Saturday, November 19, 2005

Photos of the Month (11/2005)

There haven't been any photographs on this page for quite some time. I thought it might be a nice idea to combine the presentation of nice cappa-shots with a little information under a collective topic. The first attempt at this will be a gallery of Viennese Cardinal-Archbishops. Have fun!

1.) Joseph Otmar von Rauscher

Rauscher was born in Vienna in 1797. Destined for a civil service career he decided to become a priest after being both inspired and impressed by Klemens Maria Hofbauer. Ordained a priest in 1823, he became bishop of Seckau in 1849. He assumed an important role in the Austrian bishops conference and played a vital role in the process that lead to the imperial decree of 1850 thet freed the church from the Josephine reforms and granted her the highest possible freedom. He became archbishop of Vienna in 1853. He was one of the main architects of the concordate of 1855 which assured that Austria pretty much remained a Catholic state. Elevated to the cardinalate in 1855 (Title church: Santa Maria della Vittoria), he had to watch how his life's work slowly fell apart as first Hungary (1861), then Styria (1868) and finally the whole of Austria (1870) first modified and then totally liquidated the concordate. He died in Vienna in 1875.

2.) Fran Xaver Nagl

Born in Vienna in 1855 and ordained a priest in 1878, he was a professor in St. Poelten (1883), cout-curate in Vienna (1885), rector of the Anima in Rome(1889) and bishop of Triest-Capo d'Istira (1902-1909) before he was installed as archbishop of Vienna in August 1911 and elevated to the cardinalalte three months later. He build a new seminary in Vienna and was generally very interested in the spirituial welfare of Vienna as a major city. The climax of his years was the Eucharistic world-congress in Vienna in the September of 1912, which became a huge manifestation of Austrian Catholicism. Nagl became seriously ill at the end of 1912 and died in February 1913.

3.) Friedrich Gustav Piffl

Piffl was born in 1864. He entered the augustinian canonry of Klosterneuburg near Vienna in 1883 and was elected provost of that house in 1907. He became archbishop of Vienna in 1913 and cardinal in 1914. Piffl waas an outstanding personality who on the one hand had all the skills in leadership required to lead a diocese like Vienna after the collapse of the monarchy in 1918 and on the other hand was so modest, friendly and generous and so very close to the people and all of the clergy that he was labelled "Volksbischof" (bishop pf the people) in more than one source. Mainly because of his work the church and the Christian politicians in Austria were able to regroup and combine forces in the days of re-orientataion in 1918. When Piffl died in 1932, the church in Austria had gained new momentum and strength.

4.) Theodor Innitzer

Born in 1875, Innitzer grew up in a poor family. After leaving school he had to work in textile factories to assure the survival of the family. With the support of a local dean he was able to enter the college, then the seminary and the university. He was ordained a priest in 1902. After a short period of pastoral work he returned to the seminary, where he was vice-rector and later rector. Because Innitzer was not only interested in science but also in social and political matters, chancellor Schober called him into his cabinet and made him minister of social administration. He became archbishop of Vienna in September 1932 and cardinal in March 1933. After the end of the Austrian state and the violent "Anschluß" in 1938, Innitzer assumed a somewhat naive role. He paid the Führer a courtesy visit and signed, together with other Austrian bishops, a document written by Gauleiter Bürckel, in which the Austrian episcopacy advises the population to vote for the "Anschluß" in the referendum waiting to be held. Reality soon caught up with the cardinal. In October 1938 Innitzer gave a homily in the cathedral of St. Stephen in Vienna, where he told the listeners, that there is only one "führer": Christ. The Nazis took this as an insult to the Hitler. After the mass the cardinal repeated the speech outside of his episcopal palace. Hundreds of catholic youths were there, cheering and applauding. Again, this upset the Nazis and they sent some Hitler-youth shock troops, who were supposed to rough up the crowd and make them go home. The situation escalated so badly, that finally the Nazis stormed the episcopal palace, in which the cardinal and some other priests hid. The Hitler-youth sacked and devastated all rooms. What they didn’t steal, they smashed to pieces or tore apart. The cardinal was able to escape through an underground tunnel system into the cathedral, but one of his curates was thrown out of the window. If you scroll back up to the portrait of caridnal Nagl, you can see some slashes in the canvas. They were inflicted by daggers during the devastation of the palace. Shortly after this event the Catholic press and Catholic societies were forbidden. In 1940 Innitzer erected a bureau in the archiepiscopal palace, officially called "welfare organization for non-arian catholics". This organization saved the lives of many jews. Despite all that Innitzer remained a controversial figure due to his naive behavior in the early phase of the Nazi occupation. Even today his life and work are being discussed in numerous publications.

5.) Cardinal König

He was born in 1905 and died in 2004. Archbishop of Vienna from 1956 until 1985. In the 1970s he worked, together with Austrian Federal Chancellor Bruno Kreisky, towards a reconciliation between socialism and the Catholic Church. Within the Church, he was mainly concerned with questions of ecumenism. Nice photo, though.


Post a Comment

<< Home