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Cdl. Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna, Austria.ORF Fan [HD] / YouTube

VIENNA, Austria, April 2, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Christoph Schönborn has said he can understand “very well” the disappointment of some that the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Querida Amazonia, published by Pope Francis last February, did not open the doors to married priests and female deacons.

Schönborn said during a March 22 interview on national television in Austria that he was “surprised” and “disappointed” by the few paragraphs of the document talking about women. “I believe you could say other things,” the Austrian cardinal added.

Pope Francis warned that to “restrict our understanding of the Church to her functional structures. Such a reductionism would lead us to believe that women would be granted a greater status and participation in the Church only if they were admitted to Holy Orders.”

According to the Holy Father, “that approach would in fact narrow our vision; it would lead us to clericalize women, diminish the great value of what they have already accomplished, and subtly make their indispensable contribution less effective.”

“The big question remains open. The question of the role of women in positions of leadership within the Church remains a wound, an open question,” Schönborn claimed.

He said it has been largely overlooked that Pope Francis in Querida Amazonia “speaks very explicitly of the role of women in these Amazonian communities being irreplaceable and worthy of advancement.” Those passages, Schönborn said, really speak about true female leadership within the communities.

The 75-year-old asked how the Church, as well as other religions, should deal with the role of men and women in view of the social developments of recent decades. “We should ask ourselves these questions. I have no answer at the moment,” he admitted.

The archbishop of Vienna recalled that the most important message of the Amazon Synod document “is the ecological message.”

That message, he explained, is that the death of the Amazon forest is the death of the world. “An expert has said this,” the cardinal reported.

The expert who made that claim is Hans Joachim Schellnhuber. In 2015, Schellnhuber was appointed as an ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Prior to that, he had already officially presented Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’, in the Vatican.

“He is considered one of the world’s leading climate scientists, and one of the strongest advocates of the theory that the earth is undergoing catastrophic global warming,” LifeSiteNews reported in 2015.

The German professor is a proponent of one-world government. “In order to avoid his catastrophic predictions for unchecked climate change, Schellnhuber proposes the need for indispensable forms of world governance – or in his own words, a ‘global democratic society’ — to be organized within the framework of the United Nations,” LifeSiteNews wrote.

“Schellnhuber says in his 2013 article ‘Expanding the Democracy Universe’ that ‘global democracy might be organized around three core activities, namely (i) an Earth Constitution; (ii) a Global Council; and (iii) a Planetary Court.’”

While Cardinal Schönborn admitted that Schellnhuber’s claims regarding the Amazon forest sound “incredibly dramatic,” he stressed that that is really is “this dramatic.”

“If we do not manage to get the ecological question halfway under control, the future for us on earth will be very, very difficult,” the cardinal said.

In the interview, Schönborn also tried to frame the COVID-19 pandemic as an “ecological” question. “I would first leave out the question of God,” he said.