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In new interview, Cardinal Marx speaks on same-sex blessings

Marx, responding to a question from the German magazine Stern, stated: “I can bless them both in the sense of pastoral accompaniment, we can pray together. But theirs cannot be a marriage-like relationship.”

German Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich speaks during a news conference at the bishops' spring meeting in Lingen March 11, 2019. (CNS photo/Harald Oppitz, KNA)

Munich, Germany, Dec 24, 2019 / 12:30 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Reinhard Marx has expressed the view that homosexual couples can receive a Church blessing “in the sense of a pastoral accompaniment” in the Catholic Church, but not in a manner that resembles marriage.

In an interview with the German magazine Stern, the Archbishop of Munich and Freising was asked, “What do you do when a homosexual couple asks you for an episcopal blessing?”

Marx responded: “I can bless them both in the sense of pastoral accompaniment, we can pray together. But theirs cannot be a marriage-like relationship.”

While there is room for differing interpretations of Marx’s comments, the website “katholisch.de,” funded by the German bishops, has reported on the matter using the headline “Marx: Homosexual couples can receive a blessing.”

After that report was published, Matthias Kopp, press director for the German bishops’ conference, told CNA that the conference has nothing to add to the published interview.

CNA asked the Archdiocese of Munich to clarify the cardinal’s remarks, and whether the blessing of homosexual couples is practiced in the diocese. The archdiocese has not yet responded.

In the magazine interview, Marx also said that he told the [Vatican] Synod on the Family in 2015 that homosexual couples, who are faithful to each other and support each other, should not be “negatively bracketed” by the Church or told by the Church that stable homosexual relationships are considered worthless.

At the same, Marx affirmed in the interview with Stern that a homosexual union “is not a marriage” in the Catholic sense of the word, and that the sacrament of marriage is between a man and a woman.

Marx also commented on the question of women’s ordination.

Asked about the sacramental ordination of women, Marx, who is referred to as “the most powerful Catholic in Germany” by the magazine, said that Pope Francis has told him that “the door is closed,” given Pope St. John Paul II’s statement of 1994. Nonetheless, the German prelate claimed that debate on the issue is “not over.”

The interview is not the first time Cardinal Marx has spoken on Catholic blessings of homosexual couples.

In a February 2018 interview with the Bavarian State Broadcasting Company, Marx agreed that a blessing is possible, however qualifying there could be “no set of rules” on the question – rather, the decision would be that of “a priest or pastoral worker.”

After CNA reported that, the German bishops’ conference requested a “correction” of CNA’s translation.

More recently, Archbishop Heiner Koch of Berlin, following consultations in early December, stated that both hetero- and homosexuality are “normal forms of sexual predisposition, which cannot or should be be changed with the help of a specific socialization.”

Koch, who attended the Vatican Synod on the Family together with Marx and is Chairman of the Marriage and Family Commission of the German bishops’ conference, spoke after the German bishops asserted they were committed to “newly assessing” the universal Church’s teaching on homosexuality – and sexual morality in general – ahead of a two-year “synodal process.”


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29 Comments

  1. Everything I’ve read on “faithful” homosexual relationships excludes physical fidelity. Go to their,books,interviews,anecdotes and long term surveys of an academic bent and you get the same answers. Some few years ago,an article in the New York Times spelled it out and there was furor. The reaction was that if people were aware of it,the fight to get “legal marriage” would be harmed. Truth doesn’t stop the sadness.

    • This Cardinal Marx seem to be eager to establish that homosexual sex ,short term infidelity,and lust are graceful acts. Otherwise why he projects blessing of homosexual couples. The usage “ homosexual couples” itself is wrong in the Church. Of course as a man of God he can bless anyone including the topmost sinner, but he has a duty to tell them “ sin no more”

    • Dirty little secret… the Church has blessed the Mafioso and other organized crime activities from her very beginning (See the “Medici family, Florence, Italy, 15th century and hundreds/thousands of others).

      Here in the U.S., let us note that, like most of his compatriots, Al Capone was buried out of a Roman Catholic church and (after receiving the rite of committal by a sitting Roman Catholic Cardinal) rests today in a Roman Catholic cemetery.

      In addition to the sins one would expect from thugs and murderers, let us not forget that these dregs of human depravity were also notorious philanderers, adulterers, whoremongers, and sexual predators. Half the churches in Rome, were built with dirty money.

