“I wasn’t happy — neither about the timing nor about the way in which communication was being made.”
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn said Sunday that the Vatican’s rejection of blessings for same-sex couples was marked by a “clear communication error.”
Renewing his earlier criticism of the intervention by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the Archbishop of Vienna told the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) March 28 that he was concerned by both the timing and form of the ruling.
“I wasn’t happy — neither about the timing nor about the way in which communication was being made,” he said on the discussion program “Pressestunde”.
CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner, reported that Schönborn also expressed regret that same-sex couples felt hurt by the ruling.
The 76-year-old cardinal, who helped to produce the Catechism of the Catholic Church, said that he appreciated the intention to highlight the significance of sacramental marriage between a man and a woman.
But he argued that the Vatican’s intervention was undermined by a “clear communication error,” coming after the pope’s successful trip to Iraq.
The Church should always be “mater et magistra” (mother and teacher), he said, but “first comes the mother.” He said he therefore understood when people asked themselves, “Does this mother not have a blessing for me?”
At the same time, the cardinal declared: “We should talk less about sexuality and more about love; more about successful relationships and less about what is allowed and what is not.”
Schönborn, who noted that he has served as a CDF member for 25 years, said he regretted that the committee to which he belongs was not consulted over such a “sensitive question.”
The CDF issued a “Responsum ad dubium” March 15 replying to the query, “does the Church have the power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex?” The doctrinal congregation answered, “Negative,” explaining its reasoning in an “explanatory note” and accompanying commentary.