The Dispatch: More from CWR...

German bishops commit to “newly assessing” Catholic doctrine on homosexuality and sexual morality

The chairman of the Marriage and Family Commission of the German bishops’ conference says the bishops agreed that homosexuality is a “normal form” of human sexual identity.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, president of the German bishops' conference, gestures Sept. 13, 2019, during the extended Joint Conference of Bishops and Laity to prepare the "synodal way." (CNS photo/Harald Oppitz, KNA)

Munich, Germany, Dec 12, 2019 / 02:10 pm (CNA).- The German bishops’ conference has committed to “newly assessing” the universal Church’s teaching on homosexuality, sexual morality in general, as well as the sacraments of ordination and marriage. The commitment comes at the beginning of a controversial two-year “Synodal Process” by the German hierarchy.

Following consultations in Berlin last week, the chairman of the Marriage and Family Commission of the German bishops’ conference declared that the bishops agreed that homosexuality is a “normal form” of human sexual identity.

“The sexual preference of man expresses itself in puberty and assumes a hetero- or homosexual orientation,” Berlin’s Archbishop Heiner Koch asserted in a statement released by the bishops’ conference.

“Both belong to the normal forms of sexual predisposition, which cannot or should be be changed with the help of a specific socialization”.

Koch went on to say that “developments” made possible by Amoris laetitia, Pope Francis’ exhortation of marriage and the family, the Church must consider the latest scientific and theological insights on human sexuality.

Four diocesan bishops gathered for formal consultations on the topic “The Sexuality of Man – How should one discuss it scientifically-theologically and judge it ecclesiastically?” in the German capital on Dec 5.

Archbishop Koch, together with diocesan bishops Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabrück, Bishop Wolfgang Ipolt of Görlitz, Bishop Peter Kohlgraf of Mainz, as well as several auxiliary bishops from the Faith and Family Commission of the bishops’ conference consulted with a number of invited medical specialists, theologians and canon lawyers during the event.

Calling for a “solid discussion supported by human sciences and theology” Koch and Bode said that Amoris Laetitia already provides for noticeable “developments” of both Church doctrine and practice, adding that a sexual relationship for divorced and remarried couples after Amoris laetitia “was no longer always to be qualified as grave sin,” and that wholesale “exclusion from the reception of the Eucharist” of such couples could no longer be justified.

Koch said that the “Synodal Process” should must begin from an “unbiased” position on the Church’s teaching and without fixed points of view, but rather an openness to taking into account “latest scientific insights”.

All participants, according to Koch, agreed that “human sexuality encompasses a dimension of lust, of procreation, and of relationships.” And since sexual orientation was to be considered unchangeable, “any form of discrimination of persons with a homosexual orientation” was to be rejected, as was “explicitly stressed by Pope Francis” in Amoris laetitia.

According to a press release issued by the bishops, there was also discussion on whether the prohibition of homosexual acts by the Church’s magisterium was “still up-to-date” – and whether artificial contraception should still be condemned by the Church for “both married and unmarried” couples.

The results of the “expert consultation” in Berlin will be fed in to the “Synodal Process” through the synodal forum on “Life in Successful Relationships – Living Love in Sexuality and Partnership”, will begin its work in February 2020.

Coinciding with the opening of the Synodal Process, several diocesan and national Catholic associations funded by the German Church tax, or Kirchensteuer, have made public demands for changes to the Church’s teaching and practice on similar issues.

Calls for “reform” range from the blessing of homosexual unions to the priestly ordination of women, and, in at least one local group’s case, for the approval of abortion when “a woman or couple decided to go through with it.”

In an interview published by the official web portal funded by the German bishops, Agnes Wuckelt, deputy chairwoman of the German Catholic Women’s Association (KFD), demanded that women be ordained to the priesthood, asserting that a “sacramental ordination of women as deacons” would be a welcome first step in that direction.


If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.


