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Key Synod cardinal: Catholic teaching on homosexuality is ‘false’

February 03, 2022

Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, SJ, of Luxembourg, who has been appointed Relator General of the concluding meeting of the Synod of Bishops in October 2023, has called for a revision of Catholic teaching on homosexuality.

In an interview with the German Catholic news agency KNA, Cardinal Hollerich, who is also president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU (COMECE), said that there are homosexual priests and lay employees in his archdiocese, and that it would not be Christian to fire them.

Asked, “How do you get around the Church’s teaching that homosexuality is sin?”, he replied:

I believe that this is false. But I also believe that here we are thinking further about the teaching. So, as the Pope has said in the past, this can lead to a change in teaching.

So I believe that the sociological-scientific foundation of this teaching is no longer correct. What one formerly condemned was sodomy. One thought at that time that in the sperm of the man, the whole child was kept. And one has simply transferred this to homosexual men.

But there is no homosexuality at all in the New Testament. There is only discussion of homosexual acts, which were to some extent pagan cultic acts. That was naturally forbidden. I believe it is time for us to make a revision in the foundation [Grundrevision: “ground revision,” or “foundation revision”] of the teaching.

(Cardinal Hollerich appears to link Catholic teaching on homosexuality to certain preformationist theories of embryonic development.)

The Luxembourg prelate also said that if he were Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne, he would resign. Following an investigation into Cardinal Woelki’s handling of abuse allegations, Pope Francis granted him a leave of absence and allowed him to remain in office. The investigation found failures in communication, but no evidence of covering up evidence.

In addressing an earlier interview question on needed changes in the Church, Cardinal Hollerich said that “we cannot give the answers of the past to the questions of tomorrow.”

“The change in civilization we are witnessing today is the greatest change since the invention of the wheel,” he added. “The Church has always moved with the times and has always adapted. But one always had much more time to do that. Today we must be faster. Otherwise, we lose contact and can no more be understood.”


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  • Posted by: nix898049 - Feb. 06, 2022 1:34 PM ET USA

    Can you say,Infiltration?

  • Posted by: feedback - Feb. 05, 2022 12:14 AM ET USA

    This is totally unacceptable, especially coming from a top cardinal of the Church. It also means that Catholic clergy in the West have been saturated with ordained homosexuals willing to distort and corrupt the Faith in order to justify their intrinsically disordered passions.

  • Posted by: td4207 - Feb. 04, 2022 6:53 PM ET USA

    Waiting for the Vatican. Will it be...Crickets?

  • Posted by: gbrisebois1656 - Feb. 04, 2022 6:47 PM ET USA

    "Homosexuality" is not a sin because it is not an act. All homosexual acts are sins, as are all heterosexual acts outside of marriage.

  • Posted by: Archpriest - Feb. 04, 2022 12:35 AM ET USA

    Does his Eminence believe that Holy Tradition, that the Fathers of the Church and the Great Council have no meaning? His "theology" sounds like a liberal twist on "Sola Scriptura" and we all know where liberal Protestantism is today - it barely exists!

  • Posted by: JimKcda - Feb. 03, 2022 10:54 PM ET USA

    Why don’t we just do as the Protestants have done and form one church for the homosexuals, another for the trans folks another for the remarried people, one for the birth controllers, another for the abortion supporters, etc? That way we could all be happy and know that we were right and everyone else is wrong. It won’t matter because we are ALL going to Heaven anyway. And we could call this new modern doctrine FREE WILL or RELATIVE TRUTH. Problem solved! Don’t worry, be happy!

  • Posted by: rosemariedoyle9560 - Feb. 03, 2022 8:11 PM ET USA

    What does the Cardinal mean, “There is no homosexuality in the New Testament?” Romans 1:26-27 - God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

  • Posted by: Retired01 - Feb. 03, 2022 2:57 PM ET USA

    Well, they keep coming out of the woodwork. Is he going to be asked to retract by Pope Francis? Or all we are going to get from the Vatican is silence.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Feb. 03, 2022 1:13 PM ET USA

    Whoever conducted the interview in the cited article threw the Cardinal a softball. Anyone who has read the CCC knows that the homosexual condition is intrinsically disordered, not sinful. The real question is whether or not those who call themselves homosexual on his staff and in his parishes have rejected Catholic moral discipline. The same for those who have attempted to marry while sacramentally married to another. The "foundation of the teaching" concerns sexual acts outside of matrimony.

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Feb. 03, 2022 10:59 AM ET USA

    Definitely Pope Francis' and Jesuit thinking.