German bishops say homosexuality is perfectly normal

German bishops say homosexuality is perfectly normal December 17, 2019

TWO years ago Germany’s bishops’ conference ‘expressed regret’ over the country’s decision to allow same-sex marriage – and it vowed to defend the ‘Catholic understanding of marriage.’

But last week, in a move that sent Catholic traditionalists into a tailspin, the bishop’s conference decided the Church’s teachings need to be guided by science, rather than dogma – and that includes  a “reassessment” of its teaching on homosexuality and sexual morality in general, as well as the sacraments of ordination and marriage.

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And Berlin’s Archbishop Heiner Koch, above, Chairman of the Marriage and Family Commission of the German bishops’ conference, went as far as to declare that the bishops had agreed that homosexuality is a “normal form” of human sexual identity.

The sexual preference of man expresses itself in puberty and assumes a hetero- or homosexual orientation. Both belong to the normal forms of sexual predisposition, which cannot or should be be changed with the help of a specific socialization.

Koch went on to insist that the Church must consider the latest scientific and theological insights on human sexuality.

According to a press release issued by the bishops, there was also discussion on whether the prohibition of homosexual acts by the Church’s magisterium was “still up-to-date” – and whether artificial contraception should still be condemned by the Church for “both married and unmarried” couples.

The results of the “expert consultation” in Berlin will be fed into a two-year “Synodal Process” through the synodal forum on “Life in Successful Relationships – Living Love in Sexuality and Partnership”,  which will begin its work in February 2020.

Koch, together with diocesan bishops Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabrück, Bishop Wolfgang Ipolt of Görlitz, Bishop Peter Kohlgraf of Mainz, as well as several auxiliary bishops from the Faith and Family Commission of the bishops’ conference consulted with a number of invited medical specialists, theologians and canon lawyers during the event.

Calling for a “solid discussion supported by human sciences and theology” Koch and Bode said that Amoris Laetitia already provides for noticeable “developments” of both Church doctrine and practice, adding that a sexual relationship for divorced and remarried couples after Amoris laetitia “was no longer always to be qualified as grave sin,” and that wholesale “exclusion from the reception of the Eucharist” of such couples could no longer be justified.

Koch said that the “Synodal Process” should must begin from an “unbiased” position on the Church’s teaching and without fixed points of view, but rather an openness to taking into account “latest scientific insights”.

All participants, according to Koch, agreed that “human sexuality encompasses a dimension of lust, of procreation, and of relationships. And since sexual orientation was to be considered unchangeable “any form of discrimination of persons with a homosexual orientation” was to be rejected, as was “explicitly stressed by Pope Francis” in Amoris laetitia.

Normally, when stories like these break, my first port of call to assess the degree of horror they generate is to visit Bill Donohue’s Catholic League. But either he’s not caught up with the German report, or has been stunned into silence. A search of his site for Archbishop Heiner Koch yields nothing.

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However, LifeSiteNews did find someone willing to condemn Koch and his crew: Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, above, who said the Catholic Church in Germany was going down the tubes.

A President Emeritus of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, Brandmüller warned that proceeding down this  path – one that  questions the Church’s teachings on the celibate, male priesthood; homosexuality; and marriage – could lead to a “national church” without “nearly any ties to Rome.”

The dubia cardinal stated that this would be “certainly be the surest path into the final decline” of the German Church.

One the other hand, Robert Shine of New Ways Ministry, wrote:

The Synodal Way could have ramifications not only for the German church, but for the universal one. While the outcomes of this two-year process cannot, and according to Archbishop Koch, should not be pre-determined, German Catholics could see significant developments.

If those participating truly listen to and learn from how the sciences understand human sexuality and relationships today, they can then incorporate such findings into theological reflection and pastoral practice, what could emerge as a groundbreaking moment for Catholic LGBTQ issues.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

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  • Carstonio

    No particular religion’s “understanding” of marriage should apply to the larger society, or to civil marriage as a legal construct. Whatever any religion defines as its sacramental marriage should apply only to members. Government doesn’t require clergy members to solemnize interfaith marriages and it doesn’t do so for same-sex marriages either. Just as government doesn’t tell religions which marriages to solemnize, religions should not tell governments which marriages to legalize.

    And whether homosexuality is “normal” is irrelevant to its morality. Saying that orientation is inborn is not a defense of homosexuality. That argument just provides an opening for Catholic doctrine to make a false distinction between same-sex desires and the pursuit of fulfillment of those desires. Defenders should emphasize that, since morality is about the effects of one’s actions on others, there’s nothing inherently immoral about seeking same-sex relationships. Even if homosexuality were a choice, as homophobes keep insisting, there would be nothing wrong with making that choice.

