Rorate Caeli suggests the Austrian Bishops are in "open revolt", below is an extract from a letter issued under the signature of Cardinal von Shoenberg and Austria's senior bishop following an emergency meeting after Fr Wagner withdrew from his appointment as auxilliary bishop to the uber-liberal diocese of Linz. The implications of "factions" seem to indicate the Austrian Church is ungovernable.
"4. There were problems of communication in the recent appointment of an auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Linz. The bishops are aware that Fr Wagner asked the Pope to withdraw the appointment. The theme of Episcopal appointments is therefore important because since the mid-eighties in Austria it has been associated with a number of problems. For many, the controversy over episcopal appointments led to a painful conflict, and they have triggered splits in the church.
It is precisely in this area that sensitivity is most appropriate. There is no question that the Pope is free to appoint bishops. The bishops do not want to go back in time where - as in 1918 - the Emperor alone chose the bishops. Even a 'popular choice' of the bishops would divide the church into parties and conflicts would be inevitable.
We bishops are convinced that the procedure provided for in canon law for the selection and the examination of candidates has proved its worth, if this procedure is really followed. Therefore, before the Holy Father takes the final decision, reliable and thoroughly tested basic information must be provided on which he can rely.
In Austria in the next few years a number of bishops are to be appointed. The faithful are legitimately concerned that the process of candidate search, examination of the proposals and the final decisions should be carefully undertaken and with pastoral sensitivity are possible.
This can ensure that bishops are appointed who are not 'against' but 'for' a local church. We bishops will make every possible effort to support the forthcoming episcopal appointments in the sense of monitoring these procedures in close cooperation with the relevant Vatican offices."
"Trusting in God's help, we will overcome the crisis of recent weeks." [Adapted according to original text]