Akin and Father Fessio defend the Scandal Cardinal
#1
Father Fessio once discontinued his relationship with the magazine, 30 Days because he felt the anti-war stance of the magazine and its focus on Freemasonry were not things that the average American would care about. Of course, considering the Church's long-standing Magisterial teachings against Freemasonry, and the prevalence and perniciousness of it in the US, you'd think that Father Fessio would take up the sword of 19th Century Ultramontane Jesuits against that scourge, right? Well, no. Father Fessio didn't see it that way. Very suspicious indeed.

So now, Father Fessio is going to step in and defend Cardinal Schönborn. Could it be that it's because Cardinal Schönborn has strong connections to Freemasonry, or perhaps it's more likely that Fr. Fessio has had a long-standing and intimate publishing relationship with the Scandal Cardinal? It's certainly a lot more likely than the excuses Akin and Fr. Fessio weave for the Cardinal.

Quasi liberals count on book sales to support their overarching activities. It's completely understandable that men like Fr. Fessio and James Akin would step up to defend the Cardinal, because that's the kind of men they are. Akin's a mercenary and will whip out his pen in defense of whatever, but Fr. Fessio's interests are more clear in this case as many will be quick to point out. These men count on the average pewsitter not recollecting things in the past, and relying on Cardinal Schönborn's reputation as an alleged conservative and engaging in a little intellectual razzle-dazzle and special pleading.


http://eponymousflower.blogspot.com/2010...efend.html
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#2
Fr. Fessio seems to be a bafoon and Jimmy Akin is a Joke who still supports JPII the Clown Pope.
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#3
Well, Augustine Baker, you strike again. 

First, you don't even link to any source that records Fr. Fessio's statements.  So I still have no idea what he said. 

Secondly, you do link to Jimmy Akin's post.  And, as I suspected would be the case, he does not in any way merit the condemnation you award him.  Akin says the following things, 1.) Not everything Schoenborn said was necessarily wrong.  SOME of it might be taken out of context.  That is true, especially regarding his appeal to virtue theory over deontology.  2.)  Some of what Cardinal Schoenborn said, if reported accurately, DEFINITELY IS WRONG.  3.)  But the media sources provide conflicting accounts of where and when Cardinal Schoenborn said these things and to whom and we have no transcript of the entirety of what he said.  4.)  So until we get an accurate account of what he said, we should reserve judgment and allow the POSSIBILITY that the media have misrecorded or mistranslated what he said or taken his statements out of context.  Or are we just supposed to trust "The Tablet" implicitly, Augustine Baker?

And to repeat, Akin explicitly said that the words ascribed to Schoenborn on the topic of sodomy, *if accurately reported,* ARE WRONG.  So to say that Akin is a mercenary -- with the implication that he is defending the position ascribed to Schoenborn or minimizing the scandal -- is calumnious BS.  I ask that you please reconsider this accusation and retract it. 
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#4
Here's Akin's article, which I will quote in its entirety (http://www.ncregister.com/blog/cardinal_...id_whaaat/):

Cardinal Schonborn Said WHAAATHuh?
Share by Jimmy Akin Tuesday, May 11, 2010 9:11 AM Comments (3)
The Internet has been abuzz with reports that Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna, Austria has made some rather unusual statements.

The one that has been getting the biggest headlines is that he criticized (explicitly or implicitly, accounts seem to differ) Cardinal Angelo Sodano, accusing him of blocking an investigation of Viennese Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer in the 1990s, when then-Cardinal Ratzinger wanted to initiate an investigation regarding allegations that Groer had committed sexual abuse.

The investigation wasn’t held, but Groer was soon replaced as the cardinal archbishop of Vienna by Schonborn himself. (Read about Groer here.)

He’s also allegedly said that the Roman Curia is in urgent need of reform and that Pope Benedict is gently working toward that goal.

