Homosexual couple © Sven Hoppe
Cologne Auxiliary Bishop Dominikus Schwaderlapp sees no room for Catholic blessing of homosexual couples. He commented accordingly to the Catholic weekly newspaper "Die Tagespost" in Wurzburg.
Individuals with a homosexual orientation could be blessed, but not relationships that included sexual communion outside of marriage, Schwaderlapp said. According to Catholic doctrine, the practice of sexuality is reserved for marriage, which can only be entered into by a man and a woman.
The Osnabruck bishop Franz-Josef Bode had suggested in January in a newspaper interview to think about blessing celebrations for same-sex couples. However, a confusion with a wedding ceremony had to be excluded. According to Munich Cardinal Reinhard Marx, a commission of the German Bishops' Conference is currently looking into these questions.
Catholic lay organizations such as the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) are in favor of Bode's move, but it has already drawn disapproving voices in the bishops' conference.
Pastoral accompaniment of people
Schwaderlapp said that "in the heated debates" the aspect of the pastoral care of people is much too neglected. Too often people who are looking for it "run into closed doors and closed hearts", this worries him. Accompaniment requires mutual respect. It does not mean to have a consensus in all points with the people concerned. He says this is a great challenge for the church. "People who cannot share the teaching of the Catholic Church on all points, we must not leave hanging."