Rorate Caeli

The unstoppable Cardinal of Vienna

During his visit to the Vatican with a delegation of Austrian Bishops in the past two days, the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna delivered a message from his flock, as Italian news agency ASCA reports:
In the Vatican, Card. Schönborn also presented the so-called "Initiative of the lay faithful" (Laieninitiative), a petition by relevant Austrian Catholics launched earlier this year, which asks for the abolition of compulsory celibacy, the return to activity of married priests, the opening of the diaconate to women, and the ordination of [married] 'viri probati'.

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Tip: Papa Ratzinger blog

36 comments:

  1. Yeah... from the "lay" "faithful". Riiiiight.

    If a Protestant like Schonborn is the best Catholic leader Austria has, then can we really speak of a Catholic church in Austria?

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  2. Anonymous10:59 AM

    We are about to see one of two things: either the end of this papacy as an effective force for orthodoxy and orthopraxis, or the definitive and dramatic breaking of the power of the Left within the Catholic Church.
    Schönborn must be publicly humiliated; if, on the contrary, he emerges intact from this wretched episode, then Benedict's weakness will be exposed for the whole world to see.

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  3. Vincent12:18 PM

    What happened to Schonborn? Wasn't he an ally of Benedict at one point?

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  4. It seems that this man was/is a "fifth columnist" for the "innovators".

    With his petition/document, any explanation about the crisis of faith in Europe by the SSPX is superfluous.

    It must be said that the SSPX's letter explaining the ordinations is a powerful counter to the German bishop's claims. Nonetheless, the canonical situation is grave and needs rectification. One simply cannot go about accessing confession and marriage with priests who do not have faculties. Interestingly, on this issue, the SSPX moved the goal posts when they argued that it was a case of necessity due to the unavailability of the sacraments in the traditional rites.

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  5. If this is true, I am appalled. If this is the kind of thing that a "conservative" like Schonborn is willing to endorse, everything that Malachi Martin wrote about the world's cardinals in Windswept House looks extremely plausible. The actions of Archbishop Lefebvre and the SSPX receive all the more justification when this nonsense comes to the surface.

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  6. Anonymous1:44 PM

    What that is outrageous !!!!!!! What insult, instead of gathering signatures and becoming a delivery pigeon, he should have been expalining why these points are not possible to the lay people and avoid putting the Pope under unnecessary pressure. What uselessness....

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  7. So this petition is an "initiative of the lay faithful"? Considering the sorry state of the Church in Austria, there can't have been many people who signed it. Are there enough lay faithful left in Austria to even fill out a single page of a petition?

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  8. Is is sinful to call a Cardinal a tool? Cause this is just rediculous, instead of being firm with his people, teaching the faith to them, and being willing to be criticized for it he is enabling their dissent (as well as dissenting himself because I very much doubt he would have delivered it if he didnt support it in some ways.)

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  9. I cannot believe that I once wanted him to be the next Pope. I'm all for Card. Bagnasco now.

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  10. Anonymous4:01 PM

    I take back my defence of Schönborn made yesterday and I hereby apologise to the anonymous blogger who called for his removal. I take back my support of Iakovos on this issue. I was wrong. I hope that everyone here will accept my apology for taking the wrong side on this. I mean the apology sincerely.

    One blogger here asks if Schönborn has changed from being the Pope's ally. I think that he has changed and that that is what misled me.

    I was clearly right, on the other side, that the meeting was definitely not a dressing down of the Austrian bishops, although I think that the Pope did try to bring them in line.

    The Pope should ask for Schönborn's resignation. If he refuses to proffer it, he should be canonically deposed. This has gone far enough. Are we Catholics or are we secular humanists and Protestants? Did the doctors and martyrs of the Reformation suffer to defend this nonsense? And why do I get the feeling that all this nonsense about married priests is being raised because several Austrian prelates might already have mistresses? It just seems to 'urgent'. I'm not accusing anyone but I wonder . . . .

    P.K.T.P.

