The Rev. Helmut Schuller, the reformist Austrian priest who advocates for institutional change and inclusive priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church, will stop in Northeast Ohio this week for two speaking engagements.
Schuller will present The Catholic Tipping Point: Conversations with Helmut Schuller at 7 p.m. Thursday at Independence Middle School, 6111 Archwood Road, and at noon Friday at the Cleveland City Club, 850 Euclid Ave.
His talks are part of a 15-city national tour that began Tuesday in New York City and ends Aug. 6 on Long Island.
Other stops on the tour include Seattle; Los Angeles; Cincinnati; Detroit; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; and Boston, where Cardinal Sean O’Malley issued a statement forbidding Schuller from speaking on Catholic property in the archdiocese.
Schuller gained international attention in 2011 when his organization, the Austrian Priests’ Initiative, spearheaded a “Call to Disobedience.” The call, which according to published reports garnered support from more than 70 percent of Austrian priests, called for such reforms as greater lay leadership, allowing “believers of good will” to participate in the Holy Eucharist and opening ordination to women and married men as a way of addressing the worsening priest shortage in the church.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI rebuked the campaign last year in a sermon. Schuller, who formerly served Cardinal Christoph Schonborn as vicar general, subsequently was relieved of his honorary title of “Monsignor, Chaplain of His Holiness” but remains a priest in good standing.
Schuller’s U.S. tour is sponsored by 10 organizations, including Call to Action, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Voice of the Faithful and FutureChurch, which is hosting the Cleveland-area visits.
For more information about Schuller’s tour, go to www.catholictippingpoint.org. An offering will be taken at Independence Middle School. Reservations are required for the Cleveland City Club luncheon and can be made by calling 216-621-0082. Cost is $30 for non-City Club members and $18 for members.
More information about FutureChurch can be found at www.futurechurch.org.