About Catholic News Agency 421 Articles
Catholic News Agency (www.catholicnewsagency.com)

42 Comments

  1. If this is Francis’s plan to split the Church via ‘synodality’, the German Church is running with it.

    Where will the true Church remain?

  2. We read: “Koch said that the ‘Synodal Process’ should must begin from an ‘unbiased’ position on the Church’s teaching and without fixed points of view, but rather an openness to taking into account ‘latest scientific insights’” But, perhaps, the most “fixed” point of view of all is that of unquestioning and habitually uninformed “openness”…

    Four points:

    First, the most recent scientific findings reveal that while a mere five parts of the human genome (not genes) influence sexual behavior, together they account to only ONE PERCENT of such behavior:https://news.yahoo.com/no-gay-gene-study-finds-180220669.html

    Second, and instead, there’s this “unbiased” account of a link to an experimental culture at an adolescent age, namely this testimony from Andre Gide, the novelist who was conflicted over his own bisexual behavior. This from Gide’s biographer (Harold March, Gide and the Hound of Heaven, 1952):

    [Gide was opposed to sexual license and favored self control and] “sublimating sexual energy into desirable moral and artistic qualities.” [March concludes that Gide] “emphatically protests that he has not a word to say against marriage and reproduction [but then] suggests that it would be of benefit to an adolescent, before his desires are fixed, to have a love affair with an older man [!], instead of with a woman. . . the general principle admitted by Gide, elsewhere in his treatise, that sexual practice tends to stabilize in the direction where it has first found satisfaction; to inoculate a youth with homosexual tastes seems an odd way to prepare him for matrimony.”

    Better to simply redefine marriage!

    Third, the “latest scientific insights”—-to which the German bishops make appeal—0also have something to say about how addictive behavior (as during adolescence?) can rewire the brain itself. Overindulgence in digital and virtual reality games, for example, is found to produce corresponding neuro-chemical and possibly cellular changes in the brain itself (e.g., dopamine which is responsible for reward-driven behavior). And a recent study completed at University College London and using MRI technology (magnetic resonance imagery) strongly implies that a habit of lying tends to suppress the part of the brain (the amygdala) that responds emotionally to a “slippery slope” pattern of small and then larger lies (Garrett, Ariely and Laxxaro, Nature Neuroscience Journal, October 24, 2016; reported by Erica Goode, New York Times, October 25, 2016). Pornography, especially, is scientifically reported to be addictive, even more so than heroine or cocaine.

    Fourth, do other behavioral addictions also have this effect, rather than being determined by, say, a discredited and still-implied “orientation” gene? Perhaps a question not to be totally and ideologically dismissed by, what’s that word, oh yes, “openness.”

    So, beware the self-identified and tribal scientist-theologians from the Black Forest of Germania! Predictable incantations in advance of the winter solstice, and over the next two years (spare us, O Lord!) future announcements, perhaps, that the world is as flat as their sycophant singing voices. Quick, prepare horsemen to spirit their earliest findings to Rome for the benefit of the breathlessly-waiting wreckage of a past Christendom!

  3. It’s obvious to me that the reason why the German bishops feel that homosexual acts are not evil is because they, themselves, are homosexual, not chaste, and self-righteous.

    • Dear Steve,
      I tend to agree with you, this is a bunch of active homosexuals telling themselves they are great and homosexuality is normal, never mind that God created sexual organs for the procreation of the human race. I use to think people stopped going to confession because priest stopped being confessors, now I know its because we are no longer sinners! Which explains why the bishops never talk seriously about the murder of unborn babies, we wouldn’t want people to get the false impression they might be sinning. God help us all!
      God bless,
      tom (a sinner)

  4. German Bishops are not helping the church this day from married men to priest now women for priesthood , it it too much turning the church up and down . if you do not have single me for priests pray

