After backlash, German diocese stops working with Planned Parenthood affiliate

Bishop Franz Jung Bishop Franz Jung of Würzburg, Germany. | Screenshot from YouTube video

Following complaints by survivors of sexual abuse, a German diocese has announced it will no longer cooperate with a Planned Parenthood-affiliated organization, given accusations of “spreading pedophile-friendly views” in previous decades.

As CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner, reported, the Diocese of Würzburg announced on Wednesday it would cease its cooperation with the abortion-supporting organization that calls itself Pro Familia as “soon as possible."

Bishop Franz Jung had announced this affiliation in March 2022, saying his diocese had asked the organization to "offer a first point of contact outside church structures for those affected [by sexual abuse] and their relatives."

In a statement released April 20, the diocese cited concerns raised by the abuse survivors' council, or Betroffenenbeirat. The body had pointed out that Pro Familia not only has a pro-abortion stance, but also stood accused of pushing for a “decriminalization of pedosexuality” in previous decades.

The German newspaper Tagesspiegel, in a investigation in 2013, reported that in the 1980s and 1990s Pro Familia's magazine advocated "pedophile-friendly views."

It is unclear why the Catholic bishop chose a pro-abortion organization. Also unknown is what organization will replace Pro Familia in assisting with counseling victims of sexual abuse in the southern German diocese.

Pro Familia states on the International Planned Parenthood Federation website that it “advocates for the rights to individual self-determination in sexuality and family planning and is committed nationally and internationally to sexual and reproductive health and rights."

The organization also offers "LGBTQIA+ counseling."

Ahead of his March announcement of “immediate” affiliation with Pro Familia, Jung on Feb. 9 issued a statement assuring employees of the Bavarian diocese they would not face repercussions for living a homosexual lifestyle or identifying as LGBTIQ.

Jung is one of several German bishops that have expressed support for blessings of same-sex couples, while churches displayed LGBT pride flags.

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