Bishop Franz-Josef Bode © Harald Oppitz (KNA)
The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls masturbation, prostitution and other equally important sins. "To put it drastically: you can't do that," says Osnabruck Bishop Franz-Josef Bode.
Before the Family Synod, which begins in Rome on Sunday, Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabruck has called for a more differentiated discussion of internal church conflict ies. "I think the debates in the church need to be more open," Bode said Wednesday evening at a talk event in Osnabruck. "Despite all the disparity, we should strive to walk together on the path to a common goal. If in the end it comes out what we have always said, then the effort for the synod is wrong." He hopes for an honest struggle about the positions, so that Pope Francis after the meeting could also ie a differentiated letter.
Marriage a sacrament and a sign of God's love
Bode expressed the conviction that a marriage concluded in faith is a sacrament and a sign of God's love. This is indissoluble. "But if, for whatever reason, it still comes to a failure, then I must ask whether a new relationship, which may also arise with a new maturity, always and always remains excluded from communion?"This is not an adaptation to the spirit of the times, as the critics said. It is rather about a more demanding way, in which one comes into conversation with the people.
The church has to react to today's highly complex positive and negative experiences of people with openness and differentiation, says the bishop. As an example he mentioned the definition of a sin formulated in the Catechism. "There you will find masturbation, prostitution and other things listed equally. Drastically said: You can't do that after all."
Sexuality, according to the bishop, must neither be idolized nor demonized. Rather, it took place in a personal context. "Exaggeratedly formulated, we can not say: before marriage nothing goes and in marriage then everything," said Bode. Already before the marriage a personal relationship must be practiced, which then develops further with the marriage. "We bishops in Germany and I also personally look at the process character of the path and not at the time of marriage," said the clergyman.
Gay marriage in the sense of the church no sacrament
The so-called gay marriage is not a sacrament in the sense of the church. That's why there is no public liturgy for same-sex couples, the bishop clarified. "But we walk with them, accompany them and pray with them."In the reception of homosexuality the church must learn also further. Homosexuality is an imprint of a person, which he cannot change. "Then I must also recognize what nature has given him."
Pope Francis has invited more than 300 bishops from around the world to Rome for the synod. It will meet for three weeks on the theme of "The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the world today". From Germany, in addition to Bode as head of the Pastoral Commission of the German Bishops' Conference, its chairman, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, and the Berlin Archbishop Heiner Koch, who is responsible for family ies, are also taking part.
They were accompanied by Petra and Aloys Buch from Korschenbroich in the Lower Rhine area. Together with 16 other couples from all over the world, they are among the few lay people at the reunion. As guest listeners, they are to tell the cardinals, bishops, religious and also the Pope himself about their personal experiences.