Rorate Caeli

The Pope and the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna
or... Stop plotting the next conclave: this Pope is very much alive


2. Vatican Information Service translation:

The Holy See Press Office released the following communique early this afternoon:

"(1) The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Christoph Schonborn O.P., archbishop of Vienna and president of the Austrian Episcopal Conference. The cardinal had asked to meet the Supreme Pontiff personally in order to report on the current situation of the Church in Austria. In particular, Cardinal Schonborn wished to clarify the exact meaning of his recent declarations concerning some aspects of current ecclesiastical discipline, and certain of his judgements regarding positions adopted by the Secretariat of State - and in particular by the then Secretary of State of Pope John Paul II - concerning the late Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer, archbishop of Vienna from 1986 to 1995.

"(2) Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, and Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. were subsequently invited to join the meeting.

"In the second part of the audience certain widespread misunderstandings were clarified and resolved, misunderstandings deriving partly from certain statements of Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, who expressed his displeasure at the interpretations given to his words.

"In particular:

"(a) It must be reiterated that, in the Church, when accusations are made against a cardinal, competency falls exclusively to the Pope; other parties may have a consultative function, while always maintaining due respect for persons.

"(b) The word 'chiacchiericcio' (gossip) was erroneously interpreted as disrespectful to the victims of sexual abuse, towards whom Cardinal Angelo Sodano nourishes the same feelings of compassion, and of condemnation of evil, as expressed on various occasions by the Holy Father. That word, pronounced during his Easter address to Pope Benedict XVI, was taken literally from the pontifical homily of Palm Sunday and referred to the "courage that does not let itself be intimidated by the gossip of prevalent opinions".

"(3) The Holy Father, recalling with great affection his own pastoral trip to Austria, via Cardinal Christoph Schonborn sends his greetings and encouragement to the Church in Austria, and to her pastors, entrusting the journey to renewed ecclesial communion to the celestial protection of the Blessed Virgin, so venerated at Mariazell".

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is all very nice and I am glad that the HF took the time to clarify a couple of things.

Still: in my modest opinion he is not going at the root of the problem; Cardinal Schonborn will fly back to Austria and continue doing as if nothing had happened.

The situation will only start to improve when rebukes will be followed by removals from office.

Mundabor

Anonymous said...

No mention of his support for homosexual unions, etc...

Brad C said...

Yes, it is extraordinary that there was no mention of Cardinal Schonborn's shocking statements in the same interview about homosexual unions, remarriage after divorce, and married priests. His criticisms of Sodano were among the most reasonable things he said in the interview, and yet THAT is what receives a reprimand from the Holy See. This is truly saddening.

So it's ok to publicly question Church doctrine and practices, but don't you dare criticize the hierarchy for their handling of sex abuse!

John said...

While it is good that Benedict XVI made the effort to solve the conflict among those prelates, it is quite doubtful whether or not Schonborn would really learn the lesson. He has already been asked to clarify things at least twice.

Anonymous said...

The Price will go back unchanged to his ivory tower.

Anonymous said...

"when accusations are made against a cardinal, competency falls exclusively to the Pope"

It seems that many Catholics pray for the Holy Father as if he was a saint fighting against wolves. In fact, we should pray that he does not feed the wolves.

If he alone has the competency then he alone shoulders the responsibility. Blessed Jacinta's concern for future Holy Fathers is becoming clearer and clearer.

Where was the competency in regard to Cardinals Daneels, Mahoney, Kasper, Suenens, Casaroli, Sodano, etc., etc., etc.

On the flip side, where was the competency in regard to Cardinal Mindszenty.

Surely there could have been another 24 cardinals publicly excommunicated after 1733.

The prophecies of Our Lady at Fatima are becoming clearer and clearer. All Catholics would do well to revisit the historical documentation and evidence regarding Fatima -- it is not over! The signs of the times manifest that we are in the middle of it.

Rick DeLano said...

Well, I guess it's the old half-full/half-empty question. For myself, I am experiencing a quite unbecoming episode of Schadenfreude. This was a smackdown and it prepares the ground for future smackdowns. I am very grateful to the Holy Father for publicly putting this chip on the board with respect to the shocking events occurring on the watch of His Eminence Cardinal Schonborn of Vienna.

Anonymous said...

I worry that too much attention is being devoted by His Holiness to settle little fights among his prelates, and not enough attention is being devoted to removing the child abusers. Even if this is not so, it will not be good if it becomes the public percetion of what is going on.

Why does not the Holy See get draconian with prelatical abusers and protectors of abusers? Is it because guilty bishops out there could retaliate by 'opening their files' and thereby doing enormous damage to the Church's reputation? Well, the damage now is already beyond measure. Nothing can even begin to mend it but some resolute action from the top.

I am less concerned if Cardinal Sodano's feelings have been hurt recently by a brother cardinal. I am more concerned about the destroyed lives of the children who have been fondled--and worse--by priests and not protected by prelates. What about their 'hurt' feelings? What will our Lord say about that when their angels present the truth before His throne?

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

I think that after this, one more mis-step, and "His Eminence" is OUT!!

dcs said...

sends his greetings and encouragement to the Church in Austria, and to her pastors, entrusting the journey to renewed ecclesial communion to the celestial protection of the Blessed Virgin, so venerated at Mariazell

I wonder if this isn't a subtle way of telling Card. Schoenborn to stop talking about Medjugorge.

thomas tucker said...

Some day I would like to see someone being shown the exit from the College of Cardinals withoug it being via the hearse.

John Lamont said...

'The word 'chiacchiericcio' (gossip) was erroneously interpreted as disrespectful to the victims of sexual abuse, towards whom Cardinal Angelo Sodano nourishes the same feelings of compassion, and of condemnation of evil, as expressed on various occasions by the Holy Father.'

This is a thumping lie. It is an obvious lie as well - what is the point of it?

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Anonymous said...

So Archbishop Fisichella can criticize Cardinal Sobrino, but Schonborn cannot do so with Sodano, because ONLY THE POPE CAN CRITICIZE A CARDINAL¡¡
Amazing¡

Charles

Anonymous said...

Balloons, anyone?

Don