Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cardinal okays gay man for parish council

Posted by David Gibson

Yes, it happened in Austria, but still, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn is a former student of Joseph Ratzinger, a.k.a. Pope Benedict XVI, and a confidant, they say. From the Rorate Caeli blog, via Dreher:
The Archdiocese of Vienna confirmed on Friday the election of a 26-year-old homosexual council member in the Stützenhofen municipality of the Weinviertel [region, north of Vienna]. The case had triggered a heated debate. Florian Stangl, who lives in a registered partnership, had been elected in mid-March, and, although chosen by a large majority of the population, had been rejected by the local priest because of his way of life.
Cardinal Schönborn met Stangl and his partner as part of the process before the Bishops Council made its decision to uphold the election — in this instance, at least — and reverse the decision by the parish pastor, Father Gerhard Swierzek, who had blocked the man’s election and also asked Stangl not to receive communion. Schönborn’s statement indicates that some changes to the election process may weed out such unusual circumstances in the future, but his words are interesting:
I thank the many candidates for the parish council elections. By their candidacy they showed their concern for the Church and the Faith. Thus they witness to the vitality of the Church. In their diversity they reflect the diversity of the life and faith journeys of today. Thus there are many parish councilors whose lifestyle  does not in every way conform to the ideals of the Church. In view of the life-witness that each of them gives taken as a whole, and their commitment to the attempt to live a life of faith, the Church rejoices in their efforts. She does not thereby call the validity of her ideals into question.
In the small community of Stützenhofen, which I hold in great esteem, there is lively participation in Church life even in the younger generation. A sign of this is the high turnout the parish council elections. The formal errors which have come to light in that election do not call the results of the election itself (in which the youngest candidate, Florian Stangl, received the most votes) into question.
I was able to have a personal conversation with Herr Stangl, and was deeply impressed by his faithful disposition, his humility, and the way in which he lives his commitment to service. I can therefore understand why the inhabitants of Stützenhofen voted so decidedly for his participation in the parish council.
Austria is in many respects a laboratory for the future of Catholicism in the West — traditional faith, modern sensibilities. Many Catholics leaving, many Catholics staying and fighting for changes.


Coop said...

There's a lot of hot air in the U.S. about how this country was founded on Christian values. So maybe we are less resistant to change?

JustinO'Shea said...

COOPS. . .that is a loverly comment but I do not see the connection with the article/topic posted. Enlighten me, please. ;-)) I must be missing something . . this loverly morning. . lol

Coop said...

I was talking about why the first gay parish council member was elected in Austria... and not here.
Bear with me, Justino, you've been keeping me busy lately (-:

JustinO'Shea said...

Yes, COOPS, but this story is about ONE election and the reaction to this one election in this particular parish. . by the Cardinal Archbishop, no less. . .a former student of Benedict XVI.

NOW, in the many many parishes in the US of A I am positive there are many many parish council members who are gay or lesbian. . . and as life goes on and the world turns. . .hahahaa. . .having G/L parishioners is so NOT-A-BIG-DEAL any more. . .no one writes articles about every day occurences.

This particular election in Austria reached the Cardinal's office because the pastor of the parish refused to have an openly gay partnered man on his parish council. So the Cardinal invited him and his partner to lunch and they talked about these things. . you read a part of the Cardinal's reaction to these two gay men, partners, lovers, OUT guys. THAT is the news-worthy issue. We don't hear about things like this happening very often. ;-)

And hey, Bro, it is SPRING. . .and EASTER too. . .slow down. . take time to smell the yellow daffodils. . hehe. . .everything else is secondary. . well, kinda. . .haha. . .and, remember DA HOPPAAAAAH.

Coop said...

Florian being the first "Out" gay man to serve on parish council didn't make any sense to me.

Justin you have taught me something. I wasn't paying attention to who the cardinal was. I seldom do, outside of Cahhdinal Sean.

I think the Cardinal/archbishop is making a statement here. After all, the Catholic church does consider us valid members of God's creation.
(editorial comment: We often have to read how we are intrinsically disordered to get to that).

JustinO'Shea said...

Unless you keep reading the same old stuff, over and over. . .you DO NOT run into that "disordered crap" much any more. . . it's more harping on "the rules". . ."the teaching". . "dignity of marriage", etc etc.

One must be selective in one's readings. . .aim for the truth. . not the "interpretive bias perspiration". We do not need to keep going back to hurtful harmful non-productive material. Remember, "the teaching of the Church" is that conscience is the ultimate norm of/for morality. We are intelligent; we are educated. . .and we are "people of good will" sincerely trying to live as followers of Christ. . . or wherever one finds one's norms for moral living. Very few people deliberately, freely, choose to live evil or immoral lives. We are decent, caring, loving people.

We need to trust ourselves and one another. We need to surround our lives with good, responsible, accountable life and living. MOST people do that. You will find many gay people and straight living this way and working in the care-giving-service professions.

We need to stop smelling around the negativity in life. That is terribly toxic and debilitating. We need to live and act responsibly for the world/people around us. The way our thinking/seeking/giving attitudes grow creates the world around us in which we live. Spew venon. . ..well, it make little things sick. . .and big things too.
Show kindness, compassion, caring, healthy attitudes. . .that creates a healthy environment. AND we are responsible/answerable for the world we create.

Easter is about NEW LIFE. Live it! Happy Easter. ;-))