VIENNA (CWN) - Austria's bishops scheduled a special meeting yesterday to discuss recent turmoil in the Church in that country, including dissent from Church teaching, a recent letter from a retired bishop taking his brother bishops to task, and allegations of sexual misconduct against another retired bishop.

      Several weeks ago, retired Bishop Reinhold Stecher's private letter critical of Catholic teaching on priestly celibacy and the male priesthood was made public in several Austrian newspapers. After that, former Archbishop Han Hermann Groer of Vienna was accused of child sexual abuse. Meanwhile, a dissident Catholic group called Catholic Action has organized a petition drive gathering hundreds of thousands of signatures demanding changes in Church teaching, stirring up anger and resentment among parishioners.

      The bishops met on Sunday in Vienna to analyze the turmoil and search for solutions, a spokesman for the bishops' conference said. [More will be forthcoming in following issues of the Daily CATHOLIC.]

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January 23-25, 1998 volume 9, no. 18          DAILY CATHOLIC