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German Catholic bishops call for change to Catechism on homosexuality

Bishop Peter Kohlgraf of Mainz has suggested that Catholics with homosexual inclinations cannot all be expected to live chastely and the Church should adopt a pastoral approach that acknowledges this.

Bishop Peter Kohlgraf of Mainz. (Credit: Bistum Mainz.)

CNA Staff, Feb 23, 2021 / 02:00 pm (CNA).- A German Catholic bishop has publicly defended his support for a book of blessings and rites for homosexual unions.

Bishop Peter Kohlgraf of Mainz also suggested that Catholics with homosexual inclinations cannot all be expected to live chastely and the Church should adopt a pastoral approach that acknowledges this.

“Quite a few people who have homosexual attractions belong to the Church and are truly pious in the best sense of the word,” Bishop Peter Kohlgraf of Mainz wrote in a column for his diocesan newspaper that was also published on the diocese’s website, with the headline “Don’t ignore science,” on Feb. 3.

“As to the demand for chastity: what does it mean from the perspective of people who experience same-sex attraction? I think that few of them would consider this demand as tactful and respectful, because — as the Catechism also knows — this inclination is not self-selected.”

The book of blessings, entitled “Paare. Riten. Kirche.” (Couples, Rites, Church), is published by Bonifatiusverlag, a publishing house affiliated with the Archdiocese of Paderborn. The book also contains a foreword by Bishop Ludger Schepers, an auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Essen.

Bishop Kohlgraf confirmed on Feb. 3 that members of his diocesan staff participated in the book’s production and affirmed his support for its publication. He also said that he was soon “made aware” that many different forms of blessings for homosexual couples already existed “and would continue to exist” after he was made bishop of Mainz in 2017.

The bishop is the latest in a series of German prelates publicly calling for changes in the Church’s stance on homosexuality. There have also been similar appeals in neighboring Austria. In May 2020, a book considering how homosexual couples might receive a formal, liturgical blessing of their union in the Catholic Church was published, with one author calling it a response to a request from the liturgical committee of the Austrian bishops’ conference.

German bishops who have so far publicly voiced support for blessing same-sex unions include Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabrück, and Bishop Heinrich Timmerervers of Dresden-Meißen.

Bishop Georg Bätzing, the president of the German bishops’ conference, called in December 2020 for changes to the section on homosexuality in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which was promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1992 as an authoritative guide to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

According to CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner, Bätzing said that he believed a change to the Catechism was necessary, expressing openness to blessings of homosexual unions, saying “we need solutions for this.”

The Catechism states: “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”

It continues: “The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”

It concludes: “Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.”

CNA Deutsch reported that Bätzing has repeatedly suggested that the forthcoming assembly in Rome of the Synod of Bishops on the theme of synodality could help to implement changes proposed by the German bishops and the country’s “Synodal Way” — not just in Germany, but throughout the Catholic Church.

The “Synodal Way” is a process bringing together German lay people and bishops to discuss four major topics: the way power is exercised in the Church; sexual morality; the priesthood; and the role of women.

Those demanding a change in Church teaching and practice argue that it is necessary in light of “new scientific evidence” about human sexuality. Synodal Way discussions are informed by the “MHG” study on sexual abuse. CNA Deutsch has reported on criticisms of the study by Catholic experts.

In December 2019, a select group of medical specialists, theologians, and canon lawyers were invited to an event in Berlin, organized by Berlin Archbishop Heiner Koch. Among those who attended were Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabrück, Bishop Wolfgang Ipolt of Görlitz, Kohlgraf, and several auxiliary bishops from the bishops’ conference’s faith and family commission.

Following the meeting, the bishops’ conference announced that it was committed to “newly assessing” Church teaching on homosexuality, sexual morality in general, and the sacraments of ordination and marriage.

All participants, according to Koch, agreed that 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 his 2016 apostolic exhortationAmoris laetitia.”

Calling for a “solid discussion supported by human sciences and theology,” Koch and Bode also said that “Amoris laetitia” already provided for noticeable “developments” of both Church doctrine and practice in this area.

Kohlgraf wrote on Feb. 3 that the 2019 meeting still resonated with him. He suggested that since God had clearly allowed for homosexuality in the created order, one should perhaps also accept it being expressed.

“I have a hard time with the idea of a mistake in the creation order,” he wrote. “Or does this show a variation in the diversity of creation that is just there?”

The Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK), a powerful lay organization steering the Synodal Way together with the German bishops’ conference, published a declaration in 2015 calling for new “liturgical forms, in particular blessings of homosexual partnerships” and “unconditional acceptance” of homosexual unions.

