In a rather surprising move, Catholic bishops in Germany are undergoing a process of reassessing doctrine regarding homosexuality, suggesting that they may push the Vatican to stop saying two men in bed together are committing an act of “grave depravity.”
The move is part of a two-year process designed to take another look at the Church’s teachings. They obviously won’t change what the Church says is written in stone, but they could suggest modifying rules that they think are wrongly in place. In this case, they’re saying the act of love between two (married) people is natural and not worth demonizing.
“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.
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.
Consideration is the first step. There are others that must follow, or else this is all just lip service. But it’s long past time for this kind of dissent.
Change happens slowly in the Catholic Church. It wasn’t until the early 1990s that the pope made an official apology to the long dead Galileo for suggesting that the Earth revolves around the Sun. It wasn’t until 2000 that an apology was declared for the Church’s role in the Inquisition.
What will the Church say about sexual orientation in the future? If there’s still a Catholic Church to speak of in the future, you can expect there to be an apology to LGBTQ people. But for now, there are still far too many Catholic leaders dragging their feet on the issue.
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