Book calling for Catholic blessing of homosexual couples was requested by Austrian bishops’ conference

CNA Staff, May 26, 2020 / 11:02 am (CNA).- A book considering how homosexual couples might receive a formal, liturgical blessing of their union in the Catholic Church was written in response to a request from the liturgical committee of the Austrian bishops’ conference, according to the book’s principal author.

The work includes contributions by a number of German speaking theologians and a liturgical section, including a suggestion for how such a Church blessing of homosexual unions might be “celebrated” in Catholic churches.

The official title of the book is “The Benediction of Same-Sex Partnerships.” One of its principal authors and editors is Father Ewald Volgger, director of the Institute for Liturgical Studies and Sacramental Theology at the Catholic Private University of Linz.

Speaking to an Austrian diocesan paper, Father Volgger asserted he would like to see an introduction of an official benediction for homosexual couples “as soon as possible”, but conceded that “according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, homosexual acts are in no way to be condoned and homosexual people are called to chastity”.

The 58-year-old priest added that “there has been movement on the subject,” and asserted that a rewrite of the Catechism of the Catholic Church might be in order to facilitate “an official liturgy” that would be “based on Church doctrine.”

As to why the Catholic Church would change her teachings on sexual morality, Father Volgger pointed to a shift in public perceptions, saying “the doctrine on homosexuality has been discussed throughout Europe in such a way that an opening up is not only debatable but can also be demanded.”

The priest added, “there are also a considerable number of bishops who would like to see a rethinking of sexual morality for the evaluation of same-sex partnerships”.

Furthermore, Volgger argued, such a change might make the teachings of the Church more acceptable and relevant.

The diocesan paper pointed out that same-sex couples are apparently already blessed by a Catholic priest in Vienna’s St. Stephen Cathedral on occasion, and that one such couple was recently interviewed about the ceremony on Austrian TV.

Father Volgger said this was not the type of official benediction he had in mind.

“No, because that is probably the blessing of same-sex couples on Valentine’s Day. These are already widespread and in practice.”

“But a benediction, as it is proposed from a liturgical-theological point of view, would also have an official character, through which the Church expresses the obligation of fidelity and the exclusiveness of the relationship. By the way, it is a very beautiful message that in St. Stephen’s Cathedral everyone has a place and is blessed”.

Among the other authors of the book are several German theologians. In recent years, German bishops in particular have been increasingly outspoken in demanding “discussions about an opening” towards acceptance of practiced homosexuality and the blessing of homosexual unions in the Church.

Following consultations in Berlin in late 2019, the chairman of the Marriage and Family Commission of the German bishops’ conference declared that the German bishops agreed that homosexuality is a “normal form” of human sexual identity.

The topic also plays a central role in one of four forums that constitute the controversial “Synodal Process” under way in Germany.

Several members of the “Central Committee of German Catholics” (ZDK), in charge of running the process in tandem with the bishops’ conference, are members of parliament who have personally voted for the re-definition of marriage to include homosexual unions in a vote that legalized such partnerships as “marriages” in Germany in 2017, as CNA Deutsch reported.

Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabrück, vice-president of the German bishops’ conference has also previously called for a “debate” on the blessing of homosexual couples and a change of the Church’s teaching on sexual morality.

Speaking in an interview in January 2018, Bode said: “We need to reflect on how to evaluate a relationship between two people of the same sex in a differentiated way.” He also asked: “Isn’t there so much that is positive, good and right [about a homosexual relationship] that we need to do it more justice?”

The Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, at Christmas 2019 expressed the view that homosexual couples can receive a Church blessing “in the sense of a pastoral accompaniment” in the Catholic Church.

In the same month, Archbishop Heiner Koch of Berlin 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 went on to say that “developments” were made possible by Amoris laetitia, Pope Francis’ exhortation of marriage and the family. The Berlin archbishop attended the Vatican Synod on the Family together with Marx and is Chairman of the Marriage and Family Commission of the German bishops’ conference.

He spoke publicly after the German bishops asserted they were committed to “newly assessing” the universal Church’s teaching on homosexuality – and sexual morality in general – during the two-year “synodal process.”

 


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12 Comments

  1. So much for Scripture and the truth.

    An official endorsement of the mockery of real intercourse by the desperation of sodomy as a masturbatory, false substitute?

    Both Testaments are clear on homosexuality; the tortuous, pretzel logic to make normal that which is condemned by form alone is anathema.

  2. And to think, that as recently as 1967 we still had an explicit INDEX of Forbidden Books! That went well…

    But, now, we up the ante with central European bishops and their mandatory book, partnered with (so to speak) MANDATORY SUPPRESSION of more informed readings. Take, for example, published research on addictions (like homosexuality?)…

    FIRST, Overindulgence in digital and virtual reality games 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.

    SECOND, a study completed at University College London and using MRI technology (magnetic resonance imagery) strongly implies that even 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 (Neil Garrett, Dan Ariely and Stephanie Laxxaro, Nature Neuroscience Journal, October 24, 2016; reported by Erica Goode, New York Times, October 25, 2016).

    THIRD, Research into the genome does point to some genetic markers—but it does NOT point to a gay gene; and, these markers do NOT account for same-sex behavior. So, NURTURE, not nature…

    https://news.yahoo.com/no-gay-gene-study-finds-180220669.html

    From the news release: Five of the genetic markers were “significantly” associated with same-sex behavior, the researchers said, but even these are far from being predictive of a person’s sexual preferences. “We scanned the entire human genome and found a handful – five to be precise – of locations that are clearly associated with whether a person reports in engaging in same-sex sexual behavior,” said Andrea Ganna, a biologist at the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Finland who co-led the research.