Thomas Sternberg, the co-president of the Synodal Way and the ZdK, reiterated his appeal for blessings of homosexual relationships in an interview with the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung in September 2018.

In response to the calls for change in Germany, Fr. Matthew Schneider, L.C., told CNA by email on Feb. 17 that “the Church historically has been concerned with a wider swath of sexual sin than just homosexuality.”

He said: “Two teachings lead to the logical consequence that no sexual act between two people of the same sex is moral. First, marriage is only one man and one woman. Second, all sex outside marriage is sinful.”

Schneider, who is writing a doctoral thesis on moral theology and has previously responded to demands by German bishops, added: “Certain things in Church teaching are solid and unchanging while other practices are prudential but must not go against the principles of the infallible teaching.”

Writing for the National Catholic Register in 2019, Schneider reviewed the history of Church teaching on homosexual acts. He concluded that for “2,000 years, the Church has not wavered in her teaching on the immorality of homosexual acts.”

He wrote: “There has not been a definition in the extraordinary magisterium but the ordinary universal magisterium can be infallible if taught universally with regard to time and place. The immorality of homosexual acts is an infallible teaching of the Church in the ordinary universal magisterium. Thus, the Church cannot change this teaching no matter how much certain priests might wish it changed.”

Schneider told CNA on Feb. 17: “How we minister to those who are attracted to the same sex to help them live chastity and other aspects of growing in holiness — be it following a Courage or Spiritual Friendship model — is prudential. However, prudential application cannot go so far as to endorse sinful acts of individuals, such as sexual acts outside of legitimate marriage.”

“Likewise, prudence allows blessings of friendships but does not require them. However, blessing friendships should be a friendship that is leading people towards holiness, not a blessing of ‘homosexual friendships’ as a kind substitute for marriage, endorsing — at least implicitly — the immoral sexual acts of the ‘friends.’”

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  1. Catholics with homosexual inclinations cannot all be expected to live chastely . As the Catechism also knows this inclination is not self-selected. Don’t ignore science (Bishop Peter Kohlgraf). Biden and Pelosi would say the same. As to “the Catechism knows this inclination is not self-selected”, the Catechism says differently, that, “Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained” 2357. This inclination is objectively disordered 2358. Neither is it determined by the Catechism as an “inclination that is not self-selected” as purported by Bishop Kohlgraf, nor does the science demonstrate that “it is not self-selected”. Insofar as same sex attraction cited here as an inclination, it’s commonly held that the attraction perse is not sinful [which is likely what Kohlgraf referred to], which doesn’t rule out that it may be sinful. We know sexual behavior is predominantly selective and aberrant when grace is absent [It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures 2357]. Although “Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained”, we are certain that it is a disorder, meaning deviation from the Natural Order ordained by God and the effect of Original Sin. A natural order may be deviated from due to a willful privation to a due end. Or in some rare instances the natural order may fail due to some physical impediment. Or it may be due to an accidental psychological impediment in cases considered deep seated. Compassion, knowledge, intelligence, and adherence to Apostolic Tradition [of importance is the Apostle in Romans 1] are all suited to addressing this widespread moral dilemma infecting Catholicism. The current trend to normalize this aberration is itself aberrant and immoral.

  2. We read: “Those demanding a change in Church teaching and practice argue that it is necessary in light of “new scientific evidence” about human sexuality. Synodal Way discussions are informed by the ‘MHG’ study on sexual abuse. CNA Deutsch has reported on criticisms of the study by Catholic experts.”

    The German bishops–experts handing out compassionate excommunications for all who decline to pay the state-collected “church tax”–now announce to a waiting world that they–as bishops–are also experts “new scientific evidence”…

    As for “the” science–and under the hypothesis that all science is equal, but that some science is more equal than others–how about THIS:

    Research into the genome does point to some genetic markers—but NOT to a gay gene—and that these markers do NOT account for same-sex behavior.

    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.

    He 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.

    OR THIS: The authors of a 2019 study which claimed so-called gender-transition surgery may improve the long-term mental health of recipients have issued a CORRECTION, nearly a year after publication. The authors of the study—Richard Bränström, Ph.D., and John E. Pachankis, Ph.D.—now report that: “the results demonstrated no advantage of surgery in relation to subsequent mood or anxiety disorder-related health care.”

    OR EVEN THIS: One modern addiction, other than kleptomania, 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). 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 (Neil Garrett, Dan Ariely and Stephanie Laxxaro, Nature Neuroscience Journal, October 24, 2016; reported by Erica Goode, New York Times, October 25, 2016).