While it’s certainly noteworthy for one cardinal to publicly criticize another—whether explicitly or implicitly—any remarks Schonborn may have made regarding Sodano or the need for curial reform pale in comparison to other remarks he is reported to have made.

According to The Tablet:

Questioned on the Church’s attitude to homosexuals, the cardinal said: “We should give more consideration to the quality of homosexual relationships,” adding: “A stable relationship is certainly better than if someone chooses to be promiscuous.”

The cardinal also said the Church needed to reconsider its view of re-married divorcees [receiving Communion without an annulment and convalidation] “as many people don’t even marry at all any longer”.

The primary thing to consider should not be the sin, but people’s striving to live according to the commandments, he said. Instead of a morality based on duty, we should work towards a morality based on happiness, he continued.

YIKES!!!

If the good Cardinal is being accurately represented by The Tablet then something is very definitely wrong. But before betting the farm on The Tablet’s accuracy, we should note a few things.

First, we’re dealing with story in translation, because the Cardinal’s remarks were presumably delivered in German, as we was apparently speaking to members of the Austrian press. We therefore have to watch out for possible translation issues.

Second, the facts of the whole situation are unclear. I haven’t been able yet to even determine the nature of the event in which Cardinal Schonborn made his remarks. Precisely what day did it happen? Accounts vary. Was it a press conference, an interview, or some kind of informal get-together? Accounts vary. Was it to Austrian press editors or reporters? Accounts vary. LifeSiteNews is even reporting that he made his remarks to The Tablet. (As The Tablet’s story makes clear, he was speaking to members of the Austrian media; The Tablet is a British publication that was merely doing an English-language story on the Austrian session.)

Third, and more importantly, we don’t have a transcript of the event—in German or English. I’ve done a bunch of searching online, including Austrian news services, and I haven’t been able to come up with a fuller account of his remarks. Without a transcript, we can’t tell what precisely he said and in what context. All we have to go on are press summaries and partial quotations, and we all know how reliable those can be.

Context and exact quotations are important. Consider, for example, the final claim attributed to the Cardinal, that “Instead of a morality based on duty, we should work towards a morality based on happiness, he continued.”

Sounds like situation ethics or utilitarianism, with the denial that any acts are intrinsically wrong, so that you can do whatever makes you happy, or whatever promotes the most happiness—a position firmly rejected in the Catechism and John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor—right?

Well, that may be the way it sounds based on how The Tablet reported it, but The Tablet didn’t actually quote him, so suppose Cardinal Schonborn actually said something like this: “Many of us were raised with the idea that God’s laws are imposed on us arbitrarily, from without, and that we need to focus on obeying them as a matter of duty alone, totally unconnected from the good that God’s laws are meant to bring us. In reality, God’s laws are not arbitrary or capricious. They are not imposed from without. Rather, they are based on human nature and are designed—as John Paul II said in Veritatis Splendor—to bring us happiness and human fulfillment. It is precisely by obeying God’s laws that we find true fulfillment and eternal happiness, and we need to work toward a situation where people realize this rather than just viewing God’s laws as a matter of sheer duty towards arbitrary commandments.”

Doesn’t sound nearly as bad, does it?

In fact, it sounds a lot like things John Paul II and Benedict XVI have said—and like what a cardinal in Austria might say given the disastrous pastoral situation in that country, which was the one that gave us the Wir Sind Kirche or “We Are Church” movement back in the 1990s. The country is so secularized and the situation so pastorally fragile that one could cut the cardinal archbishop of Vienna some slack for expressing himself in ways that sound different than how he might express himself in areas where adherence to the faith is more robust (just as Paul complimented the religiosity of the pagan Athenians at the Aeropagus as a prelude to preaching the gospel of Christ; Acts 17).

But how far does this kind of explanation go?

I don’t know. I can see how the “morality based on happiness” thing could be redeemed (potentially), but I can’t make heads or tails of his alleged comments concerning the divorce and remarried and whether they should be able to receive Communion. What does many people not marrying any more have to do with that? The sheer inexplicability of this makes me wonder if there is important stuff being deleted.