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  11. Anonymous4:17 PM

    Wicked and shocking! He had many people fooled, but no longer.

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  12. Francesco B.4:56 PM

    From Catholic Culture:

    "CARDINAL BERTONE WARNS AUSTRIAN BISHOPS AGAINST LOSS OF FAITH"

    http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=3237

    *****

    I hate to say it, but I fear Cardinal Bertone's warning might be a little too late.

    God help Austia!

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  13. Anonymous5:11 PM

    When Schoenborn becomes the next pope and sanctions married candidates for the priesthood, you'll have to accept it won't you? In view of the notion that where the pope is the Church is also, it's either obey or be cast into outer darkness.

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  14. Anonymous5:14 PM

    According to my sources at Vienna,

    1/3 of Schonborn's priest are active sodomites.

    Why not tackel that problem, rather than stirring up a bees nest.

    With the recent scandal in his diocese regarding the artwork depicting Christ and the Apostles as sodomites, which he long refused to take action to remove, it can now be objectively questioned whether he accepts the 6t and 9th Commandment, or has abandoned all reason...

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  15. Anonymous5:24 PM

    "why do I get the feeling that all this nonsense about married priests is being raised because several Austrian prelates might already have mistresses?"

    Mr Perkins:

    Bingo!

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  16. I really have to wonder how many of the commentators have read Cardinal Schönborn's writings, met him, or are familiar with the situation of the Church in Austria. I have been living in Austria for some years, and do know him.

    It is simply jumping to false conclusions to suppose that the fact that he presented such a petition to the pope means that he agrees with everything in it. Moreover, it is false to call him a protestant. I think it was probably the wisest thing to do on his part.

    We won't win people over by failing to show them understanding. If we really believe the Church has the truth, we shouldn't be afraid of communicating and dialoging with the lay theologians and lay faithful who have such opinions. We don't need to just try to impose the truth and the Church's traditional practice on them.

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  17. Jusztinián G. Rathkaj7:37 PM

    It may be an exaggeration to call the count a protestant. But he is an opportunist of the deepest dye. Vain and narcissistic he want to be acclaimed by the publicity as man of conciliation at cost of any catholic profile. The fruits of this course, of course foredoomed to failure, can be seen in his steadily shrivelling diocese (today less than 50 percent of the viennese are catholic) . The patronization of the communist artist Hrdlicka (blasphemous objects in the diocesan museum, a pornographic bare-bosomed "sculpture" of the blessed Sr. Restituta Kafka in his cathedral), blessings of sodomites on St. Valentine by the likewise shady vicar of his cathedral. All that may make him popular by the liberal mainstream of the austrian countries but just speeds the fatal run of the last anyway puny vestiges of the austrian catholicism.

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  18. I thank PTKP, note that Iakovos hasn't surfaced, and agree completely with Mr. Rathkaj's post above.

    The time has come to clean house, Holy Father.

    Please.

    We can dialogue until the cows come home, but it is up to Your Holiness to teach, govern, and sanctify.

    The Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna has ruinously failed to do so.

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  19. Anonymous8:33 PM

    What a disaster this Cardinal Schonborn is, with friends like him the Pope doesn't need enemies.

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  20. St. Rafael9:48 PM

    Cardinal Schonborn should resign at the very least, but he deserves to be excommunicated for heresy.

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  21. Which one(s), St. Rafael?

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  22. St. Rafael10:07 PM

    If Cardinal Schonborn presented this petition, he must believe in all these things.
    The ordination of women to the diaconate would a heresy that is punishable by excommunication. Woman's ordination to Holy Orders, in either the diaconate or priesthood is contrary not only to dogma, but the original deposit of faith.

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  23. Anonymous10:52 PM

    Bertone for next pope!

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  24. John Ashley1:07 AM

    In response to 'Joseph' who says:

    "It is simply jumping to false conclusions to suppose that the fact that he presented such a petition to the pope means that he agrees with everything in it."

