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Helmut Schueller, Austrian Dissident Priest, Stripped Of 'Monsignor' By Vatican

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CRHeavy clouds are seen at sunset over Saint Peter's basilica in the Vatican on November 28, 2012. (TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images) | Getty Images

VATICAN CITY -- An Austrian Roman Catholic dissident priest says the Vatican has stripped him of the right to use the title `'monsignor" in an apparent act of censure for his campaign challenging church teachings that priests must be celibate and excluding woman from the priesthood.

The Rev. Helmut Schueller said Friday that he had been informed the title had been revoked, but that `'the title for me was not so important. I can live with it." He remains a priest.

The Vatican declined to comment.

Schueller earlier this month told the Austrian News Agency that he was working on making his Pfarrer-Initiative more international in 2013, with interest from Germany, Ireland, France, Australia and the United States.

Schueller said he has reached out to involve the Vatican in discussions about reforms.

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