      • Accuse me of sentimentalism or what have you Margaret I’m convinced that’s a mistake. Life’s experiences shades our moral vision and indeed sentiments beginning with a cousin US Army leg shattered in N Africa German Army transported him to Germany surgeons amputated and enabled his survival as a prisoner of war. A German sergeant kept him alive secretly [it likely would have cost him serious reprisal perhaps death] passing bits chocolate, real bread. At the Pontifical Beda College in Rome my closest friend was a former German bomber crewman Battle of Britain who had a tragic family life now a humble committed disciple of Christ. My thesis director now deceased former rector of the German College lecturer at the Angelicum Fr Richard Mathes was the only credentialed person willing to commit to my thesis on Aquinas. Today we have committed German Catholics suffering under these usurpers of the faith headed by Cardinal Rheinhard Marx. He’s strongly opposed by Cardinal Gerhard Muller former prefect CDF, Cardinal Brandmuller and others. And certainly by Benedict XVI clearly shown by his recent ‘counter narratives’. Cardinal Joachim Meisner now deceased opposed Amoris Laetitia with the Dubia. A dear young friend entered a contemplative convent. Now contemplative communities are subject to virtual annihilation during this Pontificate. We Must! We must resist and oppose the evil destroying our Church, support the German faithful not cave into believing that what’s occurring in Germany is not designed to spread throughout the Church.

  5. What did I just read??!! People making public “demands” to change church teaching? A woman demanding ordination of women? “Approval” of abortion if someone chooses it?! Truly the german clergy are in a different church than my Catholic church! I hope they all are happy together in that new church – and my Catholic church better not provide them with funds or places to worship or homes to live in! If they are so dissatisfied with our one holy Catholic apostolic church, then MOVE ON!

    • Dear Julie,
      You got this backwards. The real reason for the German bishops actions, besides promoting their own immoral behaviour, is so they can stop sending money to Rome. There are several German dioceses sitting on over a billion euros in the bank. You would think moral men and the Pope of the poor, would be working on avenues to fight destitute poverty and illiteracy in the developing world with all that money, but the only thing I read of was the purchase of a multi-million dollar mansion in Rome for their ad lumina visits there.
      God bless,
      tom

      • One small niggle… let us recall that most of that money comes from the German government–and not the Roman Catholic faithful. Like many countries in that region, Germany has a “church tax.” While unspoken, there is undoubtedly pressure coming from the German government and wildly secular citizenry.

        Throughout history, and no matter the religious expression, when religion (the Church) gets in bed with the state, religion always winds up pregnant. Being pregnant is a wonderful and wondrous event, but the prelude much less so.

        • Dear Randell,
          Your 1st sentence of 2nd paragraph is spot on, but not quite sure what the last sentence means. Your 1st paragraph does not make sense. Sinse you seem to know that Germans pay a Church Tax, how can you say that Catholics are not supplying the money if they are the ones paying the Tax? Merry Christmas!
          God bless,
          tom

  6. It would be nice if the Vatican would shut them up and send them off for a long bout of prayer and penance, which they seem sorely to need.

  7. The latest and greatest in science to be combined with new theology. Sound familiar? This is the same argument that led a small army of modernist Catholic theologians starting in the 40s to prepare the way for the assault on the Church launched during Vatican II and brought to its latest form by Francis. And, come to think about it, many of these guys were Germans. (Kung and Rahner come to mind especially.) Chardin wanted to have evolution guide religion (doubt he was a Catholic) – Bernard Haring wanted the Church to be informed by Freud. (Haring is a favorite of Bergoglio.)
    And think about this. How could anyone look to the German Church for inspiration for anything. Thanks to a quirk of history, they have a state supported tax base – but very few faithful. Indeed, the bishops in France, Germany and the Low Countries have done a bang up job of ruining the Church in their respective countries – and now they want to push farther down the road to full accommodation with secularism. That would be like deciding to go to war and choosing George Armstrong Custer to lead the cavalry. There are a few faithful bishops in Germany and all point out that the German Protestants, who have already signed unconditional surrender in the culture wars, are even worse off than Germany’s Catholics. No doubt. If you subtracted immigrant parishes from the Anglican Church in the UK, the institution would be dead. And every modernist Christian denomination watches their flock collapse. Many drop out of Christianity. Many, especially south of the Rio Grande, join the Evangelical sects. This is utter madness. The faithful must utterly reject the German model and the Francis papacy that makes it possible.

