Maike Hickson

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With Cardinal Marx at Youth Synod, his vicar general says Munich diocese has ‘homosexual priests’

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October 5, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – While Cardinal Reinhard Marx is in Rome after being personally invited by the Pope to attend the Youth Synod, his general vicar, Dr. Peter Beer, has stated that the Archdiocese of Munich has “homosexual priests and homosexual employees,” adding that they “render an important and good service.”

Dr. Beer gave an interview that has now been published by the website of the Archdiocese of Munich. On October 1, the German bishops’ news website Katholisch.de reported on the Beer interview, which especially addresses the problems of clerical sexual abuse.

“We have homosexual priests and homosexual employees, and these persons with homosexual inclinations [and acts?] render an important and good service and are an important part of the community of service, in which we together work for (and in the context of) the mission of Jesus,” he said.

As the Archdiocese of Munich informs readers on its website, the diocesan homosexual employees of both sexes have regular meetings among themselves and they are also “in communication with the general vicar.” Mrs. Ingrid Winkler, a diocesan “spiritual mentor for teachers of religion,” organizes regularunder the rainbow meetings” (“Austausch unterm Regenbogen”) for LGBT employees of the Archdiocese of Munich. According to a source from Munich, the announcements for these events are being sent to all diocesan employees. Winkler also openly announces a monthly “queer prayer service” (“Queergottesdienst”) for LGBT people in the diocese.

Dr. Beer explicitly denies that any connection exists between homosexuality and clerical abuse: “There are now, repeatedly, those claims that the studies [on clerical abuse in Germany] have shown that the abuse victims are mostly boys and the offenders mostly men.”

“I wish to give a warning,” continues the prelate and close collaborator of Cardinal Reinhard Marx, “not to draw –  because of this observation – a direct connection between homosexuality and abuse.” In Beer’s eyes, such an approach would “constitute an unbearable discrimination of persons with homosexual inclinations. I explicitly reject that and I ask us all, not to follow here such slogans.”

Furthermore, Beer adds, “all experts say that these abuse cases are less, or not at all, about homosexual deeds or homosexual relationships, but, rather, that they are about an expression of an immature sexuality,” which then expresses itself in abuse, in a sort of “displacement activity.”

When asked by the interviewer as to whether his words indicate the Church’s re-assessment of homosexuality, Dr. Beer says he is merely “giving an honest answer to your question – or do you think that in former times, there were no homosexual priests and no homosexual employees?”

Moreover, the German priest also points to the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s warning that “one should not discriminate [unjustly?] against homosexual persons, and then one also should not do it.”

Dr. Beer’s superior, Cardinal Marx, indicated in February of 2018 he is open toward the idea of blessing homosexual couples, but with the explicit explanation that one should leave that in the hands of the local pastor. Later on, after strong international protest, Marx backed off and claimed never to have meant that he supported the idea of blessing homosexual couples. However, at the same time, he admitted that there is an episcopal commission in Germany that discusses this question. As Katholisch.de stated at the time: “A possible blessing of same-sex couples is not on the agenda of the bishops [who were gathered for their assemply] in Ingolstadt, according to Marx. That topic first has to be carefully prepared. For this, one has now given a work order to the pastoral commission of the Bishops’ Conference.”

Dr. Beer's comments thus have to be seen in this larger context of a movement toward an acceptance of homosexuality in the Catholic Church in Germany.

However, his remarks seem to stand in direct contradiction to both Pope Benedict’s and Pope Francis’ own 2005 and 2016, respectively, instructions concerning the ordination of priests. Both of those instructions explicitly say homosexuals may not be ordained to the priesthood.

In 2005, the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education stated about homosexual acts in light of the Church’s Catechism that “Sacred Scripture presents them as grave sins. The Tradition has constantly considered them as intrinsically immoral and contrary to the Natural Law. Consequently, under no circumstance can they be approved.”

The authors add: “In the light of such teaching, this Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called ‘gay culture.’”

Just as with heterosexual priests, homosexual priests who do not live according to the vow of chastity should be removed from the priesthood. In 2009, Cardinal Claudio Hummes made it easier for bishops to proceed validly against priests who do not live the vow of chastity.

As CNA reported at the time, “the bishops can begin the procedure to declare the loss of the clerical state for those priests who ‘have attempted marriage, even if only civil,’ and ‘after the proper warning have not made changes.’ Also the bishop can proceed in cases where the priest is ‘guilty of grave external sins against the sixth commandment,’ which is: ‘You shall not commit adultery.’”

Will we now soon hear that Dr. Beer was merely talking about those priests and employees already in the Archdiocese of Munich who have homosexual inclinations, but do not live them out?

Another report about the moral leniency of the Archdiocese of Munich has recently come from a secular source. In a story that has been confirmed by other sources, German political magazine Der Spiegel recently reported that “a high-ranking clergyman of Munich shamelessly places his concubine right in the first pew, and that, also in this city, there is indignation about openly homosexual pastors and about an unpredictable Pope.”

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Maike Hickson

Dr. Maike Hickson was born and raised in Germany. She holds a PhD from the University of Hannover, Germany, after having written in Switzerland her doctoral dissertation on the history of Swiss intellectuals before and during World War II. She now lives in the U.S. and is married to Dr. Robert Hickson, and they have been blessed with two beautiful children. She is a happy housewife who likes to write articles when time permits.

Dr. Hickson published in 2014 a Festschrift, a collection of some thirty essays written by thoughtful authors in honor of her husband upon his 70th birthday, which is entitled A Catholic Witness in Our Time.

Hickson has closely followed the papacy of Pope Francis and the developments in the Catholic Church in Germany, and she has been writing articles on religion and politics for U.S. and European publications and websites such as LifeSiteNews, OnePeterFive, The Wanderer, Rorate Caeli, Catholicism.org, Catholic Family News, Christian Order, Notizie Pro-Vita, Corrispondenza Romana, Katholisches.info, Der Dreizehnte,  Zeit-Fragen, and Westfalen-Blatt.