VIENNA, Austria, May 4, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – On April 26, a video showed how several young Catholics in Vienna, Austria placed a banner on the church of St. Rupert's – the oldest church in town – which reads “God cannot bless sin – Roma locuta – causa finita [Rome has spoken, the case is closed].” The reason for this initiative was that this church had displayed a rainbow flag in defiance of a recent Vatican document that banned the blessing of homosexual couples.
LifeSite reached out to these young Catholics (see full interview below) who told us that they were greatly inspired by Alexander Tschugguel, the young man who threw the Pachamama statues in the Tiber River in 2019.
“We thought Alexander Tschugguel's Pachamama action was great,” these young people explained, “and it showed us that it is sometimes necessary to take action and that it can also have an effect.”
As LifeSite reported, these young people – all around 24 years of age – decided to take action after they saw the rainbow flag displayed on the church of St. Rupert's in Vienna. They filmed their action, in similar fashion to the now-famous video of Tschugguel and his friends when they removed the Pachamama statues from a Catholic Church in Rome during the October 2019 Amazon Synod and threw them into the Tiber.
The video shows these young people painting the banner with their message, “God cannot bless sin,” which is taken straight out of the March 15, 2021 document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). That document stated that the Church cannot bless homosexual couples because “God does not and cannot bless sin.” The Congregation added that it is “not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex.”
The archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, subsequently spoke against this CDF document, saying he was “not happy” about it, adding that it “hurts many people to the core.”
The young Viennese who disagreed with him and supported the CDF document with the help of their banner told LifeSite that they took this initiative because they wanted “to remind some Catholic officials what the unchangeable teaching of the Catholic Church is.” They also wanted to “prevent confusion.” In addition, these young Catholics state that these statements in favor of same-sex relationships “are not only harmful to the Church but also – and this is very important to us – to people with a homosexual orientation who are misled by them.”
This group has posted their video on a YouTube channel called Christus vincit and hopes that similar initiatives could be posted on it, too. Their goal is to “defend the Catholic Faith” and to inspire other young men to do the same. One could speak here, once more, of the Tschugguel effect. Courage inspires courage.
As LifeSite reported in October 2020, Tschugguel participated in an event in Rome, at which he and a group of young Catholics of Austria’s St. Boniface Institute gathered in St. Peter’s Square with a banner reading, “Holy Father, we ask for clarity on same-sex unions.” This initiative had been a response to the fact that Pope Francis, in an interview, had shown himself to be supportive of civil unions of same-sex couples.
Please see here the full interview with the Christus vincit group of young Austrian Catholics:
LifeSite: Could you tell us why you did this action, what you hope to achieve with it, if you are planning more such initiatives and if you recommend similar actions to other Catholics in the world?
On the one hand, we wanted to react to the provocation that this [rainbow] flag represents on the oldest church in Vienna, and on the other hand, we wanted to set a sign with the words of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – God cannot bless sin – in order to remind some Catholic officials what the unchangeable teaching of the Catholic Church is.
Moreover, we think that especially in the present time it is necessary and appropriate to clearly express certain truths in order to prevent confusions. These are not only harmful to the Church but also – and this is very important to us – to people with a homosexual orientation who are misled by them.
We hope that this will possibly cause certain bishops or priests to rethink their position, but we also want to give other Catholics courage and hope. It also shows the public that Catholics don't put up with everything.
Actually, we hope that such actions will no longer be necessary – but if there should be further actions, the intention behind them would be the same: To defend the Catholic faith.
If we can inspire other Catholics to carry out similar actions, of course we think that is good and we are happy about it. However, it should not degenerate into blind activism [“Aktionismus”], even with actions it is important to let reason prevail.
Our YouTube channel “Christus vincit” [“Christ conquers”] could be used as a publication platform for similar initiatives.
LifeSite: How was the reaction to this action in Vienna?
From our environment there was a very positive response to the action, many (also non-Catholics) were pleased that this provocation did not go unanswered. However, the archbishop [Cardinal Christoph Schönborn] has not yet congratulated us.
LifeSite: May we know the average age of your group, and, since you are from Austria, may we ask if you were inspired by the Pachamama initiative of the Austrian Alexander Tschugguel?
We are Catholic friends and all around 24 years old.
We thought Alexander Tschugguel's Pachahama initiative was great and it showed us that it is sometimes necessary to take action and that it can also have an effect.
We believe that especially young men are called to defend the Catholic faith and protect their towns and villages.