    No doubt this is true but if he is a Catholic bishop do you not think he ought to correct the signers of the petition and instruct them in the faith.

    Who is it that we are not winning over by not showing them understanding? Cardinal Schonborn must be shown understanding so as to win him over to the Catholic faith? As a bishop it is his duty to explain and defend the faith and not win political points with Austrian Catholics by putting such nonsensical documents before the Pope. If he, as a bishop, needs to be shown understanding he should, quite frankly, resign. He does not understand his office. It is a sad fact of our time that many bishops are in need of on the job training but it is not a job which you learn as you go.

    Presenting such petitions to the Pope is nothing more than cheap political grandstanding.

    Joseph says further :
    "If we really believe the Church has the truth, we shouldn't be afraid of communicating and dialoging with the lay theologians and lay faithful who have such opinions."

    And if the Cardinal believes the truth why then has he not explained it to the Austrian Catholics rather try to slough it off on the Pope. Such nonsense coming from the faithful(?) seems to be evidence of the incompetence of the bishops.

    John Ashley
    Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
    Canada

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  25. The only openly heretical part is the ordination of women, the rest is just idiocy, not heresy. I agree that Schönborn isn't necessarily endorsing the initiative that he's delivering. He certainly could have ignored it, but on the other hand, he's very accurately presenting a full picture of his diocese to the Pope.

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  26. BS!

    He's a Protestant, plain and simple. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

    I know lots of Protestants. They're good people, sure. But they shouldn't be cardinals in the Catholic Church.

    And neither should Schonborn, and it doesn't matter one wit how well you know the man.

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  27. "So this petition is an "initiative of the lay faithful"? Considering the sorry state of the Church in Austria, there can't have been many people who signed it. Are there enough lay faithful left in Austria to even fill out a single page of a petition?"

    True!

    What did the pope say?

    "Well, you can look on the bright side, Chris. You only have twenty people to catechize."

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  28. Please keep in mind that the article does not mention everything that is wanted by the Laieninitiative.
    On their website (www.Laieninitiative.at) they call for the implementation of the Dutch Dominican's "Church and Ministry" document.
    If you remember this document, you'll know that the ordination of deaconesses is not the only heretical thing called for by this initiative.

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  29. Ave Maria!

    Poor Cardinal of Vienna!

    We should pray for His Eminence, a lot more!

    It would be a better help, rather than throwing stones!

    Christ: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone"

    Pray an Ave Maria for the Cardinal

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  30. The word "presented" is a bit misleading. Read what the Cardinal himself says here: http://stephanscom.at/news/0/articles/2009/06/17/a16829/.

    Especially this bit:

    **Auf Nachfrage bestätigte Kardinal Christoph Schönborn, dass er am Rande der Begegnungen auch das Memorandum der österreichischen "Laien-Initiative" an den Präfekten der Kleruskongregation, Kardinal Claudio Hummes, übergeben habe. "Auch wenn ich mit manchen Schlussfolgerungen dieser Initiative nicht einverstanden bin, so glaube ich doch, dass es wichtig ist, dass man in Rom weiß, was ein Teil unserer Laien zu den Sorgen der Kirche denkt."**

    In other words he gave Cardinal Hummes the petition, even though he doesn't agree with it, so that Cardinal Hummes will "know how some of our lay people think."

    He then goes on to say this:

    **Die große Zahl der Menschen in Österreich, "die keinen Zugang zur Kirche haben, für die das Evangelium schon etwas Fremdes geworden ist", sei eine Herausforderung für die Kirche, unterstrich Kardinal Schönborn. Ein zentrales Thema in den kommenden Jahren sei daher die Verkündigung des Evangeliums.**

    In other words, the fact that so many Austrians are so out of touch with Gospel shows that our most pressing need is re-evangelization.

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  31. John Ashley writes: "And if the Cardinal believes the truth why then has he not explained it to the Austrian Catholics rather try to slough it off on the Pope. Such nonsense coming from the faithful(?) seems to be evidence of the incompetence of the bishops."

