For the first time, top representatives of the German Catholic Bishops' Conference and the Lesbian and Gay Association have met for an official discussion. Points of view and demands were exchanged. The dialogue is to be continued.
The meeting took place on Friday in the Berlin Archbishop's Ordinariate and lasted one and a half hours. Afterwards, Berlin Archbishop Rainer Maria Woelki spoke of an open exchange of views that should be continued. The secretary of the Bishops' Conference, Father Hans Langendorfer, expressed similar views. LSVD national spokesman Gunter Dworek explained that ies are the employment of homosexual employees in church service and the church-critical demonstration during the Pope's visit on 22. September had been. In addition, homosexual cohabitation had been discussed.
The managing director of the LSVD Berlin-Brandenburg, Jorg Steinert, emphasized that it was an "intellectually stimulating discussion". He was pleased that the meeting had taken place so soon after Woelki took office. The meeting was initiated by the LSVD. The occasion was Woelki's statements on the Catholic view of homosexuality. The LSVD is one of the organizers of the anti-pope demonstration.
Points of view and demands exchanged
Woelki said at the meeting that he personally and the Catholic Church as a whole did not want to discriminate against or exclude people on the basis of their sexual orientation. At the same time, he had made it clear that the Church does not deviate from the ideal of marriage between a man and a woman open to children. This ideal is to be considered also in church mechanisms. Langendorfer asked with regard to the demonstration not to deny the pope the necessary respect. He is general coordinator of the visit of Benedict XVI. According to the archdiocese, both sides agreed that the protests should be peaceful.
The representatives of the LSVD demanded that declarations of not wanting to discriminate and exclude must also be followed by visible action. The Catholic Church must come to terms with its part in the history of persecution of homosexuals and draw consequences from it. It must respect the fundamental rights of lesbians and gays. Above all, the LSVD demanded a different approach to gay and lesbian employees of church institutions, who are threatened with dismissal in the case of a registered civil partnership.