1995 petition led to international effort
Austrias 1995 petition drive -- known there under its German name, the Kirchenvolks-begehren, or peoples movement in the church -- obtained 505,154 signatures. Thats 8.5 percent of the countrys 6 million Catholics, or 42.5 percent of the estimated 1.2 million regular Mass-goers.
The drive later spread to Germany where more than a million and a half Catholics signed. The total exceeded organizers estimates, though it represented a lower percentage of the countrys Catholics than in Austria. Elsewhere the drive was less successful: A 1997 campaign in the United States netted only 37,000 signatures.
The following five points were included in the petition:
National Catholic Reporter, October 30, 1998