  • Raging Bee

    What, exactly, ARE the latest theological insights on human sexuality?

  • Illithid

    I predicted years ago, on a now-defunct (semi-) Catholic blog here on Patheos, that the RCC would eventually accept homosexuality, married priests, and women priests. I said I didn’t think I’d live to see it, but I might have been wrong. I’ve still got maybe half a century left, and things have changed a lot in the last few decades.

    I’d prefer the church simply went away, but I’m not that optimistic.

  • dariofprsia

    In 20 years, they are gonna brag that gay equality was all their doing.
    And in the next breath they are gonna bash trans people.
    Rinse and repeat every 15-20 years.

  • Vanity Unfair

    JHWH is gently guiding his creation towards an ever-more-perfect state. To rush towards it would lead to a chaotic tumult so caution must be exercised. A gentle nudge here and there will suffice. Humanity cannot be expected to cope with unlimited freedom all at once.

    Some of the early writings might lead the flock astray so reserve them for later.
    Burning heretics is probably a bad idea.
    It is really all right to talk to Protestants.
    With over seven milliard people on Earth, perhaps we should look into curbs on population.
    Homosexual activities don’t harm anybody more than heterosexual but keep yourself under control.

    You see, it really is part of a greater plan that we mortals can barely conceive so the Magisterium is in the best position to interpret JHWH’s curriculum for us and help us find the best way to fulfil His ineffable intentions.
    Got that, kiddies?

  • abb3w

    I loathe this sort of naturalistic fallacy equivocating use of the word “normal”. Normal is overrated.

    Pedantically, it’s not so much “perfectly normal” as a “perfectly standard deviation”.

  • Raging Bee

    In other words, more of the same, and don’t try to interpret or understand any of it for yourselves.

  • Freethinker

    The Vatican is about 80% gay and this immaculately researched book proves it. The official Vatican dogma on the “evils” of homosexuality still remains as does the breathtaking hypocrisy.

  • Raging Bee

    Have that book’s findings been discussed or disputed?

  • Raging Bee

    …acknowledging the existence of a “gay cabal” in the Vatican.

    That’s clearly nothing more than a lame excuse to blame gays, gayness and “gay (sub)culture” for the sexual abuse of boys by their priests. That’s why I’m skeptical of this book: it can easily be used to support such scapegoating, bigotry, and evasion of responsibility; and to justify purging gays, alleged gays, and all other hints of non-conformity from the Church, rather than address the authoritarian mindset that seems to be enabling sexual abuse in MANY backward religious institutions. (What does this book say about similar sexual abuses in the Muslim world?)

  • Arthur F. Meincke

    I really have no tolerance for the Roman Catholic church on any issue. The Roman Catholic church is the world’s oldest terrorist organization.

  • George Broadhead

    What will the Pope think of this total rejection of the Church’s catechism?

  • Freethinker

    That’s clearly nothing more than a lame excuse to blame gays, gayness and “gay (sub)culture” for the sexual abuse of boys by their priests.

    That’s entirely your conjecture and a textbook case of false equivalency.
    The book says fuck all about Muslims sexual abuse because it’s not about Muslims but……the Vatican. So nice try on whataboutism. There is nothing “lame” about this book. If you read it you will see it barely mentions abuse it’s simply stating facts; and above all else what it does show is the breathtaking hypocrisy the church has taken against homosexuality given who is doing the insidious gay bashing. Why is it OK for everyone to assume that there is a disproportionately large percentage of Mormons in Utah but not that there is a disproportionately large number of homosexual pedophiles in the Vatican? The book makes absolutely no assertion of why and how pedophilia is a prevalent among the Chruch of Rome clergy and has been long before Islam was even invented. If you want to find out more read “Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church’s 2,000 Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse” by A.W. Richard Sipe
    If someone wants to conflate homosexuality with child abuse that’s their problem but for us to pretend that this is not happening in the Vatican is doing a horrible disservice to the countless victims and setting back any type of reform, legislated or otherwise about this issue.

  • Mike Panic

    Down the goddamnedfuckingtubes is the best place for that abominable malevolence called a church.

  • Mike Panic


  • Mike Panic

    So the hand that was up anothnerman’spoopchute is now handfing out communion. HILARIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!