  8. Luther part II. And this is what Francis and his handlers want. Synodality, division, destruction! Divide the Body of Christ into national entities and pick them off one at a time until the True Church will be in catacombs, attics and the desert. Heretical children of the father of all lies!

    • Friend, you are re-writing reality. It is the American church, driven by left and right-wing zealots, who are most guilty of dividing “the Body of Christ into national entities.” Worldwide, the vast majority of Roman Catholics (lay and clerical) are in lock-step with the current Pope. Those who are not most often find the institutional church (with all its drama and dishonesty) irrelevant beyond their local communities.

  9. ‘ Love your wife , that your prayers be answered ‘ – on this day of the 50th anniv . of the ordination to priesthood of the Holy Father and Feast Day of St.Lucy , this too may be answered prayers on his side , for The Church as a whole to recognize how deeply wounded our times are , thus needing the care and prayers , to undo the
    knots , of which the Pope Emer. too very likely knew the extent of , thus his resignation on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes and Bl.Mother sending along , the healing waters through a well prepared son of hers , to flow into the salty waters that are there as from the dead seas !
    His love for the Bl.Mother , thus through her in The Spirit , loving The Church , all of humanity itself as well as the domestic churches – the families ,through devotions and consecrations such as to St.Joseph , the Feast of Our Lady of Loreto , even taking on the name of St.Francis , with the intent to tame the wolves and now this illumination as to how may be generational evils needing undoing are manifesting , to be stripped away , from the hearts on down , as a good Father would , who helped the prodigal , to put on new clothes , with tender care .
    Poor Germany , may be having been afflicted by bestial generational spirits related
    to love of new age , showing up as use of Swastika , Nazi evils etc : as well and God may be thus helping the whole world, to take note as to where in the true origin is of these confusions , as work of the family of death spirits , called forth , esp. through the rampant prevalence of the contraceptive mentality, its hidden hatreds and envy towards women and life as well .
    The healing words of compassion , how our oneness is in our wounds – those wounds afflicting the holy souls in reparation as well – well , here is The Father giving us the oneness , to be one in asking for mercy for all , The Father , who is rightfully The First , in Papacy too with The Son and The Spirit , thus the Holy Father may be – ? the 267th 🙂

  10. where exactly are these bishopric character trying to lead the church to????
    now I know animals are reasoning better than some academicians in the German Catholic Church.
    BLIND LEADERS INDEED🙏🙏🙏
    Holy Mary, pray for us

  11. Vat Secretary State Cardinal Parolin declared Amoris Laetitia the New Paradigm that calls us to a new spirit to incarnate the Gospel (NCR 1.2018). Cardinal Schönborn presided and at an event in his Vienna St Stephen’s cathedral featuring a shirtless, pro-homosexual actor standing on the altar rail, loud rock and electronic music, and actors dressed as demons (LifeSite 12.2018). Participants prostrated on the Vatican garden toward Pachamama goddess of the Andes during a ceremony presided by Pope Francis (10.2019). Amoris Laetitia the new gospel contains three key premises to effect change: 1. Inviolable Conscience unfettered by fixed points of view [code for doctrine]; 2. Mitigation is made a theological category that removes culpability for mortal sin; 3. Rules are not permanent. Pope Francis discussing Adultery in Amoris Laetitia 304 cites Aquinas on Justice ST 1a2ae 94, 4 that we always find exceptions. Aquinas here references positive norms. However in ST 2a2ae 140, 1 he adds “When it comes to some negative norms such as do not commit adultery there is never moral uncertainty or confusion, no matter how deeply we plunge into the details” (R Spinello quoting Aquinas in Crisis 11.2017). Can anyone one seriously question whether the German Bishops Conference is not following suite? Can anyone who has followed this Pontificate honestly believe the Vatican will intervene? Does anyone seriously question the new direction of the Church: normalization of homosexuality and its variances, indiscrimminate distribution of the Holy Eucharist, priests mandated to ecological conversion? At least not this priest.

