The former Benedictine and prior of Andechs Monastery, Anselm Bilgri, has switched to the Old Catholics. He hopes that in the future he will again be able to work as a priest in addition to his lecturing activities.
This step he had taken on 17. December completed, Bilgri said Monday.He says this was last denied him in the Roman Catholic Church after he left the monastery in 2004. For the time being, however, he would have to wait and see. For in the Old Catholic Church it is customary that the respective parish assembly has to vote on whether a priest can work for them.
Change after disappointments
For years, Bilgri explained, he had been considering converting to the Old Catholics. "In this church, all that is also my vision of Catholicism in the modern world is realized."He is disappointed with the Roman Catholic Church. "I no longer believe in the sincere will to reform."The current reform debate Synodal Way appears to him as a "debating club", in which in the end the proposals and demands of Rome would be rejected again. There had already been too many such unsuccessful events.
With regard to "Mother Church," Bilgri has the feeling: "I love her, but she lets me die of thirst by the long arm."He also criticized Pope Francis. "The latter spontaneously makes courageous statements, shortly afterwards these are again relativized by the Curia."The decentralization of the church initiated by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) is always thwarted anew. Unfortunately also by the bishops themselves, finds the theologian. These would not have the courage to take forward-looking steps. In his 2018 book "In All Love," Bilgri had spoken out against compulsory celibacy and in favor of the priesthood of women.
Old Catholic Church
The Old Catholic Church had founded itself because it had not wanted to follow the innovations of the First Vatican Council in 1870, Bilgri explained. At that time, the infallibility of the pope had been raised to dogma. The Old Catholics have a synodal structure, no compulsory celibacy for their priests, they admit women to all ordinations and marry same-sex couples. In Germany belonged to it 15.000 members, according to the former religious. In the meantime, he said, there is also "benevolent ecumenical cooperation" with the Roman Catholic Church.
Since 2008, Bilgri has been self-employed as a lecturer, book author, coach and mediator.