The Catholic bishops in Germany have rejected "any form of discrimination against homosexually inclined people". There was controversial discussion about whether the magisterial prohibition of practiced homosexuality is still in keeping with the times.
Thus it was said on Thursday following an expert meeting of the Commission for Marriage and Family of the German Bishops' Conference.
The "expert consultation" in Berlin was organized in conjunction with the Institute for Christian Ethics and Politics (ICEP), led by Andreas Lob-Hudepohl. Participants included Berlin Archbishop Heiner Koch, who is also chairman of the Family Commission, and Bishops Franz-Josef Bode (Osnabruck), Wolfgang Ipolt (Gorlitz) and Peter Kohlgraf (Mainz). Also present were medical doctors and theologians.
Church sexual morality a topic at the "Synodal Way
The occasion for the exchange was the Synodal Way. The recently launched dialogue on the future of the Catholic Church in Germany will also address church sexual morality. Archbishop Koch emphasized that the Synodal Way should be started without prejudice and without already fixed positions, but by no means without knowledge of the state of the sciences.
There was agreement that a person's sexual preference develops during puberty and takes on a heterosexual or homosexual orientation. Both belonged to the normal forms of a sexual predisposition that could not be changed or needed to be changed by any specific socialization.
Reference to "Amoris laetitia"
As far as cohabitation of heterosexual couples is concerned, Bishops Koch and Bode referred to the papal doctrinal letter "Amoris laetitia". The letter no longer considers a sexual relationship after divorce and remarriage to be a serious sin and thus no longer provides for a general exclusion from receiving the Eucharist.
Participants disagreed on whether the use of artificial contraceptives should be allowed in marriage and for unmarried couples. The Catholic Church has so far only considered natural methods of contraception such as the temperature or cycle method to be morally justifiable.