  2. A thing that is cursed by G-d as “abomination” can never receive an ecclesial blessing. To bless a homosexual relationship is in fact an act of defiance against G-d.

    • Let’s see, “abominations” like eating pork, wearing gold jewelry, men shaving and women cutting their hair, disobedient children (and the parents who fail to kill them), shrimp/shellfish? “Neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

      “Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet that are quick to run to evil, the false witness who utters lies, and the one who sows discord among kindred.”

      There are about 75 more verses. If you’re going to cherry-pick, at least make some pretense of being accurate and comprehensive.

      • You’re good at pointing fingers at sins. I’ll give you that. You’re even better, however, in leaving out the aftermath of our sins. All humans can sin, and all (with very few exceptions noted in the bible) do, in fact, sin. That’s a tragedy worth pointing out, and a tragedy that destroys our relationship with God. What you conspicuously leave off, sunshine, is the contrition and repentance giving possibility of reconciling our relationship with our Father in heaven.
        I’m gonna take a stab at why people leave these “details” off, so you can ponder and respond. People leave repentance out of the loop when they so embrace their sin that they refuse to even mention a possibility of repentance, least it be understood they are wholly unrepentant.

        Therefore a murderer, adulterer, and even a pederast can repent and subsequently become a saint. Notice I said “become” one, and not “be” one. It requires contrition and repentance. Something those who “embrace” murder, or larceny, or any other deadly sin, including homosexual acts of any kind, refuse to do.

        And why do they refuse to do it? Because it ain’t easy. I know, I “quit” smoking for years before I actually quit smoking, for example. Turns out I had to quit “embracing” smoking before I kicked the habit. That goes for bad popes “embracing” their supporters. Like the ones you mentioned or like the unrepentant pederasts you set out to defend, brother.

    • Excellent, Ronald! You are correct and I will use your exact words in defense of the Church’s position. Thank you, Sir and Merry Christmas!

  3. At a constant three to four percent of the population, at best over time, active homosexuality is nothing more than a steady anomaly instead of a ‘normal predisposition.

    There is no way to give a ‘blessing’ to such a thing without doing grave violence to Scripture and Tradition.

  4. Why this obsession with homosexuality ? Has anyone heard him lamenting the butchering of Christias in the world?
    Is the plight of homosexuals worse than their sufferings? Nobody that I know or heard of has converted into the Catholic Church because they hoped to find endorsement of homosexuality there. At least not in my catechism have I found anything that would suggest this Cardinal is right
    I am and remain a faithful ROMAN CATHOLIC holding fast to the teachings of the Church.

    • Barbara, the worldwide obsession with homosexuality is because it is the most powerful tool ever for excusing, justifying, accepting and “sanctifying” evil. There’s no bigger help to dehumanizing PRIDE. It is a big jewel on Satan’s very temporary crown. You may not see this in individual homosexuals, especially the live-and-let-live kind, but you will always find it in radical activist homosexuals who have infiltrated the Church with the homosexual obsession of hybrid-good-and-evil-as-one, the worst of the worst declaration of rejection to the True God and of self-worship, the glorification of madness and Satan’s PRIDE.

      Like it has already happened and continues to happen in general society, where this homosexual madness is pushed into either approval or “tolerance” through the shell-shocked discouragement of the brazen and the grotesque, Bishop Marx is being brazen about the horribly grotesque act of “accompanying” and “blessing” homosexual acts, opening the doors not only for “tolerance” but for totally substituting Christ for homosexual hybrid-evil agendas of “glorified” sin. There’s no higher, deranged drug-high than that. Accompaniment is Satan’s word for LEGITIMACY. They absolutely need us for that and we must say no and be the True Resistance.

  5. No, he really cannot morally do this if there is a great likelihood that it would be viewed as a move towards accepting homosexual acts as anything other than gravely sinful. Love for those with strong same-sex erotic attractions necessarily requires condemnation of same-sex erotic acts and avoiding any appearance of approving of that sin. We cannot even play games around the boundaries of this evil.

    • [I]f there is a great likelihood that it would be viewed as a move towards accepting homosexual acts as anything other than gravely sinful.
      .
      “If”? There is no other interpretation.

