Interview with Archlayman of Vienna
“Cardinal” Schönborn: Amoris Laetitia adds what is missing from one-sided Veritatis Splendor
The January 11, 2018 edition of the German weekly Christ & Welt (“The Christian & the World”) features an interview with the notorious Archapostate of Vienna, “Cardinal” Christoph Schönborn, conducted by Julius Müller-Meiningen. Christ & Welt is published as a supplement to the weekly national paper Die Zeit.
“Who’s wearing the hat in Rome?”, the publication asks on its title page. The blurb underneath describes the occasion for the interview: “Conservatives are criticizing Pope Francis severely for his encyclical [sic] ‘Amoris laetitia’. The universal church has never been more divided. That is precisely why the Pope needs our support, Viennese Cardinal Schonborn opines.”
The interview itself bears the title, “The faithful one among the unfaithful ones.” It is a reference to Mr. Schonborn, the disgraceful long-time “Archbishop” of Vienna, who most recently made headlines by leading an interconfessional homo-friendly prayer service that featured a blaspheming transvestite in the Austrian capital’s Cathedral of St. Stephen.
To what or whom could Schonborn be described as “faithful”? Certainly not to Roman Catholicism. No, Schonborn is faithful to “Pope” Francis, of course, the Jesuit apostate masquerading as the Pope of the Catholic Church. When it comes to presenting and interpreting the “papal” exhortation Amoris Laetitia, Schonborn has been Francis’ preferred theologian. At the Vatican press conference that presented the document on Apr. 8, 2016, it was Schonborn — not Gerhard Ludwig Muller, then the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — who acted as Francis’ doctrinal representative regarding the document; and on more than one occasion, the “Pope” has pointed to Schonborn as providing the right answers to questions about the controversial document.
For copyright reasons, we cannot present a translation of the entire interview here; we can, however, quote and summarize a few particularly salient portions.
After claiming — in view of Amoris Laetitia perhaps somewhat surprisingly — that our world is at risk of downplaying the seriousness of sin, Schonborn says:
How does guilt originate? This is not primarily a church question, it is a human question. Obviously Pope Francis appeals to a great many people who have little to do with church. But they are touched by his gestures and words and by his reaching out to people, and somehow they feel: Yes, this would be what it’s all about.
(“Cardinal” Christoph Schonborn, in Julius Müller-Meiningen, “Der Treue unter den Untreuen”, Christ & Welt, Jan. 11, 2018; our translation.)
No doubt, in the Vatican II Sect it is all about man. God has a rather marginal role to play: His job is to forgive people’s sins, solve their problems, and make them feel good. Apart from that, He is to stay as far out of the picture as possible. The central focus for the Modernists is man, who “has with infinite temerity put himself in the place of God, raising himself above all that is called God,” as Pope Saint Pius X warned over 100 years ago. Man does this “in such wise that although he cannot utterly extinguish in himself all knowledge of God, he has contemned God’s majesty and, as it were, made of the universe a temple wherein he himself is to be adored” (Pope Pius X, Encyclical E Supremi, n. 5). Of course this didn’t keep “Pope” Paul VI roughly 60 years later from proclaiming pridefully that “all things on earth should be related to man as their center and crown” (Vatican II, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, n. 12) — but we digress.
Last September, a number of conservative Novus Ordo adherents issued against Francis what they called a “Filial Correction on Account of the Propagation of Heresies”, which focused in particular on some of the most egregious errors contained in Amoris Laetitia, correcting them with both genuine Catholic teaching but also with pre-Francis Novus Ordo teaching. In particular, the Novus Ordo document Veritatis Splendor, a lengthy encyclical issued by “Pope” John Paul II in 1993, was referenced as many as seven times in refutation of the errors of Amoris Laetitia. It is this encyclical that Schonborn has in mind when he says:
…the great preceding document “Veritatis splendor” of John Paul II showed one side of reality, so to speak, but did not have the other [side] in view. John Paul II’s concern was establishing the existence of objective norms. And that is absolutely necessary. It’s not like I put together my own norms. There are objective norms. But this expresses only one half of the matter. And the second half Francis has added with “Amoris laetitia”. In that document one can sense where his existential background lies. Those countless extremely poor families he experienced in Latin America. You can’t just come along with the objective norm! You have to take a look at what realization of humaneness, at times even heroic, and [what realization] of mutual help people manage to engender under such living conditions. This concrete attentiveness [to that reality] has helped [the Church] tremendously.
This is typical Novus Ordo mumbo jumbo. First, consider the preposterousness of the implication: Apparently we are being asked to infer that until Francis and his Amoris Laetitia came along, the Catholic Church only had half the story on morality, sin, guilt, and all the rest. All we knew about was objective moral standards, and everyone forgot that there is also an “existential reality”, which changes… well, what, precisely? We are not told. In classic Modernist fashion, Schonborn merely insinuates but does not state just what it is that this “realization of humaneness” adds to the picture. Sin is still sin; intrinsic evil is still intrinsic evil. Heroic mutual benevolence or not, one still cannot lie, blaspheme, or commit adultery under any circumstances. That in pastoral work and especially in the internal forum the Church must show compassion to people in their sufferings, needs, and difficult situations and preach the truth charitably goes without saying. But then, this is not a new discovery, nor was it absent from the last 2,000 years. So just what is the point of the excessive emphasis on “concrete situations”? Human experience is not a proper theological locus, a source of data from which to draw argumentation that is properly theological.
