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Archbishop Heiner Koch Archdiocese of Berlin

BERLIN (LifeSiteNews) – The Catholic Archbishop of Berlin has apologized for the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality, saying that “homophobia” was an “unholy line of tradition” in the Church.

Archbishop Heiner Koch made the comments May 17, when speaking in the Protestant Twelve Apostles Church in Berlin, as part of an ecumenical, pro-LGBT prayer service.

CNS reported the archbishop’s comments, with Gloria TV noting that Koch added the archdiocese would be appointing individuals responsible for “fighting discrimination” and promoting LGBT ideology in Berlin’s Catholic churches.

He asked for “forgiveness” for the Church’s reputed “discrimination of people because of their sexual orientation.”

Koch’s comments came as part of a Europe-wide series of ecumenical prayer services held in churches, both Catholic and evangelical, starting May 15 and continuing through June 6. A large number of such vigils took place on May 17 – the “International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.”

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One of the opening “Prayer Vigil for Overcoming Homophobia, Transphobia and Intolerance” events was held in the Catholic Basilica of St. Peter ad Aram, Naples, which holds the altar on which St. Peter prayed during his stay. It was organized by Ponti da Costruire, a group of LGBT Christians from Campania.

The entire series of pro-LGBT events is jointly co-ordinated by the ecumenical Italian group La Tenda di Gionata along with a number of dissident “Catholic” and non-Catholic LGBT groups including “the Faith, Gender and Sexuality Commission of the Baptist, Methodist and Waldensian churches, the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics, the European Forum of LGBT Christian Group, Gay Christian Africa and the English ecumenical association OneBodyOneFaith.”

Archbishop Koch’s event was held in Twelve Apostles church, which has become notorious for being a center for promotion of LGBT events, including amongst the youth. One LGBT activist denoted as “Mr Leather Germany” has been holding a pro-LGBT concert in the church since 2015, with the express approval of the minister, Burkhard Bornemann. The church also regularly holds a “Gay Church – Worship Service.”

Koch was not the only bishop to support the wave of pro-LGBT events, with Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, Archbishop Corrado Lorefice of Palermo, and Bishop Enrico Solmi of Parma also supporting or attending the LGBT events.

Dissident pro-LGBT group New Ways Ministry welcomed Koch’s support of the event, highlighting that since his appointment by Pope Francis in 2015 he “has taken a number of other LGBTQ-positive steps.”

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Indeed, Koch has been a prominent supporter of LGBT ideology, declaring in 2015 that “to present homosexuality as sin is wounding.” As head of the Commission for Marriage and Family of the German Bishops’ Conference, Koch then issued a 2019 statement declaring that homosexuality is a “normal form of sexual predisposition.”

During the height of COVID-19 related restrictions, Koch also oversaw the banning of Catholics from Mass if they had not taken one of the abortion-tainted COVID jabs.

Catholic doctrine has always condemned homosexual acts as “intrinsically disordered” and gravely sinful, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which indicates that such teaching is an infallible exercise of the ordinary magisterium. “Under no circumstances can they be approved,” the Catechism adds.