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Cardinal Schönborn foresees no change in Church teaching on marriage, divorce

August 11, 2015

Vienna’s Cardinal Christoph Schönborn has predicted that the Synod of Bishops will not push for a major change in Church teaching on marriage.

“I am confident there will be no change in doctrine,” the Austrian cardinal said in an interview with the National Catholic Register. In the course of the interview, Cardinal Schönborn—who was in California to speak at a Napa Institute meeting—said that he saw “deep continuity” in the teaching of recent Pontiffs on marriage, particularly Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.

Cardinal Schönborn acknowledged that lively debates are likely at the October meeting of the Synod. “But,” he said, “I am also convinced that the positions present in the Synod are not so wide apart as the media suggests.”

Speaking about pastoral efforts to address the needs of divorced couples, the Austrian prelate—whose own parents divorced when he was young—remarked that “the first victims of divorce are always the children.” While applauding the call to show mercy to divorce couples, he said, “before speaking about the suffering of the parents, we must speak about the suffering of the children.”

In the course of his interview with the Register, Cardinal Schönborn, who was the chief editor of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, disclosed that he regrets the Catechism was not stronger in its statement of opposition to capital punishment.

The cardinal also spoke about the enormous challenge of immigration into Europe, and said that “if this crisis continues, we don’t know how we will be able to address it.”

 


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