A leading Catholic Bishop in Germany openly advocated for the church to embrace heresy by suggesting that they offer blessings for gay marriages.
Bishop Franz-Josef Bode, the deputy chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference, argued that the Catholic Church should bless gay marriages in recognition of what Bode considers to be inherent the goodness and right in those relationships, despite the fact that Catholic doctrine considers them heretical, according to Catholic News Agency. Bode’s show of support for homosexual unions comes in the wake of Father Johannes Zu Eltz’s Jan. 20 suggestion that the church should offer “theologically founded blessing ceremonies” to couples whose unions do not qualify for the sacrament of marriage.
“We need to think about how we can differentiate a relationship between two same-sex people,” Bode said, according to CNA. “Is not there so much that is positive, good and right that we have to be fairer?”
Eltz’s suggested blessing, which he proffered at the Frankfurt City Church Forum II, would apply to same-sex couples, remarried couples who did not get their first marriages annulled, and other couples who believe that their union does not meet the requirements for the marriage sacrament. Both Bode and Eltz’s suggested recognition of homosexual unions, however, directly contradicts the Church Catechism, even though the proffered blessing would not confer the sacrament of marriage to those couples. Any positive recognition of homosexual acts is designated as heresy.
“Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered,'” the Catechism reads. “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.”
Bode argued that the Church’s approach to homosexual unions needs to change given that same-sex marriages and homosexuality in general is a reality in Germany. He and Eltz suggested that, since homosexual unions already exist, the church should accommodate and bless them in recognition of their bond and to seek God’s favor “for a successful future of something that already exists.” Eltz said such blessings would satisfy the “primitive human need for ‘salvation, protection, happiness and fulfillment of his life’ linked to the request for God’s blessing,” according to CNA.
The Catholic church, however, already recognizes the reality of homosexuality in the world and does not consider such a reality license to approve of or engage in it. The Catechism teaches that homosexuality is a difficult trial for those who have that inclination and that members of the church are to afford such individuals respect and godly support in navigating that struggle in a way that honors God’s intended order.
“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,” the Catechism reads.
Catholic doctrine also clarifies that those who experience same-sex attraction “are called to chastity.”
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