Late last month, the German Catholic Bishop Conference along with 125 others including priests, religious educators, and Church employees are backing a new initiative calling for a change in Church teaching on sexuality and gender.
A week after the initiative launched, Jesuit Cardinal Hollerich, president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union, said “this teaching is no longer correct.”
“What was condemned in the past was sodomy. At that time, it was thought that the whole child was contained in the sperm of the man, and that was simply transferred to homosexual men. But there is no homosexuality in the New Testament. There is only the mention of homosexual acts, which were partly pagan ritual acts. That was, of course, forbidden.”
Hollerich spoke out in an interview the German Catholic News Agency, formally calling for a change in Church doctrine.
“I believe that the sociological-scientific foundation of this teaching is no longer true. I think it’s time we make a fundamental revision of the doctrine.”
Without elaborating on what about the teaching needs revised, he said the pope’s words could lead to change.
“I also believe that we are thinking ahead in terms of doctrine. The way the pope has expressed himself in the past can lead to a change in doctrine.”
Hollerich said the Church needs to remain human, adding he knew of gay priests and laypeople in Luxembourg.
“They know they have a home in the Church. With us no one is dismissed because they are homosexual. I can’t kick them out. They would become unemployed. How can such a thing be Christian?”
So what DOES the Church teaching have to say?
“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. Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.” – CCC 2358-2359