Vienna “gay blessing” not what you think

Vienna “gay blessing” not what you think

Folks have been sending me links to stories about the Vienna Cathedral rector offering blessings for gay couples, as if Cardinal Christoph Schonborn was somehow sanctioning homosexuality. This is off the mark.

Gerald Augustinus, a native Austrian now living in the US, has debunked this story at his blog by translating the original German reports.

The point Sullivan and Palmo made was that Cardinal Schoenborn had given his tacit placet to the official blessing of homosexual (non-marital/non-engaged in general) relationships, so to speak. Given the rules of the bishops conference and Cardinal Schoenborn’s being a part of it, that is simply not true, unless of course you think that Cardinal Schoenborn, editor of the Catechism, does not abide by Catholic teaching that he helped set forth in the Catechism. However, there is no evidence for such a stance, on the contrary.

It’s easy to jump to conclusions about single-sourced news stories in a foreign language, but they aren’t always what they seem.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • It seems that the LifesiteNews article referenced needed to be read very carefully, because it does give the impression that Fr. Faber was including homosexuals in the blessing.

    But, in fact, it is reported that he said “Today there is no possibility in the Church to bless a union of people with homosexual feelings.”

    This is easy to miss because immediately after this comes the report: Faber admitted at the Cathedral announcement that he is involved in a personal campaign among his fellow priests for acceptance of the homosexual disorder and claimed that the Cardinal had approved his proposal. His actions, he said, “are based on solid Catholic ground and are in a 100% concordance with the directives of the Austrian Bishops’ Conference.” This makes it appear that the blessing given during the service included homosexual couples.

    Very confusing.

  • Have I got this right?

    1) On Valentine’s Day, Cardinal Schönborn’s cathedral hosted a blessing for people who are in love, to which gay and lesbian people were explicitlty invited.

    2) To avoid misunderstandings, the rector of Cardinal Schönborn’s catehdral noted a distinction between blessing couples in, or preparing for, sacramental marriage — vis a vis blessing individual members of couples whose plans or options do not include sacramental marriage.  (One imagines couples in the first group coming forward side by side and couples in the second group approaching single file.  What’s the German for “fine line”?)

    3) The guidelines for the blessing ceremony were approved by the Austrian bishops’ conference of which Cardinal Schönborn is (please correct me if my info is not current) the president or executive chair.

    With all this going on in Cardinal Schönborn’s episcopal conference and his cathedral, I can understand why Catholicsphere finds it very confusing.

    I wonder what the local response would be were such a blessing offered at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston?