New, young and facing east

Another significant change in bishops in the German-speaking world. Bishop Paul Iby of Eisenstadt in Austria has been succeed by (the rather impressively-named) Bishop-elect Ägidius Zsifkovics. At 46, Msgr. Zsifkovics is young for a bishop, but he has already made a career in the Church in Austria. He has been the general secretary of the Austrian bishops’ conference, and before that he worked as secretary of the late Bishop Stefan László, also of Eisenstadt. He is also said to have good contacts in the archiepiscopal staff in Vienna. As a representative of the Croat minority in eastern Austria, he also strongly favours good contacts with the countries to the east, possibly including the Orthodox Churches as well.

And the liberal ‘We Are Church’ movement does not like him, which is a change from Bishop Iby, who in recent months openly favoured the abolishment of celibacy for priests and other liberal classics.