On Wednesday afternoon, three men were ordained Catholic priests in Salzburg Cathedral – more than they have been for a long time. In times of crisis in the priesthood, this is “all the more gratifying,” said Archbishop Franz Lackner in his sermon.
Last year there was only one priestly ordination in the Archdiocese of Salzburg, the years before that there was none at all. On Wednesday, Archbishop Lackner consecrated 41-year-old Josef Grünwald from Abtenau (Tennnegau), 28-year-old Johannes Lackner from Reith near Kitzbühel and 31-year-old P. Jakob Auer from Elsbethen from the Benedictine monastery of St. Peter. Large delegations from the home parishes were present at the celebration, as well as church celebrities such as Archbishop Alois Kothgasser.
Archbishop sees “generally negative” public opinion
Archbishop Lackner emphasized in his sermon that in times of crisis in the priesthood it was more gratifying when young men have been faithful to the path to the priesthood. Not only the spirit of the times, but also tensions and opinions within the church make it difficult for people to decide on the priesthood: “In general, we are faced with a rather negative ‘mainstream’ public opinion. Among the many stumbling blocks are those of an ecclesiastical and theological nature,” said the chairman of the Austrian Bishops’ Conference in the cathedral.
Three new priests in Salzburg and five in St. Pölten were ordained on Wednesday. The Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul on June 29 is traditional in the Catholic Church: deacons, priests and bishops used to be ordained exclusively on this day. To this day, the custom has persisted that consecration takes place mainly in the days around the church high festival.