“Should i not doubt?”

Cardinal Reinhard Marx © Frank Rumpenhorst

Kardina Marx rules out a blessing for homosexual relationships, as well as the ordination of women to the priesthood – but the discussion about it does not. Moreover, he too doubts God from time to time. But also without church there is a way to God.

Homosexual couples can receive a blessing "in the sense of pastoral accompaniment" in the Catholic Church, according to Cardinal Reinhard Marx, 66. With it however no marriage-like relationship is blessed, he said to the magazine "stern" (Monday).

Also a marriage is not possible, he said. "The sacrament of marriage is focused on the faithful relationship between a man and a woman, which is open to children."

Homosexuals: Welcome in the church

At the same time, Marx emphasized that homosexuals are welcome in the church. If people in same-sex relationships lived faithfully for years and were there for each other, then the church should not make a "bracket with a minus sign" around this life and say that it was all worth nothing.

"For this I get criticism from some sides," said the Munich archbishop. "Some say: he goes too far. The others: The does not go far enough."

Women's ordination to the priesthood excluded, discussion not concluded

On the subject of the ordination of women to the priesthood, Marx said the church could not set aside what a pope had bindingly and unambiguously established. John Paul II. In 1994, had stated very strongly that the Church had no authority to ordain women to the priesthood.

Pope Francis had recently referred to this word in conversation with Marx, saying, "This door is closed."Nevertheless, according to Marx, the discussion on the subject is not over.

"As many ways to God as there are people"

For Cardinal Marx, there is a way to God even without the church. "After all, there are many people outside the Church, they can't all be lost," said the president of the German Bishops' Conference.

When asked how many ways there are to God, former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said. once replied: "As many as there are people."

Interest in Jesus of Nazareth

The Munich archbishop described the church as "a kind of decoy" flying around the world shouting, "There is someone who might interest you! Jesus of Nazareth!"

The church should tear open the skylight above the heads and open the view to the sky.

More critical after abuse scandal

Marx acknowledged that after the abuse scandal he was looking more critically at the history of the church and "at the discrepancy between appearance and reality.

He said the abuses were not isolated incidents but systemic failures. The grave injustice of clergymen will change the church, but not destroy it, "because it is not a human association".

Doubt of faith as a cardinal

The Munich cardinal sometimes doubts God. "I am also not always strong in faith," he said. "Just because I am a cardinal, I should not doubt?"

The older he gets, the more he feels there cannot be faith without doubt.

God is not a "repair store of the world"

Asked where God had been at Auschwitz or in the attack on the Christmas market at Berlin's Breitscheidplatz, Marx replied, "We must not imagine God as a repair store for the world."

Wishes for God to prevent a car accident or to ensure that a person passes his high school exams are deeply human, he said. "But we need to go deeper into the mystery of the relationship between God and man."

Deeply human

According to Marx, people must not transfer their feasibility thinking to God according to the motto: "If I were God, I would have done everything completely differently."

It must be accepted that God is completely different, he said.

Solidarity with those who suffer

As a Christian, he believes that God is present with those who suffer. There is no life without suffering and tears. God show solidarity with the victims of history.

"Whoever abuses a child also abuses God," said the Munich archbishop. In the end, he creates justice.

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