According to the Huffington Post, Austria’s cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, who is close to Pope Benedict XVI, has overruled the local parish priest’s decision and is allowing an openly gay man serve on parish council.
Florian Stangl, 26, lives in a civil union with his partner and was overwhelmingly elected to serve on the council that oversees daily affairs for the parish of Stützenhofen, which is north of Vienna, according to World Crunch. But it was overruled by the priest and was initially backed by the archdiocese.
However, Schoeborn changed his mind this weekend after hosting Stangl and his partner for lunch. After the lunch, Schoeborn said that there were “members of the parish council whose lifestyles don’t completely conform with the ideals of the Church.” He also said he appreciated the couple’s “commitment to living a life of faith.” Adding that he was impressed by Stangl’s faith and humility and dedication to the Church, according to World Crunch.