Develop the church's sexual teachings

Develop the church's sexual teachings

Despite the Vatican's no to the blessing of homosexual relationships, participants of the reform dialogue Synodal Way advocate an opening of the Catholic sexual doctrine. Bishop Helmut Dieser is taking a leading role in this.

"With our forum, we want to give an impulse to further develop the sexual teachings of the church," the Aachen bishop said Friday evening at an online event. He chairs a forum on sexuality and partnership as part of the reform debate.

Co-chair Birgit Mock also expressed her views at the event: "The majority of us in the Forum have a strong tailwind for change."

"Hushing up sexual morality"

Mock, who is also the executive director of the Hildegardis Association, spoke of a "hazing of sexual morality". A re-evaluation of sexuality belongs to it, at whose end also a blessing celebration for homosexual partnerships could stand.

On Monday, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Vatican had declared that the Catholic Church has no authority to bless same-sex relationships. These connections would not correspond to the divine will and could not be blessed therefore.

However, the blessing of homosexuals is a fact of life in many places in Germany, argued Mock. He knew that chaplains would give the blessing, said also Dieser. "This is all somehow in a gray area."The bishop spoke here of a high suffering prere.

Objections from Rome should not end discussions. "This is naive and destructive and causes incredible harm."The latter advocated entering into dialogue with the pope and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith "in order to set this impulse that we have to move forward"".

Lay people turn to Bishop Dieser

On Friday, Catholic lay people from the Aachen diocese had called on Bishop Dieser to officially reject the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's ban in order to "prevent harm to people and stop the self-harm of the Church's magisterium". In addition, Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen spoke out in favor of "a serious and deeply appreciative reassessment of homosexuality".

In the Synodal Way, German bishops and lay representatives have been discussing the future of the Catholic Church since 2019. The starting point is a church crisis that has been going on for years and which has been exacerbated by the abuse scandal.

The debate is primarily about power, priesthood and sexual morality, as well as the role of women in the church.

The online discussion series, which was launched on Friday, is organized by the Association of German Catholic Youth (BDKJ), the Episcopal Academy, the Diocesan Council of Catholics and the Catholic Women's Community (kfd) in the Aachen diocese, as well as the Catholic Forum for Adult and Family Education Monchengladbach and Heinsberg.

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Christina Cherry
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