Of course, we know very well why Schonborn and his ilk emphasize concrete existential reality: The point is to obfuscate the truth and weaken it so as to instill in people a more carefree attitude towards sin, all the while claiming, with some superficial semblance of plausibility, to be doing the opposite. One way to accomplish this is to distort the role of conscience, as Schonborn does next in the interview, accusing “the representatives of the Church” in times past of wanting to “almost replace the conscience of the faithful” instead of simply forming it.
Once we look at the true Catholic definition of conscience, however, we see how misleading and in fact nonsensical this comment is. According to Catholic moral theology: “Conscience is an act of judgment on the part of the practical reason deciding by inference from general principles the moral goodness or malice of a particular act” (Fr. John A. McHugh & Fr. Charles J. Callan, Moral Theology, vol. 1 [New York, NY: Joseph F. Wagner, 1958], n. 575). The teaching of the Catholic Church, appointed by God to teach the Gospel to all nations (see Mt 28:19-20; cf. 1 Tim 3:15), is the proximate rule for forming one’s conscience correctly. For this reason, it does not make sense to accuse her of trying to “almost replace” conscience. Conscience is, by definition, the act of an individual and therefore cannot be “outsourced”. But to know how to judge right from wrong correctly, we must turn to the Church.
What, then, is Schonborn trying to do? His next comment hints at an answer:
Pope Francis says: neither laxism nor rigorism, but discerning, looking, verifying. Of course [this is to be done] also when listening to what the Church says. But above all in looking at the real situation and the judgment of my conscience…. Pope Francis’ challenge is the difficult way of discernment.
Again we are faced with mumbo jumbo that is, ironically, anything but concrete. What is there to discern, look at, and verify other than the fact that fornication, adultery, and sodomy — the sins most relevant to Amoris Laetitia — are intrinsic evils? No amount of discerning, examining, or thinking can possibly change that.
One can only conclude that Schonborn is trying to suggest — here again we see the tried and true devious tactic of insinuating rather than stating outright — that we should consider all sorts of factors, including even Church teaching (hey!), as we decide what is right and wrong in our particular case. But this is a most impious and pernicious error. We are not to simply take the Church’s teaching into consideration, alongside a whole lot of other things to discern and think about, as though we needed to see if it is “right for us”. No, we are to adopt the Church’s moral doctrine as the sure norm to follow in our moral life.
Schonborn is putting forward a kind of situation ethics, which he seeks to hide under a confusing stream of words. But situation ethics, also known as ethical existentialism, is condemned by the Catholic Church, as can be seen very clearly by juxtaposing the teaching of Pope Pius XII with the drivel of Francis:
Asked about the Dubia submitted to Francis on Amoris Laetitia by “Cardinals” Raymond Burke, Walter Brandmuller, Joachim Meisner, and Carlo Caffarra, Schonborn criticizes the four men for having made them public and for revealing that they have not been granted an audience; but he agrees that the questions raised deserve an answer — an answer he says people like Rocco Buttiglione have already given.
There is much more in the interview with Vienna’s “Archbishop”, but for our purposes here these highlights suffice.
Schonborn, who is a consultor for the Vatican’s Congregation for the Destruction of the Faith, is probably among the Top 5 of the world’s most dangerous, most wicked, and most two-faced Novus Ordo Modernists alive today. A former student of Joseph Ratzinger (“Pope” Benedict XVI), Schonborn is considered a conservative (!) in the Vatican II Church and is a theological giant — he was the primary editor of the 1992 so-called Catechism of the Catholic Church, which John Paul II promulgated with his (non-existent) “apostolic authority” (source) and to which Ratzinger gave his “imprimatur”.
Among Schonborn’s manifold public and unrepented sins we must number his refusal to “judge” a woman who had a dog cell implanted in her ovum, his overturning of a pastor’s decision barring an openly-practicing sodomite from sitting on the parish council, his encouraging of and participating in the wildest liturgical chaos imaginable (yes, including flame throwers, pornography, and stage diving — we are NOT kidding!), and his permission to give “blessings” to homosexual “couples” on St. Valentine’s Day. Schonborn also once allowed an open atheist, Communist, sexual deviant, and blasphemer to exhibit in the diocesan cathedral museum his “artwork” that displayed the Last Supper as a homosexual orgy. To top it off, Schonborn later granted, through his cathedral rector, a “Catholic” (i.e. Novus Ordo) burial to the Communist blasphemer, complete with a red casket and a pornographic sculpture for a tombstone (see video here). Schonborn is also on record lauding as “exemplary human behavior” sodomite couples who “faithfully care” for one another.
Obviously, Schonborn is one of Satan’s most industrious disciples, trying to drag souls down into the deepest pits of hell to join him there for all eternity.
How’s that for a concrete situation.