Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cardinal Schönborn Downplays the Blogosphere

On the way to a Turning Point in Religious Instruction

Editor: The Danube Cardinal may discount the blogosphere, but one of his own Auxiliary Bishops doesn't entirely agree with him about the quality of religious instruction. Considering recent reports about Youth Programs it's very difficult to agree with him that there is only room for "a little improvement".

Cardinal Schönborn honored the job of teachers of religion and said: "I stand behind them. It can't be denied that even in religious instruction there is need of improvement and that critical voices must be taken seriously.

Vienna [] The subject of religion is, beside all criticism, a "completely central theme of society", exclaimed Cardinal Christoph Schönborn in the St Stephen's Cathedral with a Mass for religious instructors. In the last years the theme of religion has become significantly more central. The Viennese Archbishop is reported as saying: " This belongs to the minds of many people much more in daily life than we perhaps ourselves realize, even when it doesn't take the form of a church community." It brings to mind what the German Bundechancellor Angela Merkel said a little while ago: Not to talk too much about the dominant Christian culture, rather to live the Christian life authentically and happily.

Religious instruction has, for this reason a "much more certain place than is often supposed". At the same time one may not himself be satisfied with a "banal civil religion", "which is always appropriate and never offends anyone." The challenge of the Gospel is today even more looked for, said Cardinal Schönborn. At the same time the Viennese Archbishop thanked the religious instructors for their service -- "irrespective of the comments of some Internet Blogs". The religious instructors have overcome or simply lived through many difficulties in the last years. "I stand behind you", said Cardinal Schönborn. That isn't going to cease and that even in religious instruction there's room for improvement and that critical voices must be taken seriously.

Then he continued with a "word of encouragement", as the Viennese Archbishop put it and recalled simultaneously what in the first half of the discussion about abuse has irrupted in the Church. Things have gone poorly for him personally in this situation, but the religion instructors in the classroom are still much more direct with the questions which critically confront them. In the scholastic area it has certainly been handled circumspectly in past years, to avoid [talking about] abuse. At the same time it is excusable that Waltraud Klasnic -- who is 65 these days -- who has undertaken the task, to lead the "independent victim protection tribunal", says Cardinal Schönborn [Editor: This tribunal system, which is meant to offer a buffer to the issue of homosexual abuse, is often another stonewall, and predictably a cynical legal ploy to indemnify the Church from further abuse claims. Indeed, one of the advisers on this tribunal is even accused of abuse himself" It resembles in many ways other tribunals, like the one established in Collegeville, supposedly a pioneering event, at the beginning of the abuse crisis in earnest in the late nineties, which none the less has been ineffective in keeping homosexual predators out of circulation, and has even allowed the perpetrators to cover their tracks as was the case with Father Francisco Schulte. Documents on this man have disappeared.]

KLARTEXT: Auxiliary Bishop Andreas Laun promoted the reform of religious instruction: and it did not occur as it should have. Poorly formed, sometimes even not really believing teachers. The evil arose from the level of education of the teacher.

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