A Catholic parish in Vienna to be given to the Serbian Orthodox Church
In Vienna the Catholic Neulerchenfeld parish will be transferred to the Serbian Orthodox Church, reports the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna. The reason for the transfer is the catastrophic reduction in the number of parishioners.
This Sunday, the last Mass will be celebrated at the former Catholic Neulerchenfeld parish in the 16th district of Vienna. After the Mass a religious procession will proceed to St. Mary's Church (Katholische Kirche Maria Namen) in Hippgasse, where the former parishioners of Neulerchenfeld will worship from then on. Last September, these two communities merged legally (before 1939 there had been one joint community).The church will be closed for several weeks. The transfer will be legally accomplished after Easter.
The Catholics of the Neulerchenfeld parish have been trying for several years to settle a dispute over the church’s possible transfer to the Orthodox congregation. They wrote letters of protest to the Vatican several times, but received no positive response.
The Serbian Orthodox Church can boast the largest Orthodox community in Austria. Around 100,000 parishioners of the Serbian Church reside in Vienna, but they have only three churches to meet their needs.