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Saturday, May 08, 2010

Cardinal Schönborn and George Coyne SJ

The Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Schönborn, has been in the news lately because of his recent comments ....

The head of the Austrian Church has launched an attack of one of the most senior cardinals in the Vatican, saying that Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, “deeply wronged” the victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy when he dismissed media reports of the scandal. [as petty gossip] In a meeting with editors of the main Austrian daily newspapers last week, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, the Archbishop of Vienna, also said the Roman Curia was “urgently in need of reform”, and that lasting gay relationships deserved respect. He reiterated his view that the Church needs to reconsider its position on re-married divorcees.
- The Tablet

I very much agree with his above remarks.

Having said that, what I mostly remember about Cardinal Schönborn is his past dust-up with the former head of the Vatican Observatory, George Coyne SJ, over intelligent design/evolution .... if there are sides to be taken in this, being a fan of the Vatican Observatory I take the side of Fr. Coyne. Here's a little from Wikipedia on this ....

Coyne has been a vocal opponent of intelligent design since at least August 2005, when his was published in The Tablet.[2] This opposition was further publicized in November 2005, when he was quoted by the ANSA news agency as saying "Intelligent design isn't science even though it pretends to be. If you want to teach it in schools, intelligent design should be taught when religion or cultural history is taught, not science."[3] He was also interviewed for the BBC documentary A War On Science where he criticised intelligent design as being unscientific,[4] and suggested that the Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn was pressured by the think-tank the Discovery Institute to publish an article in the New York Times critical of evolution.[5] ........

He retired from the position in 2006 and was replaced by the Argentinean astronomer José Gabriel Funes. As this followed closely Coyne's prominence in the debate over intelligent design, speculation arose that he was replaced due to his criticism of it and its supporters, particularly Cardinal Schönborn, a friend of Pope Benedict XVI. [7] During a 2008 interview with Richard Dawkins, Coyne praised a pre-publication version of a new book by Schönborn. Coyne summarizes the book as a distinction by Schönborn between evolution and "evolutionism", the latter of which extends evolution beyond the science and into reductionist judgements of human worth. Coyne states that the controversy would not have arisen had Schönborn shared those views before.[8] In a statement to the Arizona Daily Star, Funes publicly rejected the idea that Coyne's retirement relates to his views on Intelligent Design.[9] Coyne himself has said the idea was "simply not true".[10]

[2] - God's chance creation
[3] - Vatican official: 'Intelligent design' isn't science
[4] - A War on Science
[5] - Finding Design in Nature
[7] - Pope sacks astronomer over evolution debate
[8] - YouTube interview
[10] - Vatican Observatory head rebuts suggestions that he was fired

And here's the video interview of Fr. Coyne with Richard Dawkins ....

I guess if there's any lesson in this it's that people are complex and can vary widely in their stances on different issues.


Anonymous Victor said...

>>I guess if there's any lesson in this it's that people are complex and can vary widely in their stances on different issues.<<

I agree with you crystal and that's why I like to try and keep "IT" as simple as I can. For example and with no degree under my belt but what I've heard so often in The Gospel while I was growing up as a Catholic mixed with my life experiences. Anyway as far as Darwinism is concerned, I believe that he went as far as he could go mentally. I think that he went as far as he could go into spiritual reality fact in order to come up with his theory which so many now believe.

Having said that, let me also say that Adam and Eve were no longer in Paradise when he mentally in reality fact got there and the animals were now seen by him to be the only ones left there which made "IT" easy for him to come UP with animals as being in charge of this world and I might also say that Jesus did not really correct him in spirituality fact because Jesus said that He will someday come back to judge The goats and Sheep and His kingdom would have no end.

I could go on and on but what good would "IT" do cause as you said people are so smart now and will believe while proving their believe as so called facts.

Like I like, I want to keep "IT" simple and say that Jesus was our new Adam and everyone who believes that He actually saved U>S all by His Cross and Resurrection will have life Eternal and have "IT" in abundance and His Father who made U>S in His OWN IMAGE will make sure of that come The Judgement Day and we simply need to find enough faith to believe "IT."

I hear ya! Time will tell Victor!:)

God Bless and please keep praying for me.


8:27 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Victor,

Keep praying for me too :)

12:54 AM  
Anonymous Henry said...


You wrote: "I guess if there's any lesson in this it's that people are complex and can vary widely in their stances on different issues." I definitely agree with you!



P.S., I've been trying to find a transcript of what he actually said but haven't had any luck, if you find it let me know.

8:30 AM  
Blogger crystal said...


All I've been able to find is that he spoke those words to the editor of a daily Austrian newspaper - don't know which one.

2:37 PM  

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