Thursday, June 3, 2010

Report: Pope Benedict XVI wrote to Cdl Schonborn about recent statements

Updated, June 3, 2010

Back a couple weeks ago when Cardinal Schonborn was making the news about clerical celibacy and his remarks about Cdl Sodano I told a few people to give it two weeks. It took about two weeks for the Holy Father to rein in his former pupil over his trip to Medjugorje.  To be precise, he was there on January 1st, 2010 and had an audience with the Holy Father on January 15th.  On the same day, a fax went from Schonborn while still in Rome, to the Bishop of Mostar. 

If this report below is correct, then my hunch was right, that we would hear within two weeks that the Holy Father had once again intervened in the case of Cardinal Schonborn. 

I would have preferred to simply link to the piece, rather than duplicate it here, but it would have required people to scroll considerably.  It is in the June 1, 2010 entry at 11:19 by Teresa Benedetta.   It was a blogpost written by veteran Vatican journalist, Andrea Tornielli, about a report in il Foglio about a letter Pope Benedict XVI supposedly sent to Cardinal Schonborn over his recent remarks.  It is translated at the "Benedetto XVI Forum".

For readers of Italian, here is Tornielli's blog entry. Critiche a Sodano, il Papa scrive a Schoenborn
Suffice it to say, Cardinal Schonborn needs our prayers.

That which is in blue, is likely the additional inline commentary of Teresa Benedetta...

Report: Pope has written Schoenborn
twice about his recent statements
Translated from Sacri Palazzi

June 1, 2010

Benedict XVI is said to have sent a letter to the Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, after the latter's recent off-the-record statements to Austrian journalists naming Cardinal Angelo Sodano who prevented an investigation into seminarians' accusations about Schoenborn's predecessor as Archbishop of Vienna, Hans Hermann Groer.

Reference to the existence of such a letter, in which the Pope reportedly says he was stunned that Schoenborn said what he did, was made in a story in Il Foglio today. [Il Foglio, unfortunately, does not post its content online right away.]

From what I have learned, this letter regarding Schoenborn's criticism of Sodano would be the second of the kind sent by the Pope to his former student. The first was about the statements made by Schoenborn after his highly publicized visit to Medjugorje last January. Since then, Benedict XVI has appointed a Vatican commission headed by Cardinal Camillo Ruini to look into the alleged Marian apparitions, which have made Medjugorje a major pilgrimage site. [One might add that after meeting with the Pope at the Vatican on January 15, Schoenborn faxed a belated letter of apology (two weeks after his visit) - to the Bishop of Mostar (who has jurisdiction over Medjugorge) to apologize for failing to inform him he was visiting Medjugorje and planning to say Mass and meet with the 'seers'. One might safely conclude he got an earful from the Pope that made him send the fax!]

I think this next set of text in the same post, is Teresa Benedetta again, I'm putting it back in blue.

At the same time, there is a lengthy sympathetic, almost laudatory, article in the May 31 issue of the Austrian magazine PROFIL about Schoenborn entitled "The cardinal who is choking on his (Roman) collar" (Subtitle: How Schoenborn finds himself at odds with Vatican insiders) which says that Schoenborn will not attend a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday next week of the cardinals who belong to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith because he has a 'prior engagement' - and that the engagement is to participate in a public discussion on "Do we live in secular times" with the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor. It also means, says the article, that he will not be attending the closing ceremonies of the Year for Priests. (ie, the man who recently said 'everyone' is concerned about the question of priestly celibacy not only will absent himself from a CDF meeting but also from the most important worldwide gathering of priests ever to be held!)

UPDATE June 3: The "il Foglio" piece is now out.  Here is a google translated versionHere is the Italian original).

Te Deum Laudamus! Home
The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!


Nick said...

I can't help but wonder if the Cardinal is being misunderstood. His Medjugorje visit wasn't suppose to be public and his statements could be being misunderstood by the media. In any case, let's pray for him! :)

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Misunderstood? On his very public, "private" visit?

1) Austrian media reported his "private" visit in November of 2009, which was played up and ended up being the subject of discussion in blogs in various countries.

