German Lutherans Poised to Elect Active Homosexual Bishop

Wed Jun 18, 2008 - 12:15 pm EST

By Hilary White

HAMBURG, June 18, 2008 ( - German Lutherans may elect their first openly homosexual bishop. Horst Gorski is a senior cleric from Hamburg and is standing for the post of bishop of Schleswig in northern Germany.

The possibility of Gorski’s being elected a bishop is dividing German Lutherans. Die Welt newspaper quoted Ulrich Ruess, a pastor in the northern city of Hamburg, who warned, "Many members of the community would have little understanding for a bishop with this kind of lifestyle."

Reuters reports that Gorski is a homosexual activist theologian who has set up "centres" for homosexual clergy. Lutheran officials refuse to take Gorski out of the running, saying that the church has no official stand on homosexuality. The Lutheran World Federation has said it does not intend to get involved in a controversy.

LWF General Secretary Reverend Ishmael Noko told Reuters, "We have no position on this issue at the moment." He added that the LWF has commissioned a study on marriage, family and sexuality.

Lutheranism in general is besieged with demands from the homosexual movement for acceptance of their "lifestyle".  In 2007, the national assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America passed a resolution urging bishops to "refrain from or demonstrate restraint" in disciplining homosexual clergy in "faithful committed same-gender relationships."

Since at least 2007, Swedish Lutherans have offered "blessings" for homosexual partnerings. While Sweden’s Lutheran Church has not made any official decision on performing "gay marriages", the church has "blessed" gay civil partnerships and welcomed actively homosexual clergy.

Earlier this year, the leader of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Bishop Michael Pryse, refused to condemn on moral grounds the determination of a Newmarket Lutheran church to endorse homosexuality and ordain to the ministry an active homosexual who is "married" to another man.

In a lengthy letter to her church, parishioner Astrid Neumann, a member of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Surrey, British Columbia, wrote that she was leaving the congregation because of the church’s slide away from the traditional doctrines of Christianity.

Neumann wrote of the Lutheran church’s questioning of core Christian beliefs. "Everything has become iffy. We are left with the end result that the Bible can’t be trusted, there is no Truth, and everything is relative."

See related coverage:

Largest US Lutheran Church Votes to Uphold but Not Enforce Gay Clergy Ban

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