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?