Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Lesson We Might Learn from Cardinal Schonborn

Sometimes I let LifeSiteNews ruins my nights, sometimes my mornings. This morning I read this story about that Cardinal permitting the election of an openly homosexual man to a parish council in his diocese of Vienna. Sure I could get mad at the Cardinal, and refuse to read anymore of his books. Okay, deal. (Actually, I still think I will use his Christology text next time I teach that course.)

Sure I could get mad.

But why not do something more productive? And here that is: a warning post about how to prevent this in Canada before it's too late.

I know Canada, but I don't know Austria. Having taught Modern Church History a few years ago I learned that Austria is the home of the worst Catholics always: if they are not anti-Jew bigots, as they were in the 19th Century, they were anti-clericalists for the two centuries previous to that; or, today, they are pro-homosexualist weirdos. Canada, luckily, doesn't get the worst Catholics ever award. Austria does.

But let me point this out: if you don't want to end up with an openly homosexual person on the parish council, here's how you prevent that.

First, get rid of people who are in irregular heterosexual unions from the boards. This includes: people living together without being married, people who are not actually sacramentally married (divorced and cohabitating people).

Secondly, get rid of people who are, although technically in 'legitimate' marriages, are open about using contraception. Remember the only difference between a homosexual who should be on a parish council and one who should not be is that the former is trying to live chastely, and should be encouraged and rewarded for doing so. After all, such a person edifies us all. Someone who is openly defiant about Church teaching re. contraception is no different from a homosexual who is openly defiant. This is the sort of nonsense that actually makes us bona fide bigots: we persecute homosexuals but not heterosexuals who defy Church teaching. No doubt Cardinal Schonborn took one quick look at the parish councils in his diocese and realized this.

Finally, get rid of homosexualists.

Now you have the credibility to do so. Until you do steps one and two, don't bother with the third. Why? Because you are an inconsistent bigot.

Your standard incriminating picture.
Sure, there is a lower proportion of anti-Catholic Church-destroyers in groups one and two, but there are way more of them, since those groups are way, way larger. Sure, homosexualists are more intrinsically dangerous per capita, but their legal argument against the Church is being provided for them by groups one and two. If the Church only forbids people from the third category then they are singling them out. That verges on the illegal.

Lastly, let me say this. Cardinal Schonborn should be ashamed of himself. I have come to his defense before, but now I am speechless with shame. I am sure the Holy Father is too. The stupidest thing the Cardinal said was "how impressive" this homosexual young man was. I am sure he is impressive. After all, he outwitted and manipulated one of the greatest theological minds of the contemporary Church. I have yet to do something so impressive. But really what the Cardinal meant was "I am a scared little baby and this is the easiest thing to do." So much for getting blood on those red vestments. He should probably return them to the Holy Father if he's not going to use them.

By way of comparison - for those of you who will no doubt want to write me and say: "Colin, it's already too late here in Canada! After all, parish X did this and bishop Y did that..." To them I will say precipitously: a few years ago while he was ordinary of Halifax, Archbishop Prendergast forbade a cohabiting homosexual man from being choir director of one of the parishes in his diocese. That was one of my proudest moment with respect to His Grace. It's still possible. But will anyone follow suit?

There's a million reasons not to do something. Sometimes people just happen to be really impressive young men. And there's really nothing you can do about that. Now, if he was unimpressive, or even just plain ordinary...


  1. You're dead on. Parish councils are full of Catholics who do not obey, let alone understand, Church teaching. And as long as we give them these positions, how can we possibly have any credibility on the big issues?

  2. I'm off to pray the rosary in just a moment. My prayer on this Good Friday is that the glorious one, holy, catholic and apostolic church will be composed of people who fully believe in Her as Christ's glorious and true Church and that all her members may be as She is one, holy, catholic and apostolic. It's along shot, I know but that will be my prayer. God bless you Colin and our country.

  3. Keep the prayers coming. The life of the Christian - I am thinking more and more - is always to be marked by trial and not by going with the flow.