Eurovision winner Tom Neuwirth, who performs in drag as bearded lady Conchita Wurst, has found an unexpected fan in Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, who is the Archbishop of Vienna, according to The Tablet.
As we all know, there is multicoloured variety in God’s garden. Not everyone who is born male feels he is a man and the same applies to women. Such people deserve the same respect that we all have a right to as human beings. I am glad that Tom Neuwirth had such success with his artistic creation Conchita Wurst and I will pray for him.
Schönborn added that he hopes that Neuwirth's success doesn't go to his head, and cited the need for tolerance in the world. He defined tolerance as "respecting someone even if one does not share his or her views."
Schönborn's remarks do not change official church policy on gay and lesbian individuals, his spokesman Michael Prüller told ORF. Prüller cited Schönborn's statement in 2012, after he allowed a gay man to remain on a parish council.
"A pathway to conversion and repentance is necessary for those who live in homosexual relationships. One must help them to see that their relationship is not God’s plan. We cannot change that plan but we can remember that God is infinitely merciful,” Schönborn said, according to The Tablet.