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Pressure mounts for Austrian bishop to step down

Although an embattled Austrian bishop has not yet agreed to submit his resignation, the Vatican still expects him to step down soon.

Catholic World News reports that Bishop Kurt Krenn of St Pölten, whose diocese exploded in scandal earlier this year when police uncovered a homosexual network at the seminary, has "certainly not offered his resignation," a spokesman said on Thursday. But the Austrian bishop had earlier indicated, through the same spokesman, that he would submit his resignation if the Pope asked for it.

Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, has asked Bishop Krenn to resign, in the name of Pope John Paul.

That request for the bishop's resignation is now the subject of three-way talks involving Bishop Krenn himself; Archbishop Girgio Zur, the papal nuncio in Austria; and Bishop Klaus Kung, who was appointed by Pope John Paul to conduct an apostolic visitation of the St. Pölten diocese. If these three prelates reach an agreement, it will be communicated to the Congregation for Bishops, the Vatican dicastery responsible for the appointment and removal of diocesan bishops. Cardinal Re would then relay the agreement to Pope John Paul, whose acceptance would make the resignation official.

The pressure on Bishop Krenn to step down is likely to increase as the Vatican faces a fast-approaching deadline. On 3 October, Pope John Paul II will preside at the beatification of Emperor Carl of Austria, an event that is expected to bring thousands of Austrian pilgrims to Rome. If the status of Bishop Kreen is unresolved on that date, it would constitute significant embarrassment. To complicate matters, Bishop Krenn heads a group of Austrian Catholics devoted to Emperor Carl, and was highly visible in promoting the cause for his beatification.

Pressure mounts for Austrian bishop to step down (Catholic World News 17/9/04)

Church plans talks to resolve impasse on child abuse policy (Irish Independent 20/9/04)
Tucson Catholic Diocese Files for Bankruptcy (Reuters/Tahoo 20/9/04)

When a pope is not a pontiff (National Catholic Reporter 26/7/04)
Austrian bishop silenced during apostolic visitation (CathNews 26/7/04)
Austrian Seminary shut over porn scandal (CathNews 13/8/04)
Papal emissary closes seminary (The Advertiser/AP 13/8/04)
Pope's emissary shuts down Austrian seminary (Irish Times 12/8/04)
Child porn found in Austrian seminary, shut down (Associated Press/USA Today 12/8/04)
Papal Emissary Closes Austrian Seminary (Associated Press/ 12/8/04)
Scandal-ridden seminary closed down in Austria (Catholic World News 12/8/04)
Seminary shut after porn scandal (CNN 12/8/04)
When a pope is not a pontiff (National Catholic Reporter 26/7/04)
Austrian bishop silenced during apostolic visitation (CathNews 26/7/04)
John L. Allen: Conversation with Sant'Egidio founder Andrea Riccardi; Vatican gets serious on Africa; Catholic-Jewish dialogue; Vatican investigates Austrian seminary sex scandal; More reflections from Peru (National Catholic Reporter 23/7/04)
The ultimate betrayal (The Tablet 24/7/04)
Speedy response to Austrian sex scandal reflects seriousness (CathNews 22/7/04)
Pope names bishop to look into scandal at Austrian seminary (CathNews 21/7/04)
Other Pontifical Acts (Vatican Information Service 20/7/04)
Vatican sends investigator to Austrian diocese (Catholic World News 20/7/04)
Pope Names Investigator for Austrian Sex Scandal (Reuters 20/7/04)
Vatican Enters Austria Seminary Dispute (The Guardian/Associated Press 20/7/04)
Austrian chancellor incensed by priest sex scandal (Reuters 17/7/04)
Austrian bishops await Vatican move on scandal (Catholic World News 16/7/04)
St. Pölten and Gomorrah? ( 20/7/04)
Vatican investigates Austrian child porn scandal (Associated Press/MSNBC 20/7/04)
Austria probes seminary sex claims (CathNews 13/7/04)
Priests 'In Orgy' at Seminary (The Scotsman 12/7/04)

21 Sep 2004