Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Only words

Someone asked if I knew where lay the full text of Cardinal Christoph Schönborn's words to the press quoted in The Tablet in which he chastised Cardinal Angelo Sodano for characterizing sex abuse reporting as "petty gossip" and in which Schönborn also said that the Roman Curia was urgently in need of reform, that lasting gay relationships deserved respect, and that the Church needs to reconsider its position on re-married divorcees. I don't know where that transcript can be found, but there's a post at Reuter's FaithWorld today on the subject.

The post at FaithWorld - GUESTVIEW: No good deed goes unpunished - is a guest post by Ignatius Press editor Joseph Fessio SJ. I sometimes visit the Insight Scoop, the blog of Ignatius Press, so I wasn't too surprised at the content of the FaithWorld article - Ignatius Press is very conservative and the article by Fr. Fessio is all about criticizing The Tablet and refuting the on-the-face meaning of Cardinal Schönborn's words on respecting committed gay relationships, changing the stance on re-marriage, and reforming the Curia. Fr. Fessio concludes his post this way ... In sum, Cardinal Schönborn is not calling for any change in the Church’s teaching or discipline. He is calling for a deeper understanding of the struggle to live the high demands of the moral law.

Fr. James Martin SJ also had a post at America's blog about Cardinal Schönborn's words and he prophetically wondered ..... On those last two topics (gays and remarried Catholics) let's see how long it takes for (a) the Vatican to distance itself from Schönborn's comments; or (b) Schönborn himself to say he was misquoted. ...... I guess this post by the editor of Ignatius Press supplies the expected plausible deniability :(

Speaking of words like those spoken by Cardinal Schönborn and then refuted, there have been a lot of posts in blogworld about the pope's recent words spoken on the plane to Portugal in response to questions about Fatima's third secret. He said in part ..... The church has a profound need to relearn penance, to accept purification, to learn on the one hand forgiveness but also the necessity of justice. And forgiveness does not substitute justice. ...... These words have been interpreted by most to mean the pope now "gets it" about the sex abuse/cover-up. I believe this interpretation is wishful thinking, though.

Words, only words.


Anonymous Henry said...


I am looking for the transcript and/or recording of what the cardinal really said because I doubt the veracity of reporters when it comes to the Church. I can't tell you how many times I have read what the news said about an encyclical and then I actually read it and - surprise, surprise, discovered that the news "distorted" it. But, if you presume that reporters at the Tablet, or any other paper, report the news truthfully then I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I want to sell to you.



7:16 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

I do respect the reporters from The Tablet.

8:27 PM  
Blogger PrickliestPear said...


It is difficult to think of a context in which the Cardinal's words would mean what Fessio says they mean. That hasn't stopped the desperation theologians from trying to come up with one, though. See this National Catholic Register story and the accompanying comments. I came very close to laughing and crying at the very same time.


I agree one should not accept what the media says uncritically, but the fact that Schönborn hasn't made any attempt to retract or "clarify" his words speaks volumes.

9:18 AM  
Blogger Deacon Denny said...

Good collection of links, Crystal. I had heard about the cardinal's comments, but little more than that (it's been busy around the parish lately). I'll be very interested to see if there are any further updates on this.

1:15 PM  
Blogger crystal said...


Yes, I agree with you. I'll take a look at the link you gave. I read that Schönborn gave an interesting penance service with a woman theologian recently too - link.

2:16 PM  
Blogger crystal said...


Yes, I hope he'll say more on the subject and make it clear where he stands, but somehow I think the pressure will be on him not to.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Henry said...

At this point I have no idea what actually transpired. I do believe he said something but I don't know if the reporter reported it accurately. I am not surprised that he hasn't made any further comments because he is cautious by nature and probably wants to wait for the hoopla to die down. In any event, trads and progs are each trying to put their spin on it - I think it is best to wait and let events unfold.

6:07 PM  

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