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Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic World News

German-speaking bishops voice sympathy for homosexual unions

September 14, 2015

Two German-speaking bishops have indicated their sympathy for Catholics engaged in homosexual unions.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna said that a stable homosexual relationship is preferable to temporary affairs. And Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabrück, Germany suggested that the Church should support civil unions and “accompany them on their way.”

Cardinal Schönborn, in an interview with Father Antonion Spadaro of La Civilta Cattolica said that the proper attitude of pastors is “a benevolent gaze that sees how much good will and how much effort there is even in the midst of much suffering.” While the Church cannot recognize a homosexual union, he said, a homosexual who enters into a lasting relationship has taken “an important step for his own good.”

The cardinal insisted that this approach would not compromise Church teaching, because “while walking with people we are called to walk in the faith.”

Bishop Bode, who will participate in the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops, was more outspoken. He said that the Church cannot support same-sex marriage, but should support legal recognition of civil unions. He called for “a private form of blessing” for couples engages in such unions.


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  • Posted by: Bernadette - Sep. 19, 2015 3:04 PM ET USA

    The hierarchs should be more transparent in their remarks. Undoubtedly, they believe that a stable homosexual union is better than multiple sexual partners which is the norm for active homosexuals - which is akin to what Pope Emeritus Benedict said at one time about the use of condoms with committed partners concerned about the healthwelfare of one another. No one is advocating/encouraging sinful acts, but recognizing the preference of commitment in a relationship. The sin is still mortal.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Sep. 19, 2015 5:43 AM ET USA

    Do these bishops think before they speak? Do they consider the suffering being caused by the homosexual tidal wave sweeping across the U.S.? What about Kim Davis' suffering? What about the suffering of the Church Militant, Suffering, and Triumphant? "How much longer must we wait, Lord?" ask the martyrs under the heavenly altar. Sexual harassment and abuse by homosexuals still follow some of us nearly 50 years later. Does our suffering not count?

  • Posted by: feedback - Sep. 15, 2015 12:23 AM ET USA

    No other Catholic Bishops will follow or even endure that nonsense. This could very well end up in a schism.

  • Posted by: adamah - Sep. 14, 2015 11:03 PM ET USA

    These bishops are certain to "accompany them on their way." However, it seems they have neglected to notice the fact that it is straight into the bowels of hell.

  • Posted by: aclune9083 - Sep. 14, 2015 8:30 PM ET USA

    "Stable homosexual relationship preferable to temporary affairs"? Are there now levels of mortal sin? Leave it to the German bishops to grease the slippery slope with modern synthetic lubricants, thus making the slide to perdition much easier, much more efficient, and much more irreversible.

  • Posted by: bernie4871 - Sep. 14, 2015 6:55 PM ET USA

    If they keep pushing like this, they are sure to achieve their schism, only to find they were 500 years late.

  • Posted by: nix898049 - Sep. 14, 2015 6:03 PM ET USA

    Here I thought the idea was not to promote/endorse this type of behavior AT ALL. How can this merit a "private form of blessing"? Schism, here we come.