Monday, February 20, 2006

Love, Vienna Style

OK, it seems that St. Blog's will want some 'splaining on this one....

Gay couples were apparently included in the Valentine's Day liturgy at the Stephansdom in Vienna, and it's being hung around Schonborn's neck like an albatross.

But it also seems that the archbishop of Vienna (a member, mind you, of the Ratzinger "kitchen cabinet") had no qualms:
The rector of Vienna cathedral has declared on St. Valentine’s Day, that he was convinced that homosexuals are no "outlaws." The same evening he celebrated a blessing ceremony for "people in love" – homosexuals included....

On St. Valentine’s Day, Fr. Anton Faber (43), the rector of the Stephansdom in Vienna and responsible for the Cathedral parish, spoke to the Austrian newspaper ‘Die Presse’....

Answering the questions of the newspaper Fr. Faber expressed his intention to bless all lovers – "especially couples, fiances and people in love“. Asked about homosexuals, the priest said he had no intention to turn away anybody who would ask for the blessing.

"Today there is no possibility in the Church to bless a union of people with homosexual feelings“, the priest stated, expressing his grief that the Catholic Church can offer "relatively little“ to homosexuals....

Fr. Faber affirmed that he is involved in convincing his confreres and other Catholics that homosexuals are no "outlaws“ but "human beings like you and I, who often suffer badly from their orientation“.

He answered the question whether Cardinal Schönborn was happy with his statements and activities by saying that his initatives had obviously been discussed with the cardinal and approved by him.

Fr. Faber believes that his views "are based on solid Catholic ground and are in a 100% concordance with the directives of the Austrian Bishops’ Conference“.

During the interview the priest explicitly welcomed "people with homosexual inclinations to receive a blessing for their longing for love."

The rector of the Cathedral admitted that his invitation to the "gay community“ did cause some opposition among Catholics. In a phone-call he was accused of promoting perversion by blessing sinful people.

But Fr. Faber is not aware of any guilt: "After all, I bless sinful people in every Mass“, he said.
I don't know if we can start calling Cardinal Schonborn's cathedral "MHR Europe" just yet, but this is, indeed, very interesting.