The Vatican's failure to confirm Jesuit Father Ansgar Wucherpfennig for another term is met with incomprehension in several German dioceses. Wucherpfennig was previously rector of the Catholic University of St. George in Frankfurt.
After Limburg Bishop Georg Batzing, the dioceses of Osnabruck and Hildesheim now also put themselves before the theologian, as reported by the "Kolner Stadt-Anzeiger" and the "Frankfurter Rundschau" (Wednesday).
"It is legitimate to discuss pastoral ies openly"
The director of priestly formation in Hildesheim, Regens Martin Marahrens, praised Wucherpfennig's services to a "unique combination of high-quality academic teaching and deeply ecclesial spirituality" at the college of the Jesuit order. "I would be extremely sorry if he were unable to take up his third term as rector," Marahrens told the newspapers.
The Osnabruck diocese also expressed its confidence in Wucherpfennig. "In our opinion, it is legitimate to openly discuss pastoral ies. This also includes the question of how the church accompanies the relationship between two people of the same sex and how it does justice to these people," said diocese spokesman Hermann Haarmann.
Blessing ceremonies for homosexual partnerships advocated
Wucherpfennig had already been re-elected in February for a third term as rector of the Philosophical-Theological University of St. George in Frankfurt, where the dioceses of Hamburg, Hildesheim, Limburg and Osnabruck train their priest candidates. The responsible persons for education in Rome did not ie him so far the necessary clearance ("Nihil obstat"), which is necessary for the office extension.
Wucherpfennig had been critical of the church's treatment of homosexuals and women in interviews and had advocated, among other things, blessing ceremonies for homosexual partnerships. "Kolner Stadt-Anzeiger" and "Frankfurter Rundschau" had reported first about this process.
Limburg diocese supports Wucherpfennig's re-election
Limburg Bishop Georg Batzing also stood in front of Wucherpfennig. A diocese spokesman said Batzing had given his "unqualified" approval for his re-election as rector.
The bishop had also made it clear in Rome that "the diocese and the Jesuit order would be well advised to stick to the tried and tested university leadership". The bishop therefore continues to ame an amicable solution.