Catholic teaching on sexuality ‘too simple’

Church teaching

Catholic teaching on sexuality needs a new perspective, says German Bishop Helmut Dieser.

“Same-sex feelings and love are not an aberration, but a variant of human sexuality,” he says. Homosexuals have a right to church support and blessing.

Dieser (pictured), who is the spokesman on abuse issues for the German bishops’ conference, says the current state of Church teaching does not do justice to certain realities when it comes to sexuality.

“The thinking is too simple.”

The Church can no longer signal to homosexual people that their feelings are unnatural and that they have to be celibate, he says.

“Homosexuality is — as science shows — not a glitch, not an illness, not an expression of any kind of deficit, and by the way it’s not a consequence of original sin, either,” the bishop said.

If two lesbians approached him to have a child baptised, he would do it, he says.

“Where is the problem?” he wonders.

Dieser also defended the Synodal Path taken by the church in Germany and its demands for reform.

“The Synodal Path is, after all, a consequence of the uncovering of sexual abuse scandals. And reliable scientific studies show that these scandals have systemic causes in the church,” he says.

This week, he and other German bishops will be at the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis and other Vatican officials for their “ad limina” visits. These are periodic visits to report on the status of their dioceses.

He says the bishops also hope to present Francis with the papers that received too little approval from the bishops at the last plenary assembly of the Synodal Path.

He says the aim is to ask Francis for a further development of the Church’s teaching.

Rome needs to respond to the proposals and suggestions of the Catholic Church in Germany, because the Vatican had ignored reform proposals from Catholic dioceses of West Germany in the 1970s, says Dieser.

To not respond “would be a failure of authority in the church. We must not ignore the voice of the people of God”, he explains.


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