The friars of the Franciscan Province of Saint Elizabeth in Germany gathered at their Provincial Chapter in Ohrbeck near the city of OsnabrĂĽck elected Brother Markus Fuhrmann as their new Provincial Superior.

In an interview with the official news outlet for the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, Fuhrmann explained why he publicly came out as gay prior to his election, renewal in the Church, and the future of the Franciscans.

“I would like to promote seeing this as an opportunity that we as a church are colorful, that the church is also queer, that this is what God wants, that this corresponds to the diversity of creation and is therefore quite normal. If I am gay myself, then I want to show that I can also be part of the Church in this ministry. That’s important because it’s not supposed to be like that in the Church. Unfortunately, there is too much institutional hypocrisy in our Church.” 

He added that the way Catholic sexual morality “has been officially taught up to now, it does not serve life. It has to change or evolve.”

Fuhrmann also shared his thoughts on priestly celibacy and women in ministry, topics under discussion by the German Synodal Way.

“I personally stand behind the efforts of the Synodal Path, I am in favor of a critical rethinking of celibacy in the priestly way of life and I am in favor of women having access to ordained ministries.” 

He ended the interview saying “a big change is imminent” and it will be “a chance to be closer to people and to find new ways of living today.”

What does Church teaching have to say about gay people?

“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

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