  6. Did ya’ll even read the article? He quite specifically says:

    “I can bless them both in the sense of pastoral accompaniment, we can pray together. ***But theirs cannot be a marriage-like relationship.”***

    Christ himself called his followers and the institutional church to be pastoral to all of God’s creation: including sacramentally married heterosexual persons who, in a hundred different ways, are committing sin while having sex with their spouse (birth control, sexual fantasies, oral (and other) sexual practices, “toys”, and on and on on.

    • Not understanding the sin of scandal.

      And such tortured reasoning in support of active homosexuality under the guise of misplaced compassion.

    • Randell,
      I doubt a Husband and Wife ask their priest to bless their use of contraception.
      By blessing same sex couples, the Cardinal is patting them on back and condoning their relationship.
      Being “pastoral” doesn’t mean telling your flock what they want to hear.

      • “By blessing same sex couples, the Cardinal is patting them on back and condoning their relationship.”

        That ia exactly the problem. There is a fine line between being pastoral and being permissive.

    • Oh my. Everyone was speeding, officer! Why am I the only one pulled over and getting the ticket? And the reason is, probably, because you were so into speeding that you failed to notice a telltale sign and repent by taking the foot off the accelerator in time.
      Timing is everything, brother, and unless you get rid of that lead foot before it really gets you in trouble, or, in terms of relationship with God, cast off your sins before you die and face the judgment, which, bu the way, can come at any time, so the only right answer to the followup question of “when ought I repent” is now.

  7. Tragically nothing coming forth from the German episcopate can be trusted. Though belatedly the secular materialist Kulterkampf has indeed triumphed there. It is heartbreaking to witness this in a Church that has produced some incredibly heroic men and women. Even more so to see how their decomposition has spread throughout the Church. Indeed is there an episcopal conference which can any longer be trusted. They all appear to be in competition to excel in the articulation of the zeitgeist.

    • My doubt is — when wants to bless homosexual couple without any hindrance, WHY does he apologise for sex abuse by priests in Germany ? Can it be called “ abuse” when the priest lovingly indulges in sex with a boy or man according to cardinal Marx’s philosophy He should explain for the knowledge of all the faithful

  8. “Accompaniment” in the sin of sodomy or accompaniment in suicide or in adultery – or “blessing them, or some other sin, is to hold their hands with the Devil as he pulls people to hell. All this idiotic moral theology has no place to stand in the presence of “Truth”. Those who hold to such ideas or create the environment in which they can grow can have no standing in the Church.

  9. Let us hope that all the discussions are to help all, to recognise ever more
    deeply , the need for deliverance , through the holy angels too , such as
    St.Rafael , who accompanied Tobias and Sarah , even a little dog
    in their company .
    The shepherds we hear about in this season were there watching sheep that had to be protected from wolves ; sheep is mentioned as being present very early , in our history ; would the wolves have evolved slowly , from sheep that were afflicted by evil spirits ( esp, after the blood of Abel ) , trying to gorge on other sheep ..and our Lord comes ,as The Lamb , to heal all the areas that the wolves would have tried to bite off , by driving out the powers – such as the Jezebel spirits – poor Jezebel who was eaten by dogs !
    Such interventions are a real need in our times , from all the debt of neglect of such areas in the lives of most , at massive levels , thus both the laity as as well those they are under , ever needing to ask for merciful deliverance for
    all , who are under such debts and its manifestations – such can be a true blessing indeed and those so blessed , in turn , to be like the Gerasene demoniac , to be with own , as sources of further deliverance .
    Peace ! 🙂

  10. Hey, maybe the Germans don’t have biology class in school or take God’s creation seriously thus the need for global warming, Idols, to get their attention, DUH

  11. Dear Cardinal Marx, what about speaking up about what constitutes an occasion of sin; the imperative to confess grave sins and, for confession to be valid, the need for the confessant to have a firm purpose of amendment? And, what exactly is the blessing of a same sex couple intended to achieve? Do you offer the same ‘accompaniment’ to a cohabiting hetero Catholics? I bet here are more of them. How can you bless (i.e. condone) in the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ that which is sinful (and scandalous) unless you have previously ascertained that the person is truly penitent and is seeking the grace for a change of lifestyle? And if truly penitent why is the Sacrament of Reconciliation not sufficient in these cases? Why do same sex couples need additional ‘accompaniment’ – are they more spiritually/psychologically fragile than heterosexual couples: if so, why is this?

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