    My dear sir, how much more do you want Cardinal Schoenborn to do? There is scarcely a bishop in Europe who has made greater efforts to catechize his flock. In sermons, pastoral letters, city missions, monthly catechetecal talks, interviews, articles etc., he has constantly tried to teach the Catholic Faith which comes to us from the Apostles. But the flock has stuffed its ears. By provoking the evolution debate he hoped to prepare the ground again by turning people's attention to "preambula fidei" without which he sees the gospel falling on deaf ears. It is a sign of what hard work sowing the gospel here is. The Cardinal is truly doing his best. You accuse him of being incompetent, but do you think his predecessesor, the outspoken conservative Cardinal Groer was more effective? Remember that Schoeborn witnessed Cardinal Groer brutally driven out of his office by the "official laypeople" who have run the Austrian ecclesiastical bureaucracy since Vatican II. The cleverly orchestrated campaign of slander drove Groer out (despite the fact that the false witnesses who accused him unnatural crime were all completely discredited in court). A little while later he witnessed the similar fall of the courageous, but imprudent bishop Krenn, through a similar conspiracy. If Schoeborn walks a bit too timidly at times (I don't deny that he is sometimes too timid) one has to understand that he is trying to walk an extremely narrow line.

    I can tell you that despite his timidity he he has done more to encourage the new evangelization here than practically any other bishop -- especially through inviting thriving new religious communities and lay movements into his diocese.

    Those who call him a protestant are simply ignorant of the facts. Would a protestant write this reflection on the primacy of Peter, and of his current succesor, Pope Benedict XVI: http://kath.net/detail.php?id=22084 ?

    The petition, which he showed to Card. Hummes is the latest move of the same clique of people who organized the downfall of Groer and the "Latrocinium of Salzburg". To blame it on Cardinal Schenborn's "incompetence" that people twenty years older than he are still pushing the same nonsense that they were pushing before he became bishop is simply unreasonable.

    As for those who think that he is a "protestant", or that agrees with anything in the petition which he showed to Cardinal Hummes, they simply don't know what they are talking about. There is not a single point in that petition that he has not repeatedly rejected on numerous occasions both in speech and in print (on priestly celebacy see for example, http://kath.net/detail.php?id=22612).

    Cardinal Schoenborn is not perfect, but he is genuinely doing his uttermost for the Church of God. To those who confidently condemn him as a heretic I quote Bishop Krenn: "die Lügner sollen das Maul halten!"

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  32. P.S. By calling Krenn's downfall similar to Groer's I don't mean to deny the serious differences - namely that in Krenn's case there really was substance to some of the charges against his seminary staff - the point is that Krenn himself was innocent and his enemies clouded the waters for him (the diocese was in open revolt) and then used his ignorance against him.

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  33. "Presented", "delivered"... It really does not matter: who in Rome or elsewhere does not know what the rebels have been demanding for decades?

    NC

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  34. EW,

    So, what you are saying in a nutshell is that Schoenborn is not a Protestant, but a coward.

    I think I would rather be a Protestant.

    Whatever, then. Either way, Protestant or coward, he shouldn't be a prince of the Catholic Church.

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  35. Anonymous1:27 PM

    I was taught in Catholic School, we Obey everything except SIN.

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  36. Manuel3:09 PM

    To the person who wrote this,
    "We won't win people over by failing to show them understanding. If we really believe the Church has the truth, we shouldn't be afraid of communicating and dialoging with the lay theologians and lay faithful who have such opinions. We don't need to just try to impose the truth and the Church's traditional practice on them."
    It upsets me that people keep bringing up dialoging. I live in the US and many have tried this tactic with the current President. But he stated we'll just have to agree to disagree on abortion and therefore more unborn children continue to be murdered. At some point dialoging becomes the ridiculous path leading to nowhere. The truth is the truth. If the laity are rebellious and disobedient, and consider opinion more important than truth, than what is the point of being a believer in what our Lord has established here on Earth, His Bride the Church.

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