The Vatican reaps headwind: The latest statement from the Vatican on dealing with gay and lesbian couples ignores developments in science and society, according to the theologians Stephan Goertz and Magnus Striet.
"The document is stuck in a moral doctrine that was formulated in the 1950s," Goertz and Striet write in a guest article for the portal katholisch published Tuesday.de. The theological development of the last half century is being "generously circumnavigated". Instead, he said, the Vatican has settled into a "Catholic internal world".
No authority to bless homosexual couples
Catholic Church has no authority to bless homosexual partnerships, according to Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith statement circulated Monday. It is true that in such initiatives there is a "sincere will" to "accept homosexual persons, to accompany them and to offer them ways of growing in faith," the paper says.
But since the unions of homosexual couples do not correspond to the divine will, they can not be blessed.
The entire argument testifies to "how difficult Rome still finds it to come to terms with modern thinking on freedom," Goertz and Striet write. This will ultimately lead to "fewer and fewer being willing to submit to the claim that the magisterium can decide on its own authority what it is and is not empowered to do in moral matters.".
How high is the price?
He said the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith did not want homosexual partnerships to be honored as love relationships in the Catholic Church. "The only question is, what price the bishops are still willing to pay for this refusal. The emancipation of Catholics from the Church as mother and teacher of morality will further accelerate the document from Rome."
Striet holds the Chair of Fundamental Theology at the Catholic Theological Faculty of the University of Freiburg, Goertz Professor of Moral Theology at the University of Mainz.