A couple in love © Kitja Kitja (shutterstock)
After Vatican's no to blessing for gay couples, initiatives with corresponding blessing ceremonies are underway in many countries. Also in Zurich one wants to ignore the bishopric-internal position to the topic.
Zurich chaplain Meinrad Furrer offers a "blessing for all" for Monday afternoon, despite criticism from Chur Bishop Joseph Bonnemain, according to "Catholic Zurich City".
Officially, the church leadership is repeating old familiar positions, Furrer said; he is further quoted by the portal cath.ch: "Homosexual people who live in partnership have their place in the Church and receive appropriate pastoral care". By criticizing the blessing ceremonies, the priest said, the church is implicitly saying: "It's not okay how you live."The document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith explicitly speaks of sin.
According to Furrer, this attitude "no longer works"; it supports "what is called internalized homophobia". This often leads unconsciously to self-condemnation. One consequence, he said, is "an incongruent inner self-image that can become a psychological burden". Secrecy and rejection would have caused "great harm" in many cases. Public signs are needed to counteract this.
Bishop Bonnemain said, according to catholic.ch, basically he is "happy about every person who asks for God's blessing; we all need his blessing again and again". However, he had also repeatedly emphasized that it was necessary to "take the guidelines of the Magisterium seriously, but on the other hand also the concrete life circumstances of the concrete person or couple".
Bonnemain does not approve of initiative
The pastors of the Church have a responsibility to "make a careful and serious consideration to also do justice to the people," the bishop said. He doubted whether this could take place within the framework of spontaneous blessing celebrations. Therefore, he could not approve of the initiative. Bonnemain continued, "Any person can bless other people, but not do so per se in the name of the church."However, he will pray for all the people who are there to be blessed, and for the person being blessed.