Monday, February 26, 2024

After interview: Schönborn asks Old Catholics to apologise

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn from Vienna has asked Austria's Old Catholics for forgiveness. 

"I would like to apologise for a misunderstanding that I caused through a careless choice of words," Schönborn wrote in a letter to the Old Catholic Bishop Maria Kubin and the Chairman of the Synodal Council Herbert Psenner. 

With his interview statement, he had merely wanted to express that he did not wish the Catholic Church in Germany a schism.

A schism is always a wound, said Schönborn. 

"I did not intend it to be a devaluation or criticism of the Old Catholic Church and I regret that it could be understood that way," said Schönborn.

Schönborn had said last week in an interview with the portal "Communio" that he did not wish the Catholic Church in Germany "the fate of the Old Catholic Church". 

In the interview, he commented on the reform plans of the synodal path in Germany and called on the German bishops to remain in dialogue with the Vatican. 

He expressly warned against a schism. 

Austria's Old Catholics then wrote to the cardinal. 

They asked: "What specific fate do you have in mind here?" and requested "urgent clarification".