CNA Staff, May 7, 2021 / 05:30 am
A German Catholic diocese has hosted an online event declaring that same-sex blessings are a matter of “not if, but how.”
The Diocese of Essen, in Germany’s industrial Ruhr area, held the conference, entitled “Blessings for all. Blessing celebrations for same-sex couples,” ahead of a nationwide event on May 10 in defiance of the Vatican’s “no” to same-sex blessings.
The diocese said in a May 3 post on its website that around 100 people took part in the conference. Among them were theologians who, it said, argued that “the Church must move out of the premodern era and embrace the current state of knowledge of science and society.”
The report noted that “currently some dioceses are jointly developing a handout on the topic [of same-sex blessings], which will also include a proposal on how to conduct a blessing celebration.”
One participating professor suggested that blessings of homosexual unions should take the form of comprehensive and festive liturgies, including the proclamation of the word, a prayer of blessing, intercessions, and the exchange of rings.
“Blessing celebrations are high forms of Christian liturgy, comparable to baptism,” Benedikt Kranemann said.
CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner, reported that Essen’s Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck said in an interview last month that he would “not suspend a priest in his diocese or impose other Church penalties on him” if the cleric blesses same-sex couples.
Essen diocese noted that its vicar general, Fr. Klaus Pfeffer, addressed the virtual conference.