  12. I will never accept these heresies, so I will not be in communion with the German bishops who accept these horrors. Hundreds of millions of Catholics will do the same. So Francis, you are getting that schism you said you weren’t afraid of.

  13. One more Ordination anniv . gift to the Holy Father – from a site that possibly has done so , unintentionally , since the pattern has been more of the other and
    this article , while citing the contributions of The Church through others have omitted the Pope , yet any truthful person can see how the concerns in this area too are answers to his prayers –
    https://www.crisismagazine.com/2019/tucker-carlsons-catholic-mind

    Let us hope that there would be many such areas of his true desire for holiness for The Church coming through – holiness in the patience in the people of God , how holiness is the true light of The Church ..and he himself too , very much a model of same, trusting the Holy Spirit , to bring the light of truth into many , whom he knows need same, not more arguments and explanations , yet speaking out in situations such as caring for the weak , of their need to be protected from all sorts of hungry , errant wolves .

  14. From the beginning in Genesis, Satan presented himself as the new-and-improved “heavenly father”, especially when he falsely offered the divinization that The True God had already planned for us: “… you will be like God…”, (Genesis 3:5). The German prelates are offering the same false, soft-and-easy, self-serving, sin-centered, poisonous divinization, sponsored and motivated by the same false “heavenly father”, the father of lies (John 8:44). Good mothers are an amazing gift from God but that gift, like the Most Amazing Virgin Mary, come from the TRUE Heavenly Father. We crave good mothers but, whether we admit it or not, we infinitely crave good fathers, whether human or the Divine One. Satan opposes this absolute reality and pushes us to call God “she”, to image himself, as in the grotesque image of the Mexican “Santa Muerte” that resembles the outfit of the Virgin Mary but is aimed directly at The Father, the Creator of Mary.

    If that were not true, Satan’s false fatherhood in Genesis and all history would not have had the huge success it has had together with the huge success of socialists, Communists, atheists, homosexuals, Islamists, etc. that all address the world as if imbued with paternal, absolute, cosmic, unquestionable authority. If our infinite craving for The True Father were not true, we wouldn’t overlook so easily the obvious corrupt, sadistic, psychopathic, criminal tendencies of our anti-Catholic, paternalistic overlords inside and outside the Church. We need to clean our hearts and our local home churches with renewed surrender to the Heavenly Father, the source of our very identities, and also renewed appreciation and respect for real, good earthly fathers. Then the German, homosexual, false fathers dumpster will collapse unto itself, as it has no real identity, only bottomless darkness (Ezekiel 28:18).

  15. Of the German “synodal path,” let us now RECONSIDER “kindergarten” which also began in Germany, in the early 19th Century? The founder (Friedrich Froebel) viewed the children in his school as plants, and the teachers as the gardeners. So, “kindergarten”!

    Now, two centuries later, the Church in Germany especially, but also elsewhere, has been cultivated (a fitting term: “cult”-ivated?) by the “latest scientific [horti-“cult”-ural] insights”—-characterized here by efficient rows and columns of seated and identical hybrids, all pruned and groomed under well-financed chandeliers (courtesy of the annual state religion tax, resulting in automatic excommunication if not paid), and all oriented (so to speak) together toward a red-hatted gardener who, in turn, is grafted onto a larger-than-life Power-point curtain (not unlike the Wizard of Oz!).