What about the statements that, “We should give more consideration to the quality of homosexual relationships,” and, “A stable relationship is certainly better than if someone chooses to be promiscuous.”

I don’t know what the first of these means. Certainly there are differences in the “quality” of “homosexual relationships.” A once-in-a-lifetime”, one-night-stand “relationship” is certainly different in quality than an ongoing many-thousands-of-illicit-sexual-acts-with-the-same-person relationship, but why does more consideration need to be given to this—and is this even what the Cardinal has in mind?

It would seem not, if the second assertion is an accurate, in-context quotation. I don’t know at all that a “stable [homosexual] relationship” is better than if someone “chooses to be [homosexually] promiscuous.”

I suppose that viewed exclusively in terms of HIV/AIDs transmission, a “stable” and exclusive homosexual relationship has less chance of spreading AIDs than a promiscuous one and is better in that limited, narrow sense. However, it seems that “stable” homosexual relationships are rarely exclusive.

And if HIV/AIDs is factored out of the picture, I don’t know if the statement is true from any perspective. It seems to me that a person who is promiscuous has a greater chance of burning out and realizing the emptiness and the intrinsic disorder of the homosexual lifestyle than a person who stably and peacefully cohabits with the same homosexual partner for many decades, creating the illusion of a loving—as opposed to an obviously exploitative—relationship.

Still, in the absence of a transcript—or an A/V recording of the remarks—who knows?

Thus far we’ve looked at how Cardinal Schonborn’s reported comments might be more reasonably explained. But it should by no means go without notice that Cardinal Schonborn has said and done things in the past that are, at a minimum, quite eye-opening (here is his Wikipedia page, with the understood limitations of such pages).

So I don’t want to give anybody a free pass regarding this story. There could be press misreporting, there could be misstatements or problematic statements by Cardinal Schonborn, or both.

The problem is: We can’t tell what the situation is.

Thus, for the moment, the whole things goes under the heading of “Media Fail.”

The media has not done its basic job of reporting the facts in a clear and reliable way.

It may have been true, back in the days of the dead-tree/broadcast-only press, that because of economic considerations the media was constrained by word count and air time and that it could only present us with summaries of what newsmakers said, forcing us to rely on their reporters’ fairness and accuracy in composing summaries—but those days are GONE.

There is no longer a rational constraint on the ability of news agencies to provide us with transcripts, or at least audio or visual recordings, of what newsmakers say—complete and thus in context.

And if the press isn’t doing its job in this respect, newsmakers should bring their own recording equipment.

It’s not like it’s hard. A bunch of iPhone apps exist for this purpose.

But with this story we have a Media Fail, with The Tablet and other news sources not linking to the original transcript/recording that we need.

What are your thoughts?
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#5
Now, someone please point out what Akin said that was wrong.  Please, go ahead.  And please do NOT cite some past thing that Akin said, or say that he is a Novus Ordo guy, or a jerk, or a Joke, or supports John Paul II, or any un-related extraneous thing.  Cite what is wrong with *this* article. 
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#6
http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2010...npunished/

The following is a guest contribution. Reuters is not responsible for the content and the views expressed are the authors’ alone. Father Joseph Fessio, S.J. is founder and editor of Ignatius Press, which is the primary English-language publisher of the works of Pope Benedict XVI and which has published several books by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. He is also publisher of Catholic World Report magazine.
schoenborn 1

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn in Vienna, November 13, 2009/Heinz-Peter Bader

By Father Joseph Fessio, S.J.

Did  Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna “attack”  Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals and former Vatican secretary of state? If The Tablet weekly in London were your only source of information, you’d think so, because that’s what the headline screamed.

What happened?

Cardinal Schönborn, who like his mentor Pope Benedict is a model of openness and transparency, invited the editors of Austria’s dozen or so major newspapers to a meeting at his residence in Vienna. How many bishops can you name who have extended such an invitation to the press?

