“No easy answers”

The Catholic Church must find a new way of dealing with remarried divorcees, according to Munich Cardinal Reinhard Marx. While it will never abolish the indissolubility of sacramental marriage, it needs pastoral responses to such a life situation.

The archbishop said this on Friday evening before the Diocesan Council of Catholics in Freising. The ie will remain on the agenda of the bishops' conference, he said. "There will be no easy answers."

Also in the question of the Eucharist for couples of different denominations, the church must respond to the needs of the people in each individual case. But it would not be possible for couples to go to Protestant communion one Sunday and Catholic Eucharist the next. Marriage, after all, has not changed anything about the individual's faith, Marx explained.

No diaconate for women
Marx rejected the demand for the diaconate of women. "That does not meet with my approval."At the same time, it is necessary for the church to take more account of women when filling positions that are not bound to ordination.

It is also necessary to involve the laity more in decision-making. For this there needs to be more synodal thinking. There must be no clericalism on the part of priests and bishops in which the clergyman always has the last word. "That's not the spirit we want to have."More participation is needed. Nevertheless, it remains the case that only priests may lead a congregation and preach at the Eucharist.

Self-criticism
The archbishop was self-critical about the church's treatment of homosexuals. Here she often struck the "wrong note". Homosexuals, he said, are full members of the Church who can also hold office. However, he said, it remains the case that the church cannot accept homosexual relationships. "The good Lord has thought of something in the fact that there are men and women."In sexual morality, he said, the church must ask itself whether it does not too often proclaim its correct position with a "rhetoric of prohibition".

The archbishop emphasized that the work of the church must be further professionalized, especially when it comes to the liturgy. "We must continue to improve the level of preaching and church services." It was a basic statement of the Second Vatican Council that all believers are called to pass on the faith. That's why he advocated the founding of a volunteer academy for the archdiocese.

Marx spoke to the 178 delegates at the fall plenary session of the Munich-Freising Diocesan Council and for the first time commented on recommendations of the Future Forum "Giving Faith a Future". This had worked out recommendations for the pastoral in the archdiocese for two years and had handed them over to Marx in December 2010. The cardinal expressly welcomed the fact that difficult and controversial ies had also been addressed in the process.

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