Evangelizing the institutional church: an interview with Helmut Schuller

Helmut Schüller

Much has been written about Austrian priest and reformer Helmut Schüller since he opened his 15-city U.S. tour, called The Catholic Tipping Point, in New York last week.

Schüller has been making news in the Roman Catholic church reform movement since 2006, when he and a group of fellow priests organized the Austrian Priests' Initiative. In 2011, they made global headlines when they launched the "Call for Disobedience," an appeal to the Vatican to address the shortage of priests and other predicaments facing the institutional church.

The Austrian Priests' Initiative is concerned that the dwindling number of clergy is impacting the quality of pastoral care offered to baptized Catholics. Their "Call for Disobedience" suggests reforms such as the ordination of women and married men to address this unfolding crisis.

{josquote}Our teaching should concentrate on the quality of relationships, not the form.{/josquote}

What makes Schüller an intriguing figure among reformers is that he is not simply an upstart parish priest. He spent years as a hierarchical insider, filling the very public roles of president of Caritas Austria and vicar general under Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. He has the rare insight of one who has served both in the hierarchy and in the parish. Rarer still, he has risked his position and privilege to be in full, outspoken solidarity with lay Catholic reformers.

Full story...

Baha’i Presence in Sandy Hook Event and How It May Influence Our Future

I happened to come across an interview with Dr. John Woodall from the evening of the shootings. I didn’t recognize his name and didn’t understand what his significance was in all of this at first. He is a psychiatrist and former faculty member of Harvard Medical School. He described how he had spent some time consoling some of the victim’s families that afternoon.

After researching this a bit I discovered that he and his wife said the prayer when Obama was in town giving a speech at the Newtown High School. Woodall is a Baha’i. I didn’t know anything at all about this religion so I spent some time investigating it. It appears that Bahais are big time globalists.

Full story...

Personal Musings

{josquote}Be assured that our decision to restore part of his administrative privileges so soon after his rights were removed does not imply that the National Assembly considers his transgressions to be inconsequential.{/josquote}

The accusations of backbiting from the NSA has me in a bit of an uproar. I’ve been thinking about how they shifted blame to me by accusing me of breaking religious law. It’s rather infuriating and I’ve put a lot of thought into it. I’ve been a Baha’i for a long time – I was not born into it, I chose it. Over the many years, I have run into many viewpoints from fellow Baha’is on the various Baha’i laws. The views on backbiting seem to have two main schools of thought… either Baha’is feel free to say anything and everything negative without naming the actual person they’re speaking of – or they use positive-sounding language to basically say the negative ideas, just to make it seem positive (e.g. – He’s not “stupid,” he lacks education). I realized that perhaps the NSA had done the same thing, as backbiting is approached in one of the two ways almost universally amongst Baha’is. So, I figured I’d try to untwist their letter to me – see if I can find the “actual” version of it. Care to join me? (the following contains my interpretation of what they could be saying… I do NOT imply that the words “translated” below were the actual intentions of the National Spiritual Assembly)

Dear Bahá’ʹí Friend, [Dear Baha'i troublemaker that if we call "friend" might be more willing to listen to our commonly perceived authority,]

Full story...

Are Independents Just Partisans In Disguise?

Independent voters have grown in recent years into a mega voting bloc. By some estimates they outnumber registered Republicans, and even registered Democrats.

Every election cycle, independents generate enormous amounts of interest as candidates, pollsters and the media probe their feelings. These voters are widely considered to hold the key to most elections.

{josquote}Even his religion — he subscribes to the Baha'i faith — has explicit rules about partisanship.{/josquote}

Independents generally report that neither party fully represents their views. Some report being to the left of the Democratic Party or to the right of the GOP, but most report being in the middle and describe themselves as moderates. As a group, independents tend to prize their ability to think for themselves, rather than march lockstep with a party.

Full story...

Characteristics of the Enemies of the Baha'i Faith


the onslaught of the ungodly(WTAB 9)
the bold onslaught(GPB 360)
dire contests(MBW 123)
manifold, various, and at times extremely perilous(MTA 50)
afflictive trials(WOB 91)
turmoil that had convulsed [the Faith](GPB 170)
severe winds(BWF 433)
storm of mischief(WOB 15)
violent storm(WOB 91)
violent its outbursts(MTA 51)
explosive outbursts(MTA 51)
fierce the assaults of the enemy(WOB 90)
vicious assaults(MTA 70)
this virus of violation(MBW 25)
tortuous intrigues(GPB 164)
evil influence(MBW 123)
pernicious(GPB 189)
treacherous schemes(MBW 123)
treacherous and malignant(MBW 94)
insinuations(GPB 117)
insinuations and clamor(WOB 90)
openly and by insinuation(GPB 248)
open attacks(WOB 15)
veiled attacks(WOB 90)
openly and privily(SWAB 315)

Full story...