When Cardinal Schönborn tried to get into an elevator in the Vatican, the Swiss Guard rejected him.

When Cardinal Schönborn tried to get into an elevator in the Vatican, the Swiss Guard rejected him.

He was very humble personally. He spoke like a print and he had a sense of humor. Cardinal Schönborn told me about Pope Francis. He has a very relaxed approach to people. When Cardinal Schönborn tried to get into an elevator in the Vatican, the Swiss Guard rejected him. Pope Francis casually asked if he was a leper and let the cardinal get in.

Is it even permissible to look inside the Church, into the private life of a Pope? The film shows that even in the highest positions in the Church there are people who wrestle with themselves, who sin, who repent. That’s one of the strengths of this film. Therefore one could also use him for missionary work. One learns that the episcopal, cardinal and papal dignity does not exclude people. To see that is very good for us. It was brilliant that the Pope of the century Benedict admitted that his strength was insufficient to carry out his office and that he had to resign. He showed that popes are only human.

Will popes who are too old and weak to exercise their office resign in the future? That will no longer be possible any other way. If someone has run out of strength they will have to resign. When Benedict’s files on abuse incidents were stolen from his desk, he realized that he was no longer in control of the matter. Then he abdicated. The way he announced his resignation in Latin was great. Pope Francis turns 83 on December 17th. He has already said that he will resign if he no longer feels strong enough for the office.

Benedict faced some scandals. Have these Vatileaks harmed the Church? That hurt the church very much. That it was possible for people in the innermost center of power to steal from one another, that personal documents could be stolen from the Pope, was a shock. Not to mention the detection of child abuse. I’ve seen Groër resign. Back then I couldn’t even imagine what really happened. You ask yourself which club you’re part of. Recently, however, it became known that there had been more cases of abuse in Vienna’s urban children’s homes than in the church in Austria in the last 50 years. Every case in the church is a bombing scandal. But no one was convicted in the city children’s homes. There are payments, but no accused.

Anthony McCarten claims in his book about the film that the resignation of Pope Benedict calls into question the papal infallibility. Is the Pope Infallible? The Pope’s infallibility is a great misunderstanding. The last popes did not make a single infallible decision. John Paul II not, John XXIII. Not.

Was there an infallible papal decision? The Marian dogma in 1854 (from Pius IX. These were magisterial decisions that seem to have nothing to do with our normal lives.

What is it about? This dogma relates to the Conception of Mary.paper helper December 8th is often assumed to be the day the Mother of God received Jesus from the Holy Spirit. In fact, this holiday refers to the date on which Anna, Maria’s mother, conceived her daughter. This means that with regard to the birth and redeeming death of Jesus, God already freed his grandmother from all guilt. With this Mary was born without hereditary fault. That sounds very constructed. But inheritance debt is something that weighs on each of us. I’ll give you an example: if the Huber farmer and his neighbor quarrel, the children of these warring neighbors will also have a problem.

In the film, Benedikt sees television series like “” Commissioner Rex “”. Jorge Bergoglio is a football fan. Together they eat pizza and drink Fanta. Is that really true? Some things were already known. We know that Pope Benedict relaxes while playing the piano and that he likes to watch series like “” Kommissar Rex “”. It was also known that Francis is a football fan. And you can well imagine that on election day he had another look at how people live outside. John XXIII did that once too. Why shouldn’t a Pope even escape?

© Ricardo Herrgott Anton Faber has been a cathedral priest in St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna for more than 20 years

In one scene, Bergoglio persuades the Pope to take a few steps tango. A few years ago a dancing Pope was unthinkable. How do you see this scene? That was curious, but portrayed very lovingly. But I doubt that it was in reality. But it shows the difference between Benedict and Francis. He was once a tango dancer and dares a little more than Benedikt, who always sat behind the books. This scene illustrates the difference between the two. And it refers to the reform push for which Francis stands. By the way, I also opened the Opera Ball once. I was already a priest by then.

They demonstrate that priests are people too. In this way have you been able to reconcile some people who have had enough of the church as an institution? Cardinal Schönborn does the same when he speaks of his illness. And when someone says to me that they are rejoining the church because they find me so normal, so human, that is the best compliment for me. People usually don’t quit the church because they become atheists. Most are disappointed. Some do not want to pay the church fee. When they come back they say they took some time off. They show their dissatisfaction, but are fundamentally believing. For ten years I have been able to book over 100 re-entries per year.

And how many withdrawals? I usually don’t find out, because most of them don’t leave me. But I also accept people into the church who do not belong in my parish. You can only leave the Church in three countries in the world: Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Because only in these countries there is a church contribution. Everywhere else you can decide for yourself how close you feel to the church. It is often the case that people move away from it after Confirmation. When they want to get married or have children baptized, they come closer to the Church. Only in Poland is it a little different. If someone wants to get married or have a child baptized, all family members must show that they have made confession at least the year before. Even confession slips are issued there, if you can’t show it, there is no sacrament.

Even the Pope confesses in the film. Does he have to? The incumbent Pope must confess. Because the best school to hear confession is to go to confession yourself. I learned that in the seminary. I was totally impressed when a cardinal went to confession with me.

