Cardinal Schoenborn Asked To Explain Himself.

Dark Brown and very thick: Sachertorte.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has asked Cardinal Schoenborn to “explain” his recent decision to reverse the decision of one of his priests, who has annulled the election of a Gemeinderat (parish council member) because one of the “elected” was not only homosexual, but an unrepentant sodomite even living in a registered civil partnership. Now, people like Vincent Nichols would obviously look the other way and pretend (insulting our intelligence, and endangering his soul; if he believes in its existence, that is) one should be “nuanced” in these matters; but the priest in question was a tad more Catholic and had annulled the vote.

Enter the Cardinal, who couldn’t wait to show the Austrian “Catholics” what a friend of perverts he is, and reversed the decision.

This is, in case you don’t know, the same man who doesn’t do anything beyond the strictly obligatory to counter the heresy in Austria. The reasoning of the (hopefully heterosexual) Cardinal is always the same: I want to look good, let Rome look bad, and try to appear to my local heretics as the good man who tries to defend their stance as good as he can. Alas, one is a Cardinal and has a job to do; but his heart goes out to them,and feels with them…

This time, it appears he will have to endure some slight unpleasantness. The CDF – up to now not really aggressive in the matter of the heresy – has now decided to pat him on the cheek and tell him the least audible of the “naughty boy” imaginable. The Cardinal is invited to say why he reversed the decision (which, clearly, everyone already knows) and if he does not answer to the letter (this detail shows a clear sense of self-esteem from the members of the CDF; they basically invite him to ignore them for the time being) he will be asked to confer next time he is in Rome.

Also note the “Standard” says it appears the Cardinal will not be asked to reverse his decision. That would be too harsh, surely…?

If you do not find this terrifying, I can’t blame you and Schoenborn, who is himself a member of that august congregation, will probably not find his sleep much troubled.

Still, if I were the ineffable, oh so modern and oh so vain Cardinal,  I’d start to be slightly worried anyway.

Everyone knows  Schoenborn is a former pupil and protegé of the Pontiff, which circumstance certainly goes a long way in keeping him away from big trouble even when he most deserves it, which is rather often (Medjugorje also comes to mind; and the laser Masses; and the Western Masses; the man is a real piece of work, or you would say of Sachertorte). As long as Pope Benedict lives, nothing worse than a letter of the CDF in which the latter expects to be ignored will happen to him. But the Pope is becoming increasingly more frail, and I doubt he will stay with us for, say, another decade. When the successor is elected, the good Cardinal could find himself in the Sachertorte up to his very neck, and if this happens I doubt he would be able to chew all of it.

One is reminded of another protegé of a Pontiff, called Marcial Maciel.  The death of JP II was basically the end of the road for him.

Schoenborn might not be a pervert, but he certainly makes everything possible to help them, so I wouldn’t say he is much better than Maciel anyway.  He is probably worse, because Maciel did not give scandal. 

I wonder what the Cardinal thinks of the reconciliation with the SSPX?


Posted on May 13, 2012, in Bad Shepherds, Catholicism and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Right on target, Mundabor. During the early years of JP II’s long pontificate, Schoenborn posed as a conservative (especially when he directed the development of the Catechism). As JP II’s reign was coming to a close, one sensed a palpable shift to the left. Under Benedict, that shift has moved him straight into the progressive camp. He knows that the present Pontiff is (as planned by the last Conclave) a “transition” Pope (meaning, a planned short Pontificate due to the age of the elected Pope — not unheard of after long Pontificates in recent Church history). He is setting himself up as the progressive candidate for the next Conclave.

    • Senrex, I doubt a progressive candidate will have any chance; AFAIK, the conclave would be more conservative today than in 2005. My take is the next conclave will elect someone not less, but more conservative than the present Pontiff, and that Schoenborn will be in great trouble when this happens.

      Even Pope Paul VI’s Cardinal were sensible enough to choose Luciani. I can’t imagine the present cardinals would be so suicidal as to choose Schoenborn.


  2. I hope you’re right about the progressives, Mundabor. My sense is that what we would mean by conservative is NOT the view of many in the College of Cardinals. Papa Luciani makes my point: he was, evidently, not a “conservative” in our sense of the word; cf:

    Actually, I fear that we’ll end up with another compromise candidate (as in 1978 when there was a split between Cardinals Benelli and Siri and Cardinal Wojtyla was elected as the compromise — engineered by that great conservative of Vienna, Cardinal Koenig).

    When it comes to Roman politics, we’re babes in the woods (as the Americans say).


    P.S. I hope you’re not receiving the impression I want to be argumentative. I speak rather plainly and I frequently end up being misunderstood. Thank you for your magnificent labor on this site.

    • Senrex,

      I think you should be more skeptical towards these “revisitations”. The one wants to sell a book, the other probably has his agenda, the rhetorical question was probably answered in an orthodox way, and so on. Pope Luciani was certainly a huge step forward compared to Paul VI, if you read iota unum I think you will be pleased… For the record, the expression common law marriage does not exist in Italian, so I wonder what the translator decided to define in that way.

      Look on my blog the post I wrote a couple of days ago concerning Fellay’s interview to the CNS. You have seen him personally and consider him a holy man, but from the interview it appears he would be entirely different from the man you have known. It is so easy to manipulate one’s thoughts, particularly after he is dead. In 20 years time, another senrex 😉 will link to that interview believing – in good faith, I am sure – Fellay didn’t have any problem with V II…

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