(LifeSiteNews) — The Vatican has written a letter to the German Bishops Conference (DBK) affirming traditional Church teaching on women priests and homosexual acts.
On November 24, the German Catholic newspaper Die Tagespost published a note drafted by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) that confirms Catholic doctrine on the solely male priesthood and the sinfulness of homosexual acts.
A journalist from Die Tagespost told LifeSiteNews that the note was an attachment to a letter sent by the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, addressed to the secretary general of the DBK, laywoman Beate Gilles.
According to Die Tagespost, the 3-page note is a proposal written by the DDF, approved by multiple other dicasteries, and meant to be the basis for meetings between the German bishops and Vatican officials scheduled in 2024.
The note states, “Some of [the proposal of the Synodal Way] have aspects that cannot be put up for discussion, but also aspects that can be discussed in greater depth.”
The document names the “priestly ordination reserved for men” as one of the issues that cannot be changed, citing John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, which states “that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”
“We are faced with a binding decision, which is also subject to the jurisdiction of the Pope, with precise disciplinary consequences…” the authors of the note state, stressing that those who attempt to sacramentally “ordain” a woman would incur the penalty of excommunication.
“Another issue on which a local church has no possibility of taking a different view concerns homosexual acts,” the document states. “Even if one recognizes that from a subjective point of view, there may be various factors that call us not to judge people, this in no way changes the evaluation of the objective morality of these acts.”
“The constant teaching of the Church emphasizes that ‘the objective moral evaluation of sexual relations between persons of the same sex is precisely and certainly established. Another question that is not under discussion here is the degree of subjective moral imputability of such relationships in each individual case.’ [NOTIFICATION regarding certain writings of FR. MARCIANO VIDAL, C.Ss.R.]”
According to katholisch.de, the DBK confirmed the authenticity of the October 25 letter, which was kept private for almost a month and may have been leaked by a whistleblower.
Over two-thirds of the German bishops approved heretical documents during the Synodal Assemblies held throughout the past four years. Last year, 71% of the German bishops voted in favor of a text that said, “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.”
Over 80% of the German bishops approved a text calling for a change to immutable Church doctrine on female ordinations.
Confusion caused by Pope Francis on female ordinations, homosexuality
While the note written by the DDF upholds Church teaching on two key issues that the heretical Synodal Way seeks to challenge, Pope Francis himself has caused massive confusion on these matters. He has taken seemingly contradictory actions over the past years.
In October, Francis affirmed Catholic teaching regarding female deacons, stating in a book-length interview that “holy orders are reserved for men.”
However, Francis has opened the door to confusion on the issue in the past by establishing two commissions to discuss the topic of female deacons. The first was a 12-member commission to study the issue of women deacons in August 2016; the commission included a leading advocate of ordaining women deacons and had Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer as its president. The second was set up in 2020 in light of the 2019 Amazon Synod. The reports of these two commissions have not yet been published.
Moreover, the final document of the Synod of Bishops held in October was ambiguous on the questions of female deacons. It appeared to leave the door open for further discussions on the matter.
Meanwhile, the pope has also been sending mixed signals regarding the morality of homosexual acts. In response to dubia questions submitted by five cardinals regarding same-sex “blessings,” Francis gave an ambiguous answer that seemed to give clergy the authority to agree or refuse to “bless” same-sex unions based on “pastoral prudence.”
The Archbishop of Berlin and the Bishop of Speyer have introduced “blessings” for homosexual unions in their diocese, citing Pope Francis’ words as justification. Furthermore, Belgian bishop Johan Bonny has publicly claimed that Pope Francis approves of the Belgian bishops’ plans to “bless” same-sex couples. The Roman Pontiff has rebuked neither one of those three bishops.
Francis has consistently promoted pro-LGBT bishops and priests who undermine the Church’s teaching on sexuality, like the infamous Fr. James Martin.
He has frequently held publicized meetings with “Catholic” pro-LGBT groups who openly reject Church doctrine on homosexuality, like the “Global Network of Rainbow Catholics.” Francis not only failed to rebuke these groups, he even encouraged them to “go ahead” with their work and thanked them for their “ministry.”