Jan 24, 2018 / 15:00 pm
A German bishop’s proposal that the Catholic Church could provide blessing ceremonies for gay couples, as well as divorced and civilly remarried couples, gained support at a Church conference in Frankfurt this weekend.
Earlier this month, Bishop Franz-Josef Bode suggested that the Church develop a ceremony for blessing same-sex unions during an interview with Neue Osnabrucker Zeitung.
"We need to think about how we can differentiate a relationship between two same-sex people," said the bishop, who is deputy chairman of the German Bishops' Conference: "Is not there so much that is positive, good and right that we have to be fairer?"
The bishop said that same-sex unions are a reality in the country. “We must therefore ask ourselves how we meet those who enter into this relationship and who are also partly involved in the Church,” he said.
“How do we accompany them pastorally and liturgically? How do we live up to them?"
On Jan. 20, Father Johannes Zu Eltz, the city-dean of the Catholic Church in Frankfurt and a senior official in the Diocese of Limburg, said that the Church should consider "theologically founded blessing ceremonies" for couples who do not meet the requirements for marriage in the Church.
The suggestion was made during the Frankfurt City Church Forum II, attended by 170 Church leaders. Such forums are used to discuss reforms that can be made within the local Church.
The proposed blessings would be for same-sex couples “as well as [divorced and] civilly remarried people as well as people who, in their own estimation, do not consider themselves sufficiently worthy of the marriage sacrament,” according to katholisch.de, the official website of the German Catholic bishops.