Berlin archbishop to name minister for LBGTQ community

Berlin minister for LBGTQ

Archbishop Heiner Koch will appoint a pastoral minister as a contact person for the LBGTQ community, the Berlin Archdiocese has announced.

According to the German Catholic news agency KNA, Koch made the pledge when he met with the Lesbian and Gay Association of Berlin-Brandenburg (LSVD) representatives.

The archbishop said this was important so that the marginalization and discrimination of the LBGTQ community could be addressed in the church without fear.

Koch said he regarded the double marginalization of Catholic gays — within the Catholic community as well as in the LGBTQ community — as “problematic and painful.”

The LSVD had requested the meeting with Koch to look at the contradictions within the Catholic Church. They referred to the solidarity shown toward LGBTQ people in the wake of the Vatican’s renewed rejection last March of any church blessing for homosexual couples, KNA reported.

Ulrich Kessler, a member of the board of LSVD, said he had been surprised and thrilled “that the rainbow flags were waving from Catholic Church spires and on church internet pages. It is also pleasing that many church congregations had called out for blessing services.”

Koch asked for understanding that, as bishop, “for the sake of the unity of the church, I cannot disregard such a position from Rome.”

At the same time, Koch said he was committed “without reservation to award God’s blessing to the love and relationship of people.”

He pledged that he would continue the discussion, including within the framework of the Synodal Path reform project of the Catholic Church in Germany.

But he said he regarded it as problematic “when church political pressure should be exerted by means of blessing services.”

This remark was seen as a reference to an action last May dubbed “Love Wins,” when blessing services were held in many Catholic churches around Germany for same-sex and divorced couples in a protest against the Vatican.


National Catholic Reporter


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