In the film Bergoglio tells Pope Benedict that he feels guilty for the arrest of two Jesuits in Argentina by the military dictatorship. What does that say about him? Both Benedict and Francis speak out about their mistakes. Francis tried to protect his Jesuit brothers. He made compromises with the military dictatorship in Argentina. Two Jesuits were tortured for having released them. The film clearly shows the problem of such compromises. There is a similar example in Austria. Cardinal Innitzer saved the lives of thousands of Jews. But he signed his letter on the connection of Austria to the German Reich with “” Heil Hitler “”. When you make such a stupid compromise, the shadow falls on all of life.

Benedict is mentioned in the film as a Nazi. How do you see Ratzinger’s past? Benedikt was born in 1928 like my father. When I was asked about his past in Hitler’s Germany in interviews, it hurt me a lot. Like my father, he was forced to join the Hitler Youth. The alternative would have been a fate as a martyr. Some names have been given to him. But he wasn’t always conservative. During my studies I wrote a paper about how one could contradict the bishop / cardinal with the theories of the young theology professor Ratzinger. I’ve been given all sorts of names too. One was the “Society Padre”. I prefer the ascription “” Citymissionar “”.

The film shows that the young Bergoglio felt called directly by God to the priesthood. How was that with you? I was 17 years old when my doctor told me I only had two or three years to live. The reason was possible kidney failure. That was the reason for me to rebel against God. I cried while praying at home. I didn’t want to admit it. I was involved in the parish as a youth group leader and was responsible for the altar boys. At school I was active as a class and school representative. My indictment turned into a search. I wanted to know what God was going to do with me. I considered becoming a priest. When I explained this to my girlfriend at the time, she thought I was crazy at first. I decided to test myself for a year. But after only six months I entered the seminary.

Have you ever regretted your decision? I once did a test with a lie detector for a radio station. For this question, the ad didn’t fail when I answered “” never “”. But at that time I would never have thought that I would be lucky in my life, that I could have such a dream job in such a dream place.

McCarten writes in his book “” The Two Popes “” that the number of believers keeps falling. Is that really true? It is still growing worldwide. Church membership is only falling in Europe and North America. On the one hand through the abuse cases, on the other hand through the age pyramid.

Do you have a message for Christmas? Family life is in demand again. Some of my communion children have two or three siblings. And we’re better off than a hundred years ago. You shouldn’t believe that everything will get worse.

Anton Faber was born in Vienna in 1962. He was ordained a priest at the age of 22. After only one year in office, he became an archbishop ceremonial. Since 1999 he has been the cathedral priest of St. Stephan and Dechant in the first district in Vienna. He has been the cathedral capitular since 2000.

This interview originally appeared in News 50/2019.

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Breathtaking heights, extraordinary widths or a very special story. This is what makes these attractions the most visited in the world. We introduce the ten that have been voted the most popular by the travel portal “Tripadvisor”.

10. St. Mark’s Square

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Venice, Italy. Did you know that St. Mark’s Square is the only square in Venice called a square? All other places in the lagoon city are nicknamed “” Campo “”, which means something like field. This is because St. Mark’s Square was the only paved square for a long time. Incidentally, this was already popular with Napoleon, who called it “the most beautiful ballroom in Europe”. St. Mark’s Square was created in the 9th century. At that time there was a modest church there. The small open space in front of this was the site of state acts, announcements and celebrations. And even today, the annual Venice Carnival is opened in St. Mark’s Square.

9. Skydeck Chicago – Willis Tower

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Chicago, USA. If you travel to Chicago, if you have a head for heights, you should also climb to the top of the tallest building in the city. The Willis Tower is a whopping 442 meters. Its glazed sky deck offers a breathtaking view – over the city as well as into the depths. When it was completed in 1974, the building, which incidentally has 108 floors and houses 104 elevators, was the tallest in the world. This rank has now been overtaken. Nevertheless, the tower is now the 20th tallest building in the world.

8. Anne Frank House

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Amsterdam, Netherlands. In 1940 the Opekta and Pectacon companies moved into the house at Prinsengracht 263. They were run by Anne Frank’s father Otto Frank. During the time of the German occupation, the Secret Annex served as a hiding place for Anne Frank and her family as well as another family of four. They lived in around 50 square meters for more than two years until they were finally betrayed and deported in August 1944. Today the house, which was saved from demolition in 1955, serves as a memorial to Anne Frank and the many victims of National Socialism. The hiding place itself remained in its original form.

7. French Quarter

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New Orleans, USA. Welcome to the oldest part of New Orleans! The French Quater – called Vieux Carré in the local language – is not only the first stop for tourists, but also a magnet for residents. Due to its numerous unique buildings, most of which date from the late 18th century, the time of Spanish rule over the city, the district as a whole was included in the list of National Historic Landmarks. The most famous street in the French Quater is Bourbon Street. Gourmets get their money’s worth here, as the street is rich in restaurants.

Fittingly: Austria’s most popular sights

6. Sagrada Familia

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Barcelona, ​​Spain. In 2026, on the 100th anniversary of Gaudí’s death, the Sagrada Familia, the construction of which began in 1882, is due to be completed. Completed or not, the church is an architectural masterpiece and an absolute must-see when visiting Barcelona. Just a few years after the start of construction, it became clear that the project would not be completed in the foreseeable future. When asked, Gaudí replied calmly: “” My customer is in no hurry. “” The architect worked on the church for 43 years, several parts of which have already been included in the Unesco World Heritage List.

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