Catholic priests withdraw from joint mass

Disappointment in Dübendorf Keystone

Two Roman Catholic priests withdrew at the last moment from taking part in a celebration of the Eucharist, which was supposed to have been conducted by clergy from a range of Christian confessions.

This content was published on June 30, 2013 - 18:10 and agencies

The church in Dübendorf, near Zurich, was packed for the service on June 29th, and some of the congregation reacted angrily and walked out when one of the two priests announced that he and his colleague would not be co-presiding the celebration.

The Eucharist went ahead, conducted by a Lutheran pastor and three Reformed pastors, while the two Roman Catholic priests participated as guests.

The Eucharist, or Holy Mass, is one of the most important services in the Christian church. Roman Catholic priests are forbidden to conduct mass jointly with representatives of other churches.

On Monday Swiss Roman Catholic bishops are to discuss in the Vatican the so-called “parish initiative”, signed by several hundred Swiss priests, calling for reforms, including greater cooperation with other churches.

One of the two priests at Dübendorf explained that if he and his colleague had taken part in the “intercelebration”, this would have given ammunition to the opponents of the parish initiative.

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