Professor from secret Rome meeting on Synod urges Church to accept gay unions
June 5, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- On May 29, 2015, not long after the controversial private Rome meeting organized by liberal members of the German, French, and Swiss Bishops' Conferences, one of its participants and speakers, Prof. Schockenhoff, has given an interview in Germany to the radio of the Archdiocese of Cologne, called domradio.de. In it, he made two important statements. First, he is cautious about the possibility of bringing about a liberal reform at the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the Family; secondly, he restated his revolutionary position concerning the acceptance of same-sex relationships.
When asked what his expectations about the upcoming Synod are, Schockenhoff said:
As a theologian, I do not expect that everything will be expressed in a fundamentally different and new way. For me, a positive [sic] outcome of the Synod would be of course desirable, because it would show that the Catholic Church is able to reform itself, and that the following principle is also important for it: namely, that the search for more adequate forms of expression of its Faith will continue. But, for me as a theologian, the substantial reasons for positions which I represent are the ones that count. For example, concerning the question as to how to deal with remarried divorcees; the reasons for a respectful, accepting treatment also of those people who live in same-sex living partnerships. If this would now lead to an official recognition by the Synod, then that is good. But, if that fails, then the reasons are not thereby devalued. They, of course, are still valid. And that is the reason why I look forward to it [the Synod] with a certain detachment.
When asked about Ireland's recent referendum and approval of same-sex “marriages” and its criticism by some prelates, speaking of “defeat for humanity,” the theologian responded:
That would not be my language. This matter is to be considered in a differentiated way. First of all, one has to say that those people who have same-sex feelings have the right [sic] to be recognized in their lives – and that includes the fact that they are sexual beings, just as all people are. That includes also their form of living. The Church's position – that one does not discriminate against them as persons and that one respects them, but that one considers their acts as intrinsically disordered – that is in itself not a convincing position.
In Schockenhoff's eyes, to declare a conduct as sinful or immoral implies immediately an unjust discrimination. One wonders, how, then, one could claim any conduct as sinful any more. According to this German theologian, the Church should unconditionally accept homosexual couples and their immoral conduct. He says:
Only when the Church comes here to a clear and unconditional acceptance of these people and their forms of living – that is, when they are based upon fidelity – is an applicable principle which moral theology formulates, as follows: everywhere where there are lived by the people: friendship; care for one another; and mutual responsibility – it is morally to be respected, independently of the sexual orientation of the actors.
In the wake of this interview, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, one of the organizers of the private Rome Meeting of May 25, 2015, had the following to say on June 5 at the German Protestant Church Congress: to find a consensus within the Catholic Church concerning the question of how to deal with homosexual couples is “extremely difficult,” since there are vast differences between European, African, and Southern American Catholics. With respect to the upcoming Synod of Bishops, the liberal prelate promised the audience, speaking this sentence in English: “I'll do my very best.”
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These comments from the liberal group of Catholic leaders in Germany are countered by an interview that the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, gave the Catholic newspaper Die Tagespost for its June 6 edition. Cardinal Mueller rebuked the German lay organization Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) for their recent liberal demands concerning marriage and the family, namely a Church's blessing of homosexual couples and an acceptance of second civil marriages. “One does not have there [at the ZdK] competence – instead of the Magisterium – to interpret essential contents of Revelation, nor to empty them out.” The ZdK cannot, in Mueller's eyes, refer to a democratic backing when it comes to the mission of the Catholic Church in the world. The claim to bless something that God Himself does not call good and which is a violation of the Sixth Commandment, is a “stunning contradiction against the Word of God.”
Cardinal Mueller, in the same interview, also supported Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin's now-famous claim that Ireland's referendum is a “defeat for humanity.” Mueller congratulated everybody “who did not bend their knees in front of the idols of self-creation and self-redemption, both of which will lead us with certainty into the self-destruction – just as other political ideologies have done it, too.” And Mueller assured the readers that a majority (of a vote) in itself had nothing to say about its truthfulness. “The truth will prevail, even if with great sacrifices!”