    Yeah, verily, all genuflect, the German bishops have found the Fountain of Selective Scientific Truth, and it is themselves.

    • Also note that Bishop Kohlgraf begins with similar to a leading question a leading proposition, that, “Catholics with homosexual inclinations cannot all be expected to live chastely”. Man [male and female] was made for marital conjugal union, celibacy was not within the Natural Order. Priests and sisters since the Fall are called to an extraordinary status with the Advent of Christ and a life entirely dedicated to imitation of Christ the Way. This call is the extraordinary effect of grace. For those who are not called to the formally consecrated life the Apostle suggests marriage preferably celibacy for the layman, either choice to be lived chastely with the grace given to the faithful. Bishop Kohlgraf’s argument, based on his and other bishops not simply in Germany but increasingly worldwide misconstrued interpretation of science [as you well document] and the dismissal of God’s provision of grace is similar to Pope Francis’ lacuna regarding grace when arguing for the liceity of communion for D&R living in hardship mitigating circumstances in Amoris Laetitia. Kohlgraf’s argument actually is intended to lead to more than the normalization of homosexual behavior, rather more directed toward the sacrament of marriage for homosexuals. The recent approbation by the Pontiff for homosexual civil marriage signals this desire, as does the Pontiff’s appointments of Cardinal Kevin Farrell prefect for the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, and Archbishop Vicenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life both vocal advocates for homosexual normalization. Jeffrey Sachs, a globally acknowledge proponent of abortion, contraception, homosexual rights was invited by the Vatican to the Amazonia Synod as well as its Dicasteries related to marriage and family. Bishop Marcelo Sorondo chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences [who lauded China’s enforced abortion contraceptive population control as an enlightened policy that parallels Catholic social doctrine] stated the academy had featured Sachs with such frequency at Vatican conferences, because he integrates the magisterium of the Church and of Pope Francis into economics by putting the human person and the common good at the center. Sachs has written that one key to sustainable development is the stabilization of the global population through the reduction of fertility rates (CNA). Worth repeating here is the well known warning given by Sr Lucia Dos Santos to the late Cardinal Carlo Caffarra that the final battle will be over the sanctity of the family.

  3. Any number of other afflictions are not self inflicted but may be a product of childhood trauma . Afflictions are not sinful in and of themselves but acting them out certainly can be.
    I don’t think I’d want to be in these German shepherds shoes on Judgement Day. They’re leading their flocks to the wolves and their parishes to extinction.

    • Yes, “childhood trauma,” most typically the tragic inability of the growing boy to respect and attach to his abusive or even absentee father. Perhaps the smirking Bishop Kohlgraf (photo) can explain how it is that active homosexuality is increasing in our culture while, by its very nature, it shuns biological reproduction…

      Why not hear from a writer celebrated by the homosexual “community” itself? In his works the novelist Andre Gide wrote vicariously about his struggles in a bisexual double-life up until the very end. Gide was opposed to sexual license and favored self-control and “sublimating sexual energy into desirable moral and artistic qualities.” Nevertheless, his biographer 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 [as in our post 1960s, very experimental culture]; to inoculate a youth with homosexual tastes seems an odd way to prepare him for matrimony”(Harold March, Gide and the Hound of Heaven, 1952!, p. 178).

      Better to simply redefine marriage (!), now with added leadership-from-behind (so to speak) from the lemming-bishops in Germania!

  4. “Catholics with homosexual inclinations cannot all be expected to live chastely.” Why not? Because they’re homosexual they somehow, uh, have greater “urges” than heterosexuals, and therefore can’t control themselves? What? We are ALL called to live chastely. These bishops demand a change to the catechism? My goodness, have they even read it?

  5. The vast majority of German Bishops are post-Christian frauds. They well represent the world-wide network of sexually-disordered counterfeit bishops defrauding The Good Shepherd and his Church.

    Is it the case that to pursue “holiness,” or perhaps “loyalty to the Pontiff Francis,” the faithful are expected to suspend the conclusion that the sanctioning of sexual disintegration is not being coordinated with the Pontiff Francis (champion of the Argentinian sex abuser “Rev” Julio Grassi, liberator of the Italian sex abuser “Rev.” Mauro Inzoli, and promoter of sex abuse coverup Cardinal Daneels of Belgium), despite the fact that Cardinal Marx is in the Pontiff’s “circle of Cardinal-Coordinators?”

    These men named above do not have the voice of the Good Shepherd. They are what Jesus called “robbers.”

