National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Swiss Benedictine abbots speak out on church reform

 |  NCR Today

Two Swiss Benedictine abbots have recently questioned the practice of naming bishops and are calling for major church reforms.

Peter von Sury, abbot of Mariastein Monastery in the Sur diocese, questioned the leadership of the local bishop, calling him "not a bridge builder but a divider." The church is far too centralized, he said, adding, "Even if it is denied, in fact the dioceses are treated by Rome as administrative entities."

"In our church we have serious structural problems. It is important to me that questions [such as clerical celibacy and women's ordination] simply be dealt with," von Sury said. "Topics can only be solved when the structures are minimally functional and the procedures are worked out. One unresolved question concerns the selection of bishops. Many other problems in the church stem from this."

09-12-2014_health.jpgTake a sneak peak inside our Health & Well-Being special section. These articles only available in the print newspaper and Kindle edition, so subscribe today!

Meanwhile, Martin Werlen, abbot of Eisiedeln and a member of the Swiss bishops conference, authored a brochure that claims all the baptized and confirmed should have a voice in the naming of bishops. He also urged that cardinals have term limits and suggested that "people from the whole world, women and men, young and not so young, could be called for five years into the college of cardinals." His brochure, titled "Discover Together the Embers under the Ashes," is a reminder of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini's last interview, in which he spoke of the church as largely ashes above the flickering embers.

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

September 12-25, 2014

09-12-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.