In the latest in a series of attempts by German bishops to align Church teaching with secular values, a sub-committee of the German episcopal conference is planning to amend Church labor law to allow Church employees who are homosexual or divorced and civilly remarried to work in ecclesiastical institutions.
Until now, those employed in the German Church – the second largest employer in the country – are required to adhere to lifestyles consistent with Church teaching.
But on Nov. 24th, a majority of bishops are expected to vote to introduce changes to Church rules to allow such employees to continue working in administrative positions or as heads of departments, or to employ them in the future. The move has been devised in secret and will have important ramifications if enacted, Church observers say.
Given that many homosexuals and divorced and civilly remarried Catholics are already working for the Church, and that the German Church is such a vast operation, proponents argue that these employees must be retained if the Church is continue functioning and offering the services people need.
But opponents dismiss this, saying the proposed changes are part of a highly skilled, secretive and finely tuned plan, devised by some members within the German bishops’ conference to circumvent Church teaching……The proposed changes, allegedly being spearheaded by Jesuit Father Hans Langendörfer, Secretary of the German Bishops’ Conference, have been considered in secret for a relatively long time, possibly the past 18 months, according to sources. “It’s like a hidden bombshell”, one informed source close to the German Church says.
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