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Overruled by cardinal on gay member of parish council, Austrian pastor resigns

April 12, 2012

A Catholic pastor in Vienna has resigned, after Cardinal Christoph Schönborn overruled his decision to exclude an active homosexual from a parish council.

Father Gerhard Swierzek had ruled that Florian Stangl could not sit on the parish council because he is openly engaged in a same-sex union. But after meeting with Stangl, Cardinal Schönborn reversed the pastor’s decision.

Father Swierzek has now asked his superiors to give him a different pastoral assignment, saying that in conscience he cannot remain at a parish where the people “wanted their right at any price.” The pastor expressed dismay that Cardinal Schönborn had met with Stangl and his homosexual partner, but not with Father Swierzek himself, to discuss the matter.


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  • Posted by: Babolin - Apr. 13, 2012 6:26 AM ET USA

    The next issue with Card. Schönborn will be the Medjugorje affair. Deadline, set by Car¨d. Ruini: by the end of 2012.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Apr. 12, 2012 10:14 PM ET USA

    This is what will determine the future of our Nation and the world..., not any "political action" that any Bishop(s) or Cardinal(s) care to take but rather whether they enforce reasonable order among themselves and the Church that they are called to govern.

  • Posted by: Justin8110 - Apr. 12, 2012 8:40 PM ET USA

    It would appear that many Cardinals and Bishops today simply do not have the theological virtue of Faith active within their souls or if they do they are deeply enslaved to human respect. They need many prayers and much grace to correct this as do all of us. Pray for them.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 12, 2012 8:34 PM ET USA

    Badly handled by Cardinal Schoenborn. That's an interesting comment on the similarity between this case and the Washington archdiocesan mishandling of Father Guarnizo's correct effort vis-a-vis a lesbian agitator.

  • Posted by: Defender - Apr. 12, 2012 6:41 PM ET USA

    Doesn't it seem odd the similarities between Austria and Washington, D.C.? Both cardinals overruling priests who were enforcing Church law? What goes on?