The former vicar general described the ordination of women to the priesthood, as well as “the abolition of compulsory celibacy, dealing with queer people, co-determination of the laity, blessing ceremonies for homosexuals and overall sexual morality in the Church,” as the most important topics that he believed were not being addressed.
Participants in the German “Synodal Way” have voted in favor of draft texts calling for same-sex blessings and changes to the Catechism on homosexuality, as well as women priests.
Admitting in an interview to having broken the promise of celibacy, Sturm told the local newspaper Mannheimer Morgen that he had long doubted whether the Catholic Church was “a good fit for me,” even in seminary and as a pastor.
“But in the office of vicar general, it was easier for me to ponder these doubts and think about quitting,” said Sturm, who led the Speyer diocese for several months during the prolonged absence of its bishop for health reasons.
In a number of interviews with German newspapers, Sturm said that he was launching a book about his experience. The title of the publication, scheduled for release in June, is “I have to get out of this Church,” with the subtitle “Because I want to remain a human being. A vicar general speaks out.”
According to a press release by the publisher Herder, Sturm said: “For me, there was only ever the Roman Catholic Church and my life in it and with it. In the meantime, I have been asking myself for some time whether I am not also co-dependent. Co-dependent on this Church. This image with co-dependency came to my mind because people write to me over and over again: ‘Because of you, I’m not leaving the Church.’ But do I want to?”