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Austrian cardinal says tensions due to diverse nature of church

An ongoing discussion between Austria's laity and church officials represents the diversity among Catholics and not serious tensions among the hierarchy and laity, an Austrian cardinal said.

"There's a great diversity of nations, cultures and even rites in the Catholic Church, and this is appropriate and even good," said Vienna's Cardinal Christoph Schonborn during a recent visit to Poland. "Diversity and differentiation are elements of the order of creation and belong in the church as well."

Speaking to Poland's Catholic Information Agency, KAI, Cardinal Schonborn said the Church faces "new challenges" all over Europe and should ensure the continent's "economic and political mechanisms" were backed by a secure "cultural and religious identity".