    Contrast this planter-box side show to the truly young and personal leadership of those REAL APOSTOLIC SUCCESSORS in the universal Church (yes, some of them possibly German!), who might still lead an evangelizing Church—-“in season and out of season,” And, refreshingly, out of step with a fallen and aging world:

    “Those runners [messengers of the Gospel] gather impetus as they run. Ages afterwards they still speak as if something had just happened. They have not lost the speed and momentum of messengers; they have hardly lost, as it were, the wild eyes of witnesses. . . .We might sometimes fancy that THE CHURCH GROWS YOUNGER AS THE WORLD GROWS OLD” (G.K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man).

  16. This says homosexulaity as it exists in a human being does not offend the doctrine of the Church – so nothing changes. The real error was codifying homosexual tendency in a person being itself a grave sin and Pope Francis has corrected this, Christ would have done the same. However, the Church will never change its stand on marriage being between man and woman and sexuality outside marriage, to do so would produce a greater Schism than 1054. Therefore homosexuals who are not celibate commit the same sin as a man or woman who are hetrosexual, and if warranted may be denied the sacraments. Lets be educated to the facts and not create hate and division which only serves Satan not God.

    • “The real error was codifying homosexual tendency in a person being itself a grave sin…”

      Not exactly what the CCC says. It actually states that the homosexual inclination “is objectively disordered”—that is, it not ordered toward the nuptial union of a man and woman.

      “…and Pope Francis has corrected this…”

      Where? How?

  17. Hope the reports of these happenings help to create more appreciation for the important observation, through the wisdom (and merit of his sufferings as well ) of St.John Paul 11 , about the relationship of body to the soul .
    Would it be that , the concept of seeing soul as female has contributed to some confusion in this whole realm !
    Interestingly , every human person is said to be in the female form , in the very beginning , males becoming more so in form , later on .. and there in may be , some connection to what St.John Paul 11 is alluding to as well .
    We just had the Feast of The Immaculate Conception and Bl. Mother mentioned to St.Catherine about unasked for graces ..
    The graces we esp. need in our times could be in this very realm – those who are experiencing problems and discordance , needing to focus on something that could be blocking the development at the ‘soul level ‘ – a soul under the grip of fear from any influence in the family line even , not able to grow into the maleness in spirit
    ( and possibly, some related confusion , in females as well .)
    The gift of the truth of timelessness, in The Spirit , that The Church brings us , to be put to good use here – those who need to go back to that early primordial
    stage of being the tiny baby in the womb ,calling forth for graces , doing so , often enough , with the help of The Mother , getting the strength and freedom from the death spirits ,in the power of The Word and angelic help , repeating ‘ Hail Mary ..’ to thus grow again , in spirit , to be what The Father desires for each .
    Unsure if The Lord has ever called any male saint as ‘bride ‘ ..instead has the affectionate term of being like a son / brother/friend etc : for them .
    The bride theme , for females , from their innate calling and desire , to have a strong protector and provider from the male ..
    St.Paul does mention about his disciples being betrothed to The Lord ; that would have been for the Church community as a whole , in the power of The Spirit .

    The Holy Father possibly allowing these dialogues , being a devotee of
    ‘The Lady’ 🙂
    https://www.olg-parish.com/history-of-the-apparitions-of-our-lady-of-guadalupe-to-juan-diego-on-tepeyac-hill.html

    ‘least of my sons ..’

    ‘my Lady , why are you up so early ..’- 🙂

    Taking in those words to heart, let us hope , would help to undo the holds of pagan lusts and lies from many nations ,facing excesses in # of males , to be able to live lives of dignity , magnifying the Father ‘s goodness for generations .

  18. If the German Bishops were so insistent on true reform they would campaign for the abolition of the Church tax and stop excluding Germans from the sacraments based on non-payment, But Marx, Kasper and their ilk are hypocrites, who want to impose a Revolution from above on the German church (and by extension the Church in the rest of the world) without sacrificing their privileges and wealth. Their hypocrisy is stifling.

Leave a Reply to Leslie Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.


*