German bishops have said homosexuality is ‘normal’ as the country’s Catholic Church begins a controversial review of its teachings on sexual morality.
They agreed being gay is a ‘normal form’ of human sexual identity, the chairman of the Marriage and Family Commission announced after discussions in Berlin last week.
It comes ahead of a two-year ‘Synodal Process’ by the Germans which will see a national reform consultation despite warnings from the Vatican.
Berlin’s Archbishop Heiner Koch said in a statement seen by the Catholic News Agency: ‘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’.
He said the move had been made possible by Pope Francis’s book on marriage and family called Amoris laetitia.
Bishops from four diocese met in Berlin on December 5 to formally talk about ‘The Sexuality of Man – How should one discuss it scientifically-theologically and judge it ecclesiastically?’
Archbishop Koch was joined by Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabrück, Bishop Wolfgang Ipolt of Görlitz, Bishop Peter Kohlgraf of Mainz, as well as medical experts and canon lawyers.
Koch said the ‘Synodal Process’ has to start from an ‘unbiased’ position and consider the ‘latest scientific insights’.
Everyone at the meeting reportedly agreed ‘human sexuality encompasses a dimension of lust, of procreation and of relationships’.
Sexual orientation was still considered unchangeable, but ‘any form of discrimination of persons with a homosexual orientation’ was to be rejected, as was ‘explicitly stressed by Pope Francis’ in Amoris laetitia.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, James Gant