Pastor Olaf Latzel © Sina Schuldt
The controversial pastor of Bremen, Olaf Latzel, after the end of a temporary suspension of his duties, on Sunday in the church of his st.-Martini parish preached under protests and with police protection. There had been a settlement with the church.
Outside the church, a small group of protesters held placards with lyrics such as "Homophobia is curable – thank God," "Holy Shit," and "Stop taking my book so literally. God" to the churchgoers. You stand here to speak out against exclusion and discrimination, a demonstrator told the Evangelical Press Service (epd).
Church court recommended settlement
The Bremen District Court had sentenced the ultra-conservative evangelical theologian Latzel in November for incitement of the people to a fine, against which the 53-year-old appealed. The verdict that made national headlines is not yet legally binding. The church leadership had nevertheless temporarily relieved him of his duties because of the court decision.
In March, however, a church court "strongly" recommended that a settlement be reached with the pastor. Now Latzel is allowed to return to work as a chaplain in his parish. An ecclesiastical disciplinary procedure rests.
Incitement against homosexuals
The comparison between church leadership, congregation and pastor also includes Latzel apologizing to those he discredited with his comments on homosexuality. He also promised to moderate his choice of words in the future.
After catching the district court, the theologian had incited hatred against homosexuals in a so-called "marriage seminar" in October 2019. During the seminar, he warned, among other things, that homosexuality is a "degenerative form of society" and "Everywhere the criminals are running around from Christopher Street Day".
In the recent past, hitherto unknown persons have repeatedly attacked the historic Bremer St.-Martini church graffitied and pastor's car scratched. The pastor was also personally threatened. Police investigate