    • The German Catholic Church, being taxpayer supported, has been reduced to a social welfare organization. It is, in fact, one of the country’s largest employers.

  6. Ze German Bishops, reject immutable Church teachings on this and many other issues, should do us all a favor and leave the Church for which they hold such contempt.

  7. In the modern world there are many forms of forbidden fruit. For some it is sex. In eating the forbidden fruit Adam and Eve took the things that are God’s without His permission. The German Church appears to be on the forbidden fruit diet. Gorging themselves on it. They act like the Church no longer belongs to Christ, but is their own personal private property to do with her as they please.

  8. All of the taxpayer-supported German churches are de facto branches of the government. They are little more than social welfare organizations. Did you know the German Catholic Church is one of that nation’s major employers? You think most of the employees are practicing Catholics?

  9. How about a blessing for adulterers. Fidelity in marriage is hard. God never said anything about forbidding adultery, right? So let’s accept it and bless it. What’s next from the German bishops? Lowering the age of consent maybe?

  10. I am not sure why homosexual Catholics should be called to live chastely by the Church community. The heterosexual Catholics simple are not called to do so. There is no expectation of virginity when a Catholic couple decides to get married (assuming the couple even decides gets married in the Church). No one asks about contraception use; no need to–the vast majority are, and we all know it. No one asks the Catcholic ob/gyn if they prescribe The Pill, etc–with rare exception, they do, and we all know it. And the Catholic pharmacist will almost always fill the prescription, and we all know it.

    • But the Doctrine is objectively there. Regardless if the whole laity ignores it. Not practicing because the majority of believers don’t…will never be a defense.

      Christ said to listen to the Pharisees but don’t live like them. What we blithely ignore in this regard, will be our prosecutors in judgment.

      • I get what you are saying. The TRUTH is that contraception etc is not okay for anyone, anywhere, any creed, race, color, etc. The same for adultery, fornication, IVF porn, sodomy, and whatever else.
        But the fact is the heterosexual Catholic community–Christendom in general (Protestant, Orthodox, non-denominational, etc)–is very accepting of their own sexual sins. This bishop is simply being consistent.
        If the laity wants to rid the homosexual sins–or at least put a huge dent in the practice of sodomy–the laity needs to clean up its own act. Or, as Christ said, Take the beam out of [its] eye. (Matt 7: 3)
        The person in your prayer group who casually says he’s going in to get a vasectomy–he needs to he called out on it. The ob/gyn who wants to advertise in the Church bulletin should be disallowed if she prescribes The Pill. The lawyer who handles divorce work should not be a lector or E. Minister of the Eucharist. Your daughter who hasn’t been to Mass since she got confirmed, moved in with her boyfriend, and just announced she is getting engaged, should not have a Church wedding.

        • Bishops advocating acceptance of homosexuality as ‘amoral’ are advocating views of the world. Scripture and the Catholic Magisterial Tradition of 2000 years oppose such advocacy. That’s the problem.

          Whether or not heterosexual Catholic laity are sexual sinners too is a problem, agreed. But homosexual behavior is inherently more disordered than any sins in which heterosexual couples engage. The nature of homosexual acts is unnatural. Aquinas explains how it is far from the end toward which sexual differences exist. God created the first couple–consisting of one male and one female. To reiterate their complementarity, God fashioned the man’s helpmate from the man’s rib. She completes him. That first couple was neither male-male nor female-female.

          “Be fruitful and multiply.” God commanded his first couple. Even incest, as abhorrent as that is, Aquinas reasoned as more ‘natural’ than two men stimulating each other’s sexual organs for the end of sterile pleasure. Only bestiality disgusts more heinously. Homosexual acts barely rise above that behavior.

  11. I wondered what Jesus would have to say about this issue and why it was not a specific issue during the time of Jesus’ ministry…but then I realized that it was. Like addiction to drugs, gossip, lying, and the many forms of slavery to sexual urges and perversions, Jesus exorcised those demons from many, many suffering souls. And can still today through the beautiful miracle of reconciliation and communion if you are willing to carry your own cross. But Satan is so clever: “Oh surely you won’t die…{you are like God}…you know the difference between good and evil”. A special place in hell is awaiting smirking Kohlgraf for taking so many down with him – if he had an inkling of fear of God he wouldn’t be acting like the whole topic is ‘Sehr lustig’.

