Cross on rainbow flag © Julia Steinbrecht (KNA)
Theologians at the University of Regensburg have spoken out following the Vatican's rejection of the blessing of same-sex couples. They demand from the Church's teaching authority "better theological arguments than before".
Here's what a statement released Monday said. The nine professors of the Faculty of Catholic Theology list questions and challenges that they would like to have answered.
Critically question doctrinal positions
Theology not only has the task of appreciating magisterial positions, but it also has the duty to critically question them, it says. At the same time, one can expect the Church's magisterium to "listen to the urgent questions of the local churches and to enter into dialogue. If decisions are made to end discussions that are not even appreciated in their urgency and complexity, it can only lead to frustration and bitterness. "This is exactly what we are experiencing now."
Also at the Regensburg faculty, as in the whole church, there are different positions on central questions of church reform, the statement says. Nevertheless, the decision was made to consciously go public together. For the "heated debate" surrounding the recent letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith focused on many long-pent-up theological questions surrounding church authority, doctrine and practice. In addition, a pastoral need shows up.
Participation in constructive dialogue
The question to be answered is how the church can bring up Christian values or the importance of marriage and family without devaluing other ways of life or discriminating against people. There is also the question of where Scripture, tradition and faith offer opportunities to understand sexuality in its full breadth, "without narrowing it to the dimension of passing on life, as important as that may be.".
Further to be discussed is whether orientations other than heterosexual have a place in God's creation from the beginning or whether they are interpreted in a problematic way as "disordered" as a result of original sin.
In addition, it is a question of how the church understands its sacraments and sacramentals, it says. "Are sacramentals to be interpreted primarily as imitations of the sacraments, or do they not, by virtue of the Church's intercessory prayer, also make God's grace visible in their own way?"As teachers the signers felt obligated to their church, they write. But this also includes a willingness to work on theological clarification of these ies and to "participate in the necessary open and constructive dialogue in the church".