The journalists agreed that this would be an “off the record” meeting so that everyone could take part freely and frankly. Was this to impose silence on the press? To cover up once again the misdeeds of clerics? No, it was an attempt by Cardinal Schönborn to be as open as possible and to make himself available to answer any question that was asked. It was an attempt to help educate the press on matters that the press often finds difficult to grasp—such as the essential foundations of the hierarchical and sacramental structure of the Church, and the intricacies of moral theology.
NG002104

St. Thomas Aquinas, by Carlo Crivelli

Cardinal Schönborn is a  Dominican and a professor. Which means that he has a serious scholar’s grasp of the foundations as well as the conclusions of moral theology, particularly as expounded by  St. Thomas Aquinas.

Perhaps Cardinal Schönborn overestimated the capacity of the invited journalists for a serious academic discussion. Just what did the cardinal do?

First, he explained that it is important to avoid the errors of a Kantian moral philosophy, that is, one based on the  categorical imperative of duty alone. Thomas Aquinas, inspired by Aristotle, elaborated what scholars would call a  eudaimonistic rather than a  deontological moral philosophy. That is, a moral philosophy not based on mere duty, but based on the natural desire of all men for happiness.

The Tablet, apparently drawing on other published sources, wrote: “Instead of a morality based on duty, we should work towards a morality based on happiness, [the cardinal] continued.” This is in itself accurate. But in the context of the Tablet article, it implied that the Church should change her teaching on homosexual relationships and divorced and re-married Catholics. (Both were mentioned immediately preceding the above quote.)

But what did Cardinal Schönborn mean by the reference to eudaimonism? He tried to explain it to the journalists. The Church attempts to lead men to their ultimate happiness, which is the vision of God in his essence. Moral norms are meant to do that; they have that as their end or purpose. The norms themselves are unchanging. However, our approach to obeying them is gradual and our efforts are a mixture of success and failure. This means that while certain moral norms are absolute, that is, they hold in all circumstances without exception, our approach to obeying them may be halting and imperfect.

This is commonly referred to as “the law of gradualism” and is opposed to “the gradualism of the law,” as if the law itself were somehow variable.

tabletThis is the context for the cardinal’s saying: “We should give more consideration to the quality of homosexual relationships,” adding: “A stable relationship is certainly better than if someone chooses to be promiscuous.” This does not at all mean that the cardinal was advocating or even suggesting that the Church might change her teaching that homosexuality is a disorder and homosexual activity is always a grave evil. It is always grave, but there can be gradations of gravity—or, to call it by its true name, objective depravity.

This is also the context of the Tablet’s statement: “The cardinal also said the Church needed to reconsider its view of re-married divorcees ‘as many people don’t even marry at all any longer’.” This “reconsideration” does not mean a change in the Church’s teaching that a valid marriage is indissoluble, and that someone who is validly married cannot remarry validly. It means that perhaps—but only perhaps, because this is an opinion that does not have the authority of a magisterial pronouncement—the Church should find new ways of leading the weak and confused to the difficult but liberating challenge of Christ’s demands.

In the course of this “off the record” meeting, the cardinal also frankly expressed his belief that a “reform of the Roman Curia” was needed. It’s not as if nothing had been done. In fact, the cardinal recognizes that the transfer of all sexual abuse allegations against priests to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (then headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) in 2001 was already a major reform. He was referring to an attitude of secrecy and defensiveness, as well as an inability to comprehend the gravity of the scandal. He cited Cardinal Sodano’s Easter remark as an example. It was a criticism, not an attack, of a fellow cardinal. It was much milder than what he could have said.
schoenborn 2

Former Styria province governor Waltraud Klasnic (L) and Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn in Vienna April 1, 2010/Heinz-Peter Bader

