.
The Tablet reports that Archbishop Georg Eder of Salzburg has suspended Fr Peter Hausberger, parish priest of St Paul's, Salzburg, for concelebrating the Eucharist with Pastor Markus Fellinger of the neighbouring Methodist church. Contacts between the two churches have been close for more than 20 years. For some time now the two clerics have been concelebrating together twice a year, "quietly and without attracting undue attention", according to Hausberger.
After the concelebration on 15 October, however, a parishioner informed Archbishop Eder. The following Sunday, to the surprise of most of the congregation, the archbishop himself said Mass at St Paul's. Immediately after Mass he told parishioners that their priest had been suspended.
As the congregation jeered at him he said the celebration of intercommunion was "an enormous setback for all honest ecumenical endeavours in the Salzburg archdiocese", and that Fr Hausberger was "helping to bring about a schism" in the Catholic Church.