Around one hundred German Catholic priests are blessing same-sex unions at services in about 100 parishes around the country this week.
One of the priests, Rev. Jan Korditschke, a Jesuit, “will lead blessings for queer couples at a worship service May 16,” according to The Associated Press.
“I am convinced that homosexual orientation is not bad, nor is homosexual love a sin,” Korditschke told The AP. “I want to celebrate the love of homosexuals with these blessings because the love of homosexuals is something good.”
The defiant and illegitimate blessings come after the Vatican reiterated its position in March that the Catholic Church cannot bless same-sex unions because God “cannot bless sin.”
“It is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex,” the Vatican had said.
The statement was authored by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s (CDF) prefect, Cardinal Louis Francisco Ladaria, S.I., and was approved by Pope Francis. The CDF “takes care of the matters that relate to the promotion of the doctrine of the faith and morals” within the Catholic Church.
For 2,000 years, the Catholic Church has held the position that homosexual relations are sinful and maintains that position today.
In paragraph 2357, the catechism of the Catholic Church says the following:
“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.”
As previously reported by The Daily Citizen, “the German Bishops’ Conference is currently in the midst of a three-year, four-part synod, named the Synodal Way, in which the bishops are engaging in a conversation regarding clerical celibacy, the ordination of women to the priesthood and Catholic teaching on sexual morality.”
There is significant concern from orthodox Catholics that the German bishops could depart from the church’s teachings and express approval for homosexual relations.
But no matter what the conference decides, any position taken by the bishops would need to be approved by Pope Francis.
If the conference decides to reject the church’s long held teaching, it would be up to Pope Francis to reject its decisions. But should the conference then proceed to ignore the pope, Pope Francis could declare the church in “schism” from Rome.
This could be reminiscent of the Great Schism (East-West Schism) which separated the Roman Catholic Church from the Eastern Orthodox Church in 1052 AD, or the separation between the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church in 1534 AD, but with a modern flair.
Some worry that “a divide that starts there would spread much further. It would surely find its way to the rest of Europe, the Americas and the wider world.”
In John 17, Jesus prays the High Priestly Prayer in which He prays to the Father that the believers He will leave behind after His death and resurrection may remain united.
“Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one… do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:11, 20-21).
In other words, Jesus is praying for believers to remain united, so that our unity may be an example of Christian charity to the world.
Something tells me Jesus knew we would need His help. Unity is easier said than done.
So, let us all follow His example and pray for all who profess Jesus Christ as Lord that He may protect believers from separation and division, and help all Christians to maintain orthodox convictions, despite an overwhelming push from our modern culture to do otherwise.
You can follow this author on Parler @ZacharyMettler
Photo from REUTERS