COLOGNE, Germany (LifeSiteNews) — In direct contradiction to Catholic moral teaching and sacramental discipline, several Catholic priests attempted to “bless” same-sex unions just outside the ancient Cathedral of Cologne, Germany.
The “blessings,” which took place Wednesday, September 20, were conducted in an act of protest against Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, the Archbishop of Cologne who has upheld and defended Catholic sexual teaching in opposition to the majority of German bishops. They voted in March to abandon Catholic sexual morality, including the Church’s universal condemnation of homosexual acts as intrinsically and gravely sinful, approving texts for a liturgical “blessing” of same-sex unions.
At the time, Archdiocese of Cologne officials had to reprimand a priest from Mettmann for conducting a “blessing ceremony for lovers” that included same-sex “couples,” contrary to Rome’s official instructions that the Church can never bless same-sex unions because “God cannot bless sin.”
The crowds that gathered Wednesday waived rainbow flags while around 30 “couples” were “blessed” in defiance of Catholic teaching on marriage. Faithful Catholics were also present protesting the sacrilege, holding a banner that read, “Let’s stay Catholic,” echoing the words of Woelki to the Church in Germany.
The Catholic Church in Germany has seen an ongoing open rejection of moral and sacramental teaching on marriage and sexuality. The “blessings” of same-sex couples in Cologne are the latest act of what Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), has called open schism.
At the fourth assembly of the German Synodal Way on September 8-10, 2022, in Frankfurt am Main, a large majority of the bishops and laity present voted to approve a text that demands the Church change Her teaching on homosexuality. Forty of the 56 German bishops (71 percent) voted in favor of the text. The document was meant to be submitted to Pope Francis and incorporated into the worldwide synodal process.
Entitled “Magisterial reassessment of Homosexuality,” the document includes the following statement: “Same-sex sexuality – also realized in sexual acts – is thus not a sin that separates from God, and it is not to be judged as intrinsically evil.”
The text addressing homosexual acts is thus contrary to Catholic moral teaching and the natural law. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity (Cf. Genesis 19:1-29; Romans 1:24-27; 1 Corinthians 6:10; 1 Timothy 1:10), tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Persona humana, 8). They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. (CCC 2357.)
The eight orthodox bishops who voted against the document included Woelki. According to Woelki, “the problem” with the “synodal path” in Germany “is that for many people it is not an open-ended path at all but a project whose only satisfying result has to be the abolition of obligatory celibacy, women deacons, and the reduction of Catholic sexual morality to the sentence: Between adults, voluntary sexual relations of whatever kind are not to be objected to.”
Members of Germany’s Synodal Way then voted overwhelmingly this spring in favor of a document containing “blessings” for same-sex couples, as well as for the divorced and “remarried,” further putting them in direct opposition to the Vatican and Catholic teaching.
In a March 10 vote, participants of the Synodal Way overwhelmingly approved a text called “Blessings for couples who love each other” in a majority of almost 93 percent. The combined members voted 176-14, with 12 people abstaining. Among the German Bishops Conference (DBK) members who form part of the Synodal Way, the text was approved 38-9, with 11 abstaining.