Rorate Caeli

For the record: Cardinal Schonborn's congratulations to "Conchita Wurst"
Is cross-dressing now an example of the "diversity" of "God's garden"?

It was widely reported in German-language media, and noted on a handful of English-language blogs, that Cardinal Schonborn of Vienna had offered his congratulations last week to Thomas Neuwirth, a.k.a "Conchita Wurst", for the bearded transvestite's "victory" at the Eurovision Song Contest earlier this month. 

Now, thanks to a friend of Rorate, "EP", we have a full translation of the Cardinal's remarks as published on his official Facebook page (see here), remarks that were echoed on the website of the Austrian daily, "Heute". The emphases are Rorate's.

It is said on the first page of the Bible: “And God created man to his own image…male and female he created them.” How wonderful, this idea of God’s. What a dull and dreary place the world would be if it were populated by one sex exclusively. The mutual attraction between man and woman is what makes life interesting. The complementarity of the sexes is something both precious and wonderful. None of us would be here today if a man and a woman had not conceived us in what was, hopefully, an act of true love, giving us the gift of life.

Yet, as we all know, God’s garden is full of diversity. Not everyone who was born a man identifies as such; the same goes for many women. As human beings, they deserve the same respect that we all have a right to. I am happy for Thomas Neuwirth who has been acclaimed for his recent performance as Conchita Wurst. It is my sincere hope that success does not go to his head and I pray for God’s blessing in his life.

Is this a triumph of tolerance? The recent kidnapping and forced conversion of 276 Christian girls by the Islamist Boko Haram is a shocking example of intolerance. Another such example is the death penalty threatening homosexuals is various countries. I find the advertisement for the upcoming “Life Ball” to be much less of a threat by comparison, though still questionable. Yes, our world is in need of true tolerance, i.e. the respect for others, even when we do not see eye to eye.   

The Life Balll advertisement can be viewed elsewherenon the web (Warning: the image may be disturbing for many of our readers, and we cannot link to it.) "Life Ball" is billed as "one of the biggest AIDS charity events in the world" but has its roots in Vienna's "gay" scene; according to the event's website, this year's Life Ball is "dedicated to the topic 'The Garden of Earthly Delights'. Lust as something that links people is displayed in all its diversity and brought to life in highly imaginative garden settings, worlds of insects and flowery sceneries." Predictably, Mr. Neuwirth will be performing there as "Conchita Wurst".