Monday, May 10, 2010

I Like Schönborn...

...I just wish he'd be a little more precise with what he says.

For example, some very surprising, but very pragmatic, things lately:
Christoph Schönborn told the far-left British Catholic magazine the Tablet that the Church should also consider allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion since “many people don’t even marry at all any longer.”
I sympathize, but I don't think we can do that just by admitting those who civilly divorce and remarry outside the Church as if it isn't objectively adultery anymore; the "living and brother and sister" solution is as far as we can go. Rather, I think a more Orthodox attitude towards annulments needs to be taken as I've said before (and, to be honest, in the US we've largely adopted that), but the principle, as a principle, needs to be maintained. There are very often "pragmatic" subjective "fixes" to many of these "problems," but the thick line between the objective theory and the subjective application always needs to be maintained. The abstract doctrinal principle can never be sacrificed. He's allegedly known to be orthodox, but he seems to be sloppy with that sometimes.

His statements on the "quality" of homosexual relationships are similar in some ways to my pragmatic arguments about fornicators using condoms:
“We should give more consideration to the quality of homosexual relationships. A stable relationship is certainly better than if someone chooses to be promiscuous,”
I can't say I agree with his controversial art decisions, nor his endorsement of ideological Zionism, but I like this:
Schönborn’s defiance of ecclesial discipline, however, reached its apogee last June when Pope Benedict called the Austrian bishops to Rome and asked them bluntly to uphold and defend the Catholic faith. At that meeting, he presented Pope Benedict with a petition that he called an “initiative of the lay faithful,” demanding the abolition of compulsory celibacy for priests, the return to ministry of priests who have married, ordination to the diaconate for women, and of married men to the priesthood.

Schönborn told Vatican Radio that day, “Despite the fact that I do not agree with some of the initiative's conclusions, frankly I believe that it is important that people in Rome know what some of our laypeople are thinking."

That is important. I think for LifeSite to call merely bringing a petition to the Pope that he doesn't even totally agree with himself the "apogee of defiance of ecclesial discipline" is ridiculous. It's not like he actually ordained any married men. What he did was well within his rights.

And directly calling out Cardinal Sodano and calling for curial can I not be inclined to think maybe he is the kind of guy to approach? He seems to be attempting to walk the line, to maintain orthodoxy while supporting institutional reform and developing things with a little dose of realism and pastoral empathy...but he needs to be more careful and precise with how it is accomplished.


RememberTheAlamo said...

Throwing out the old Mass for Novus Ordo is quite pragmatic too.

A Sinner said...

At most I think pragmatism would have suggested allowing either rather than forcing the new on people. Enforcing it took a lot of needless effort and caused a lot of problems needlessly, which is hardly pragmatic.

sortacatholic said...

First off, LifeSiteNews has to put down the crack pipe sometime and chill. After Obama nominated Elena Kagan I just had to satisfy my curiosity and see how bananas LSN would get over the SCOTUS pick. True to form LSN was apoleptic over her extreme prochoice views. As if we didn't know Kagan was hard Left. People who read LSN like controversy instead of political action. Let them eat gigabytes.

Schonborn is hard to nail down. At one moment he's liturgically trad; at another point he's doing the rock youth Mass thing; at yet another point he's cautiously backing up gay relationships; he's been a long time booster of optional celibacy. While some of his views are flat out unorthodox/heretical, at least someone's willing to break the silence and put his reputation on the line. I have to give him props for that.

A Sinner said...

Which of his views are flat-out heretical? I'd like to know (if only so I can help him tweak them back into technical orthodoxy, lol)...

sortacatholic said...

Well, Schonborn has said that committed gay relationships are better than promiscuous gay sex. That kind of comment falls into the "flat out heresy" category. That or someone tore the page from my Catechism that says that's okay. (?!?!)

I completely agree with Schonborn on the reform of annulments and the need to dialogue about mandatory celibacy. That's prudent speculation, not heresy. Schonborn might get elected Pope if he keeps his super-radical opinions to himself. Just no rock Masses at St. Peters, k?

A Sinner said...

I don't think there is anything heretical about saying that committed gay relationships are better than promiscuous gay sex. I think that's just common sense.

"Better" doesn't mean they're positively good, just less bad; that's all he's saying. Even then there is a question of whether he means "better" morally or just practically.

Certainly even just serial monogamy (heterosexual or homosexual) is known to be much better at keeping AIDS from spreading than concurrent relationships, for example. And certainly stable relationships (in either "orientation") are known to correlate with mental health and maturity more than random anonymous hook ups.

I certainly don't see the comment as "flat out heresy" unless he said other things that indicate to you he thinks such relationships are positively good or that there is nothing wrong with them. The monogamous homosexual IS a very different creature requiring a very different pastoral approach than the promiscuous one.