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Cardinal bans Austrian priest from speaking

BOSTON — Cardinal Sean O’Malley banned an Austrian priest from speaking at a parish because the priest advocates ordaining women and making celibacy for priests optional.

The Rev. Helmut Schuller was scheduled to speak at Saint Susanna Parish in Dedham on July 17 as part of 15-city U.S. tour. His talk has been moved to a nearby Unitarian Universalist church, The Boston Globe reported. Other scheduled stops on the tour include Cleveland July 25 and 26, Detroit July 26, and Cincinnati July 27.

Terry Donilon, a spokesman for the archdiocese, said in a statement that the archdiocese’s policy is “not to permit individuals to conduct speaking engagements in Catholic parishes or at church events when those individuals promote positions that are contrary to Catholic teachings.”

Schuller is founder of the Austrian Priests’ Initiative, which advocates allowing women and married people to become priests as a way to address a global priest shortage. The initiative organized a “Call to Disobedience,” which was signed two years by several hundred priests who pledged, among other things, to begin serving communion to non-Catholics, promote women’s ordination and let trained laity preach.

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