The Tablet offers a thoughtful, balanced editorial on the unfolding church crises in Austria. The author is optimistic that Cardinal Christoph Schoborn of Vienna is “one of the Church’s most able leaders.” A heavy-handed, dictatorial bishop would already be handing out excommunications.
The editorial shows the need for dialogue, wisdom and careful responses to the demands of the priests and people,
They are right that what Catholics hunger for, and not just in Austria, is a Church of integrity, without hypocrisy, doublespeak or pathological denial. That is surely what the joyful young Catholics in Madrid were seeking too. A Church which can only function with its blind eye turned permanently to the telescope, seeing only what is convenient to see, is not in good shape.
The immediate danger for Cardinal Schönborn, therefore, is that efforts to suppress the Priests’ Initiative simply by asserting church discipline would place him on the wrong side by making him defender of the indefensible. On the other hand, leaders of the Priests’ Initiative must be careful not to place their cardinal – in many ways their friend – in an impossible position.
This could be a momentous turning point in the history of the modern Church.