In the 1990’s when both then-Bishop Schönborn and Cardinal Ratzinger wanted a full investigation of allegations against the archbishop of Vienna,  Cardinal Hans Hermann Groër, Cardinal Sodano, along with many other entrenched curial prelates, was able to prevail with Pope John Paul II and prevent an investigation. Both Bishop Schönborn and Cardinal Ratzinger lamented what they (and I) believe was a serious mistake. As cardinal and now Pope, Ratzinger has done much corrective work—as the case of  Father Marcial Maciel abundantly illustrates. Cardinal Schönborn did not “launch an attack,” as the Tablet states; he made a criticism. And to characterize the substance of the meeting with such a false and misleading headline is typical of the treatment the pope, Cardinal Schönborn and the Church have been receiving at the hands of a sensationalist press.

So much for the Tablet’s headline and its story.

Less sensational than the Tablet’s lead but certainly deserving of public attention is the vigorous action Cardinal Schönborn has just taken. He has appointed Waltraud Klasnic,  the former head of Styria province — a person something like a U.S.  governor — as head of a commission to investigate the Church’s response to the sex-abuse crisis. This person is a woman, a practicing Catholic and a highly respected political figure. Her mandate is to choose her own commission and to carry out the investigation as she chooses. The Church will not only not oversee or direct the investigation, but will cooperate in making available all necessary materials.
fessio

Fr. Joseph Fessio S.J.

Perhaps some will now criticize Cardinal Schönborn for not appointing such a commission sooner. If so, it will only demonstrate a will to criticize, not a desire to seek the truth.

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. He is critical of an attitude of defensiveness and dismissiveness still present in the Roman Curia (not to mention many episcopal curias—but the meeting was not about that). And he is trying to be transparent and responsive to the press.

Here again, though, the adage is confirmed: No good deed goes u
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#7
(05-12-2010, 03:53 AM)Bonifacius Wrote: Well, Augustine Baker, you strike again. 

First, you don't even link to any source that records Fr. Fessio's statements.  So I still have no idea what he said. 

Secondly, you do link to Jimmy Akin's post.  And, as I suspected would be the case, he does not in any way merit the condemnation you award him.  Akin says the following things, 1.) Not everything Schoenborn said was necessarily wrong.  SOME of it might be taken out of context.  That is true, especially regarding his appeal to virtue theory over deontology.  2.)  Some of what Cardinal Schoenborn said, if reported accurately, DEFINITELY IS WRONG.  3.)  But the media sources provide conflicting accounts of where and when Cardinal Schoenborn said these things and to whom and we have no transcript of the entirety of what he said.  4.)  So until we get an accurate account of what he said, we should reserve judgment and allow the POSSIBILITY that the media have misrecorded or mistranslated what he said or taken his statements out of context.  Or are we just supposed to trust "The Tablet" implicitly, Augustine Baker?
Augustine Baker Wrote:Yes, Akin wants to give the benefit of the doubt to someone who's already made controversial statements that follow the reading they were given by the Tablet.  I don't see what's so mysterious about the Cardinals views.

And to repeat, Akin explicitly said that the words ascribed to Schoenborn on the topic of sodomy, *if accurately reported,* ARE WRONG.  So to say that Akin is a mercenary -- with the implication that he is defending the position ascribed to Schoenborn or minimizing the scandal -- is calumnious BS.  I ask that you please reconsider this accusation and retract it. 
Augstine Baker wrote Wrote:   Once again, the Cardinal's views on those issues are well-known, and I'm convinced that both Akin and Fessio are well aware of that too, which is why your comments are out of line.  At least in your case I can perhaps excuse you for being ignorant of Shoenborn's past remarks and scandalous activities, but in Akin's case and Fessio's case, I can't.  They're being PR guys for their own agenda.
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#8
(05-12-2010, 04:13 AM)Bonifacius Wrote: Now, someone please point out what Akin said that was wrong.  Please, go ahead.  And please do NOT cite some past thing that Akin said, or say that he is a Novus Ordo guy, or a jerk, or a Joke, or supports John Paul II, or any un-related extraneous thing.  Cite what is wrong with *this* article. 

