After the Vatican announced a decision last month that the Church cannot bless same-sex partnerships, the Catholic Church of the Hard Diocese was one of Austria’s rainbow flags that decided to unite with the LGBT community.
The Vatican Office, which is responsible for defending the teachings of the Church, the Doctrinal of Faith (CDF) ruled that although homosexuals have “positive factors”, they are not immune.
The office wrote that God “will never stop blessing every pilgrim child in this world… But he has neither blessed nor blessed sins.”
The hard-headed parish priest Erich Baldauf said that he and hundreds of other priests who belonged to the reform-oriented “Priest Initiative” movement had decided to raise the flag to say “We do not agree with this outdated position.” “This is the attitude of many other churches.
Soon after the rainbow flag was hoisted, someone tried to destroy it, and last Tuesday, Baldolf regretted that it had been burned.
Baldolf said: “We were shocked…it hurt us.”
Although the perpetrator was not found and there was no motive, Baldolf pointed out that he had never touched the other flags hanging on the scene.
A few days later, another flag in front of the church (also located in Vorarlberg in the west) was set on fire and the third side was stolen.
Contrary to the impression gained from such incidents, research shows that Austrian public opinion firmly supports same-sex unions being treated equally.
In Austria, same-sex marriage has been legal since 2019, and a survey conducted last week showed that 64% of Austrians opposed the Vatican’s recent decision.
Only 13% said they understand the position of the Vatican.
Austria is still predominantly Catholic. In this country of 8.8 million inhabitants, there are fewer than 5 million church members.
However, this shows a sharp decline since the ten years after the war, when almost 90% of Austrians belonged to churches.
Experts say that the differences between Austria’s social attitudes and religious teachings on issues such as homosexuality and abortion cause thousands of people to leave church every year.
The reform-oriented “priest initiative” did not clearly state the decision of the Vatican Office.