The Catechism, which Pope John Paul II described as “a sure norm for teaching the faith,” says: “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”
“The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.”
It continues: “Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”
Cardinal Marx celebrated a Mass marking “20 years of queer worship and pastoral care” in Munich earlier this month.
In his interview with Stern, Marx was asked about the Mass and whether homosexuality was “recently still considered a sin in the Church.”
He said: “Homosexuality is not a sin. It is a Christian attitude when two people, regardless of gender, stand up for each other in joy and sorrow.”
“I speak of the primacy of love, especially in sexual encounters. But I must admit that 10 or 15 years ago I myself could not have imagined that one day I would celebrate this service in this way. Now I was very much looking forward to it.”
Cardinal Marx’s interviewer noted that there was a rainbow flag before the altar at the Mass. The cardinal was asked whether Rome had contacted him about it.
“In the past few years, I have received several letters on the subject, but I think I am doing the right thing,” he said.
“I’ve felt freer to say what I think in recent years, and I want to move Church teaching forward. The Church is also changing, moving with the times: LGBTQ+ people are part of creation and loved by God, and we are challenged to stand against discrimination.”
“The Church may be slower in some things, but that is a development that is happening everywhere. Most companies just a few years ago would not have accepted openly homosexual board members.”
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When the interviewer said that no company defined homosexuality as a sin in its statutes, Marx said: “What is it with you and sin all the time? It has to be about the quality of relationships. This issue has not been adequately discussed by some in the Church, you are right.”
“But sin means turning away from God, from the Gospel, and you can’t impute that to all people who people who live same-sex love and, on top of that, say: away with them.”
Marx was also asked if he had ever blessed a same-sex couple.
He replied: “A few years ago in Los Angeles, after a service where I preached on unity and diversity, two people came to meet me and asked for my blessing. I did it. This was not a wedding ceremony, after all. We cannot offer the sacrament of marriage.”
The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reaffirmed in March 2021 that the Catholic Church does not have the power to bless unions of people of the same sex.
The Vatican statement, issued with the approval of Pope Francis, sparked protests in the German-speaking Catholic world.