    Ganna said these have “a very small effect” and, combined, explain “considerably LESS THAN 1% of the variance in the self-reported same-sex sexual behavior.” This means that non-genetic factors – such as environment, upbringing, personality, nurture – are far more significant in influencing a person’s choice of sexual partner, just as with most other personality, behavioral and physical human traits, the researchers said.

    BACK FROM RABBIT-HOLE (ALICE IN WONDERLAND), as for the fruitless quest by some in an elusive homosexual gene (“God made you that way, [or] who am I to judge?”)—why engage science when validation can be provided instead by the wave of a wrist by some red-hat cleric unfamiliar with the red-face test?

    If LGBT-ism were genetic and hereditary, why the current uptick of cases when the very nature of the affliction is to NOT reproduce itself?

    • I totally agree with the writer. It’s a disgrace that these Bishop’s would condone such a heretical & sinful union! So called educated clergy? Yet the lay people can see the sickness in this perverted sexual behavior. Scripture is clear in the old and the new about homosexuality being a sin and an abomination against God. God created man and woman to be together. There’s nothing in the O.T.creation story that permits the union of man to man or woman to woman. How the devil has gotten into the Hierarchy of the Church & tricked these men. Makes one wonder if the reason for this is because some of these male Clergy are gay too.

    • Thank you for the lovely and succinct comment. To reference your comment, why the uptick in cases? How does one address the contribution of evil including human evil to this increasing identification as homosexual, transgender, and all manner of confusion? Just listening to the last part of Teresa Tomeo’s Catholic Connection radio hour in the US this morning, there has been this rush in public schools to indoctrinate children on all manner of this confusion and sin in sex education and to deceive parents in the process. I try to be aware of what is happening in this area but her guest alerted listeners to this headlong effort to steal the moral life of kids in ways I had not realized. It is astonishing. People do not recognize who is on their shoulder giving bad advice.

  3. Here is a quote from one of the greatest saints ever regarding homosexuality. St. Catherine relays words of Our Lord, about the vice against nature, which contaminated part of the clergy in her time. Referrng to sacred ministers, He said: “They not only fail from resisting this frailty [ of fallen human nature]…but do even worse as they commit the cursed sin against nature. Like the blind and stupid having dimmed the light of the understanding, they do not recoginze the disease and misery in which they find themselves. For this not only causes Me nausea, but displeases even the demons themselves, whom these miserable creatures have chosen as their lords. For Me, this sin against nature is so abominable that , for it alone, five cities were submersed, by virtue of the jugdment of My Divine Justice, which could no longer bear them…It is disagreable to the demon, not because evil displeases them and they find pleasure in good, but because their nature is angelic and thus is repulsed upon seeing such an enormous sin being commited. It is true that it is the demons who hit the sinner with the poisoned arrow of lust, but when a man carries out such a sinful act, the demons leave.

    St.Catherine of Siena, El diabolo, in Orbas de Santa Catarina de Siena

     “We’ve had enough of exhortations to be silent. Cry out with a thousand tongues – I see the world is rotten because of silence.” – St. Catherine of Sienna

  4. At Akita, the Holy Mother has warned of a time characterized by dissension within the hierarchy (“The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see Cardinals opposing Cardinals, Bishops against other Bishops.”). Paraphrasing her visitations with the Holy Mother at Fatima, Sr. Lucia stated to Cdl. Caffarra, founding president of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family, who was experiencing resistance from within the church that he could not explain: “Father, a time will come when the decisive battle between the kingdom of Christ and Satan will be over marriage and the family.” Recently, the Vatican appointed the homosexual advocate priest James Martin as its U.S. media mouthpiece. He recently gave an interview to Fox News. Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear must sense that we are now living in the dangerous times about which we were warned.

  5. Just came across this article through the Spirit Daily site .
    The Church , standing for and with The Lord and His Spirit , blessing anything or anyone would be to help them to resist the evil,by wearing the weapons of The Spirit starting with the girdle of truth ‘around the loin’ – holiness in issues related to the loin , to help one truly know and accept His holiness into the very beginnings of own life and that of the other , in The Lord , to thus be persons of true praise and gratitude for own life and creation itself , exercising the grace and power in The Lord , using the sword of The Spirit , to cut away at all unholy lies /spirits , to exhort creation itself to praise God . Such a responsibility , given each in baptism and when negated , would that be more like the servant who was given the one talent throwing it right back as a worthless gift …where as , deposited into powerful hands such as that of St.Joseph , to be transformed , asking for the intercession of the saint and all , for all generational evils and such too that could be underlying such choices .
    True , heterosexual sins through contraception on down have contributed to the war fare being not what it could be .
    The Church having growing # s in the ministry of deliverance, against the kingdom of death spirits , to thus help persons in trust to ask for and receive His holiness , to grow in praise for the gift of salvation – a blessing in our times .

  6. It seems that the Austrian and German Bishops Conferences are no longer part of the Catholic Church, but the nucleus of a new post-Christian sect that views sexual vice, political correctness and payment of the Church tax as their only sacraments.

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  1. Book calling for Catholic blessing of homosexual couples was requested by Austrian bishops’ conference - Catholic Mass Search
  2. No, Austrian bishops, the Church may not "bless" same-sex unions
  3. Book Calling for Catholic Blessing of Gay Couples Commissioned by Austrian Bishops' Conference | CNSNews

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