German Catholic churches could begin to bless unions of homosexual couples

With this decision, German Catholics challenge the Vatican again (AP)

The blessing of unions of homosexual couples can officially be given in German Catholic churches from 2026a large majority of German bishops and lay Catholic organizations gathered in synod decided on Friday.

With this decision, German Catholics challenge the Vatican againwho considers homosexuality a sin.

In 2021 and 2022, some Catholic priests organized marriage ceremonies throughout Germany for gay and lesbian couples. Friday’s vote may expand the movement.

On Friday, among the delegates present at the synod, 176 spoke for the blessing of homosexual unions14 were against and 12 abstained: that corresponds to an approval of 92.6 percent.

The majority of the bishops were also in favor: 38 said “yes” to the celebration of homosexual unions, 9 “no” and 12 abstained.

In their dioceses, the bishops remain free to act as they wish despite the decision of the synod on Friday, which means that Opponents of this measure may continue to reject the celebrations.

In 2021, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had published a note reiterating that it considered homosexuality a “sin” and confirmed the impossibility for same-sex couples to receive the sacrament of marriage.

The fifth Synodal Assembly of German Catholics (REUTERS/Heiko Becker)
The fifth Synodal Assembly of German Catholics (REUTERS/Heiko Becker) (HEIKO BECKER/)

In January 2022, a hundred homosexual German Catholics, priests or those involved in their parish, made their coming out to denounce the “discriminatory” policy of the Church.

The Catholic religion continues to be the first confession in Germany, followed by the Protestant churches, despite the fact that the number of faithful decreases.

“As God has created us”

A hundred LGTB+ Catholics, employees of the Church or committed to the parish, made their coming-out, denouncing the “discrimination and exclusion” they suffer and demanded “free access” to the pastoral professions.

In the web “#OutInChurch”, They called for “a change in the discriminatory work code of the Catholic Church” and the suppression of “degrading and excluding formulations” in the norms, as well as the end of a “system of dissimulation, double standards and dishonesty” that surrounds the LGBT+ community in the Church.

Neither “sexual orientation or gender identity” nor “commitment in a non-heterosexual relationship or marriage” should not be “an obstacle to hiring or a reason for dismissal”, the faithful estimate in a manifesto.

“I don’t want to hide anymore”explained Uwe Grau, a homosexual priest of the diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart (south), who is among the dozens of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, queer and non-binary people presented in an image gallery.

“We are part of the Church,” said Raphaela Soden, queer and genderless who works in the diocese of Freiburg (southwest).

The LGTB+ issue is the subject of heated debates within the Church. Pope Francis follows the line of the Catholic tradition on marriage – considered as the union of a man and a woman to procreate – but believes that “God loves each of his children.”

(With information from AFP)

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