It's not erroneous to point out that the Cardinal has said things in the past that are in line with the interpretation that was given by the Tablet to what he said. 

First of all, I'm pesonally, myself, just me 100% convinced that he's a Freemason, but what's astonishing to me is that there are people shameless enough to assume that people are dumb enough to believe that Schoenborn deserves the benefit of the doubt just because they say so without any contrary evidence on the basis of wishful thinking, either saying that the media got the translations wrong, or that it was misinterpreted or mistranslated, it doesn't matter:

Schoenborn has tacitly blessed a gay love-in at the Stepansdom on 2006.  He's hosted a sodomite artist in the Stepensdom.  He buried the same artist in a funeral service held at the St. Barbara Chapel in the Stepensdom, and I'm not even going into all of the controversial, impertinent and extremely unwise things he's said and done at other times.

What more evidence do you need that Cardinal Schoenborn is a bad man, I mean, I'm not surprised when Ellen Degeneres goes on about the pleasures of same-sex marriage.  It's not controversial in the sense that Ellen might or might not be a sodomite.

Edit: adverb tacitly and date of Schoenborn's gay love-in
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#9
http://www.cardinalrating.com/cardinal_9...e_3186.htm
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#10
Akins article is the better of the two, as he holds out the possibility of Schonborn being an heretic.  However, it is a poor article due to the tone.  Up to this point, most thinking Catholics have already concluded that Schonborn is a raving heretic, with the homosexual "blessing" that have occurred, and the deviant art display.  So Akins should have pointed out that AS REPORTED, the statements mean Schoborn has lost his Catholic Faith, and Akins should have DEMANDED Schonborn issue a statement condemning sodomites and the practice of divorce.  The burden of proof is on Schonborn due to his reputation as an heretic and sodomite enabler.

Fessio's article is a complete joke.  First he whines that it was supposed to be an off-the-record meeting.  Well, thank goodness someone reported what Schonborn says in private.  Now let's look at these comments:
Quote: tabletThis is the context for the cardinal’s saying: “We should give more consideration to the quality of homosexual relationships,” adding: “A stable relationship is certainly better than if someone chooses to be promiscuous.” This does not at all mean that the cardinal was advocating or even suggesting that the Church might change her teaching that homosexuality is a disorder and homosexual activity is always a grave evil. It is always grave, but there can be gradations of gravity—or, to call it by its true name, objective depravity.
But it could mean that, correct?  And the context of morality being driven by the goal of human happiness doesn't add anything as far as I can see.  Schonborn is saying that a sodomite who commits daily filthy sodomy with one man is less of a sinner than a sodomite who commits sodomy with many men.  That is not true.  Furthermore, Fessio tries to gloss over of why we SHOULD give MORE CONSIDERATION to the different forms of deviant sodomy.  Why SHOULD we?  Fessio is silent.  Put it another way, with the world under increasing pressure to have sodomite "marriage", why on earth would you say such a thing?  Hmmm... maybe because you support it?  Like as in allowing sodomite "couples" to be blessed in your diocese?  Think there is a connection?

Quote:This is also the context of the Tablet’s statement: “The cardinal also said the Church needed to reconsider its view of re-married divorcees ‘as many people don’t even marry at all any longer’.” This “reconsideration” does not mean a change in the Church’s teaching that a valid marriage is indissoluble, and that someone who is validly married cannot remarry validly. It means that perhaps—but only perhaps, because this is an opinion that does not have the authority of a magisterial pronouncement—the Church should find new ways of leading the weak and confused to the difficult but liberating challenge of Christ’s demands.
  The problem is the word "view".  What "view" should the Church reconsider?  Fessio can't answer.  This is probably the most damning part of Fessio's article.  "Reconsider its view" can not possible mean "find new ways of leading the weak...."  It means allowing people steeped in mortal sin to desecrate the Eucharist.  That is what it means.  Unless Schonborn wishes to correct the quote.
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