Cardinal Hollerich invents historical excuses to change Church teaching

From a very long interview he has given to a Croatian journal, Glas Konzila

If these arguments are followed, there is no point of ever listening to the Church ever again on any matter. 

Speaking of women and men in the Church, we cannot help but address the tumult you caused by saying in an interview for the KNA that you are "open" to the idea of ordaining women. Is this attitude not in stark contrast with Church teaching?

Pope Francis does not want the ordination of women, and I am completely obedient to that. But people continue to discuss it. I am not a promoter of the ordination of women; I am a promoter of giving women more pastoral responsibility. And if we achieve that, then we can perhaps see if there still is a desire among women for ordination. But for such a huge change, we should have to seek the consent of the Orthodox Church. We could never do that if it would jeopardize our fraternity with the Orthodox or if it would polarize the unity of our Church. Love is not something abstract; it is the love for our sisters and brothers that prevents us from doing things that would alienate them.

You present the ordination of women as purely a matter of prudential judgment.

It is the Holy Father who has to decide about it.

But can he decide against what Saint John Paul II wrote in "Ordinatio sacerdotalis"?

With time, yes.

Is this not infallible teaching?

I am not sure you could call it so; probably not. Infallible would be, for instance, the proclamation of the dogma of the Assumption of Mary by Pius XII.

We are pressing this because the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published two documents clarifying that »Ordinatio sacerdotalis« was infallible teaching.

The "Syllabus errorum" of Pius IX had a similar claim to infallibility. But if you look at the Syllabus, you will see Pius IX condemned many things which are now common practice in the Church.

We cannot simply do politics of restoration of Catholic Europe. It will not work. We have to detect the presence of God in the world of today. When we discover God outside of the Church, we must rejoice: it means our tradition continues

For example?

Dialogue of religions, freedom of religion, human rights… Pius IX saw these ideas as very sinful and against revelation.

And you think it is the same with the impossibility of ordaining women?

It surely is a true teaching for its time, and we cannot just push it aside. But I think that there might be some space to expand the teaching – to see which of the arguments of Pope John Paull II could be developed. But for the moment, if Pope Francis tells me it is not an option, it is not an option.

If it is so, how can we ever certainly know if a Pope is right in his teaching?

There is no way you can strictly go against the Pope’s teaching, yet sometimes there is a development in thought which can lead to different conclusions. But if I were the one to jump to those conclusions, it would be preposterous. It is the whole Church together with Peter that must acknowledge there was a development.

Did you have a similar development in mind when you told the »LOsservatore Romano« that the church teaching on homosexuality is »false«?

When Church teaching was made, the term homosexuality did not even exist. Homosexuality is a new word; even in the time of Saint Paul people had no idea that there might be men and women attracted to the same sex.

What about Pauls numerous rebukes of sodomy?

Sodomy was seen as something merely orgiastic at the time, typical of married people who entertained slaves for personal lust. But how can you condemn people who cannot love except the same sex? For some of them it is possible to be chaste, but calling others to chastity seems like speaking Egyptian to them.