  12. “But woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you shut the kingdom of Heaven against men, for you yourselves do not enter in; and those that are going in you suffer not to enter.”
    (Mt 23,13)

  13. And there it is….the “slippery slope”. It does not follow that urging respect for people who are homosexual means you have to give an imprimatur to their behavior. I have known a few gay people. To a person, they were thoughtful and nice, people whom I liked. But this does not mean I think their sexual orientation should be given the ok over thousands of years of historic morality. Homosexual people cannot be expected to remain chaste? Really? What does that say about the rest of us? What moral bar are WE not expected to reach? Is adultery ok because some people are serial adulterers? Is the current mode of our youth sleeping around with multiple partners prior to their marriages also ok, or their living together with their significant other often for years prior to making it legal? And what of those who are widowed? Who often yet manage to remain chaste? The Bishops in Germany are making a grave error in many ways. It looks like a schism is coming. And consultation with the laity on these matters? I have never known the church to be a democracy, and to maintain it’s truth, it CANNOT be one , or it will end up bowing to secularism. A sad state of affairs. The Pope needs to remove these Bishops and let the chips fall where they may.

  14. To save the priesthood from several things. VET…
    Homosexuals – Run a background check. See if they are “light in the loafers”.
    Straight men – use a libido meter.
    Women – They are largely not sexual aggressors. No test required Let them in.

    Really, the old, rusty dogma and old entrenched clerics must not continue to sin. Accepting women would be a reversal of church decline and let sinless fresh air in.

    God stop the ignorance of women. They are the heavy lifters for salvation.

    • Morgan,
      As a woman I’m flattered in a way that you associate us with sinless fresh air but if you’ve ever eavesdropped on a group of women gossiping you might be disappointed. We sin also.

  15. What next, the beatification of Alfred Kinsey, Magnus Hirschfeld, Karl Jung…the solemnity of Stonewall?
    German hierarchy, or most of it, stands solidly on that woke square.
    Gott in Himmel!

  16. If God thinks exactly like you, then it’s not God: it’s a mirror.

    Accepting sexual morality is hard, but it’s part of the faith we received from the apostles. We should care for all the LGBT even if they don’t follow Christian teaching, but we can’t change that to attrack people, for our message is not ours. I’m sure the universal Church will never change that, but if She did, then it would mean She’s not the Church of Christ after all.

    I pray to God for unity. We don’t have to choose between being radtrads or changing our faith to suit ourselves. It’s hard for me too, to say an homosexual friend he can’t take Christianity without sex moralitiy, but look at Jesus Christ: exigent in morals, merciful with sinners, patient with those who still don’t see it clear. That’s what we’re called to do.

  17. Why is it that if an article responder challenges the attitudes of the Germans, Catholic World Report will not publish it? Catholic World Report, you do NO ONE any good, in fact you are a hindrance? The German prelates should be tossed out of the church and someone should attempt to heal these poor lost souls and help them find their true humanity, however they are no longer Catholics! Period.

  18. Where does it stop? Yes I understand same sex attraction. Yes I understand that some people are only attracted to children. Yes I understand that some people are only attracted to animals. But where do you draw the line? How about using the Old and New Testament.
    I am heartbroken for those who through no fault of their own cannot follow the normal attraction of man and woman. But there are many heterosexual people who never find a mate and remain chaste or not. Life is a struggle and no one leaves this life without facing painful choices.

  19. I think the smoke of Satan & his cohorts have taken over the leadership of the Church. Let the real faithful arise to fight this battle between the good & the evil. All those bishops should resign including Pope Francis who have remained silent in the face of all these satanic infiltrations. His silent seems approval or who knows they are not gays. Mother Mary come to our aid. They have admitted a woman in the synod of bishops. I wonder when the religious became part of the hierarchy of the Church. Now, the want to bring in those that have allowed themselves to be ruled by Satan in the name of gay. The next, let’s do away with Mass. God is watching. The great schism is already here with us. Be prepared. Put on the whole armour of God. Even the elect will be deceived, Jesus says. The remnant Church will survive.

    • To say that a *remnant* of the Church will endure, is logically to say that the majority of the Church *will not*.
      This means de facto schism; at the moment, Pope Francis presides over both halves–. (He says he’s not afraid of schism. He’d be happily rid of “rigid” young priests, the faithful “counting their rosaries” & “breeding like rabbits.” )

      We are living in Chapters 8-13 of the Apocalypse; in the era of Apostasy, where the rot begins at the top (in this case, the German prelates) who de facto deny & reject the faith in its magisterial and unchanging teachings on marriage and the family. Worldwide chastisement by plague is just beginning. There will soon be worse pandemics. Famine and war will soon follow.

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