2) An entourage of Austrian media followed him, took pictures of him in which he posed with the visionary, Marija, which was made public.

3) He celebrated a public Mass - the midnight Mass on the Solemnity of the Mother of God.

4) He addressed a capacity crowd in a hall on the grounds of Medjugorje, discussing the apparitions, with local Franciscans at his side.

5) He granted interviews while in Medjugorje, and back in Austria immediately after.

6) A video made of all of these things by Austrian media outlet,, is still exploiting his public, "private" visit.

Cardinal Schonborn a victim of being misunderstood on this? I think not.

Further reading:

- Statement of Bishop Ratko Peric explaining these things, and discussing the harm it brought upon his diocese

- Translation of Vatican Radio's take on the fax Schonborn sent to Peric

- Cardinal Schonborn acknowledges his private audience with the Pope on the same day as the fax was over his visit to Medjugorje

Tominellay said...

Father Louis Billot, S.J., had been Cardinal Billot, and participated in two Conclaves; but he resigned the cardinalate in 1927 because of his opposition to the particular policy of Pius XI.

A similar move would certainly bring Cardinal Schonborn the headlines he seems to crave...

Mike said...

To rein in, not to reign in.

But then, I'm just an old Roman pedant.

Tancred said...

As we reported, the Cardinal is being sidelined because he wasn't present at a CDF conference attended by the members, except him.

Cardinal S was at home watching a lecture given by a Candian Philosopher.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Mike - thanks for the correction. Fixed. It was about 3 hours past my bedtime ;)

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...


1) I don't know who "we" are, or where it was reported.

2) All I know is what is in front of me from Teresa Benedetta, that the German article is reporting abouta future meeting, with the CDF, not past. Here it is copied from the text in my main post:

"...Schoenborn will not attend a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday next week of the cardinals who belong to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith because he has a 'prior engagement' - and that the engagement is to participate in a public discussion on "Do we live in secular times" with the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor."

It then goes on to say that he will miss the closing ceremonies of the Year for Priests.

Any talk about "pink slips", or that Schonborn was "sidelined" is not in any of the original reports available to anyone

Tornielli broke the story (which is where Kreuz - the German source - got it from that I see some pointing to) and explained what was in the il Foglio piece, which remains locked to all but subscribers. The link I provide in my main post turns out not to the full article, but merely mentions it and then links to an interview by Paolo Rodari with an Austrian bishop. If people are spreading those kinds of reports, which are unfounded, they ought to make corrections to their posts.

Tancred said...

Kreuznet described the letter as a "Pink Slip" with the added implication that the Cardinal should have received one long ago for promoting the Sadomasochistic Homosexual art of Alfred Hrdlicka at his Cathedral.

The Cardinal wasn't at the meeting with the CDF this week (Weds) with the added implication that he wasn't invited.

You can't possibly be telling us that the Pope is in any way pleased with the Cardinal?

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...


First, I need to address this:

You can't possibly be telling us that the Pope is in any way pleased with the Cardinal?

It's interesting that you would infer that I am telling readers that the pope is pleased with these behaviors when no where do I say any such thing.

You did to me, what Kreuz often does on subjects: It draws conclusions that do not exist in what is available, even if it must connect dots that are not visible, just to keep a line going in a direction that fits their view of what is happening. I have seen Kreuz's rendition of some of the same Italian news, and they have a tendency to embellish and dramatize.

Now we ask, from where did Kreuz get their information . Answer: Andrea Tornielli.

When we look at Andrea Tornielli's blogpost which I provided above, no where does he say that it was a pink slip. Further, he says it was the second of it's kind (referring to Medjugorje as the first). If the Cardinal received a pink slip back in January, he wouldn't be there to receive one now.

Looking back at the portion of Teresa Benedetta's post (which I copied above) about the meeting, I see that it was the May 31 issue. So that would have meant that the meeting was indeed this past Wednesday.

However, Eponymous needs to cite the source of the information in that last paragraph.

I would like to read the original.

Do I think the Pope is pleased? Not one bit. I believe that regardless of what people think of Sodano, I believe exactly what was reported by Tornielli - that the Holy Father was astonished.