Austria has elected a new bishop

The Old Catholic Church of Austria elected Maria Kubin as their new bishop. She is the first woman to be elected to the episcopal ministry since most of the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht opened the threefold apostolic ministry to women. Vicar Maria Kubin from Graz, born in 1965, received the necessary majority of votes in the third ballot. She succeeds Bishop Heinz Lederleitner.

Kubin has worked as a psychotherapist for 30 years and is currently working on her doctoral thesis on the question of how people who have experienced trauma come to terms with their faith. She joined the Old Catholic Church in 2008, studied Roman Catholic theology at the University of Graz and Old Catholic and ecumenical theology at the University of Bonn. She was ordained a deacon in 2017 and a priest in 2019.

As the most important goal of her ministry, the bishop-electa states that she wants to achieve that people in the Old Catholic Church in Austria feel seen, understood and valued. “Then they themselves will go out strengthened and work for the world: For peace, against all injustice, in solidarity for the poor and excluded, for animals, for the environment. Then we will live in the spirit of Christ and follow his example,” said Kubin in a first statement. She therefore calls on her church to work together as prophets for this world.

As soon as the Internationa Bishops’ Conference of the Union of Utrecht has confirmed the election, the new bishop will sign the Utrecht Declaration, the statutes of the IBC and be admitted to the circle of bishops. The consecration is sceduled for Saturday, 24 June in Vienna.