Currently, the Vatican must grant theologians the so-called 'nihil obstat' (Latin for 'nothing hinders'), i.e., a decision that the person's conduct has been in line with Catholic teaching, before they can teach theology at a Catholic university.
German bishops will continue to work on a handout for 'blessing ceremonies' to give to priests while the vice president of the Central Committee of German Catholics expresses hope that a change in church doctrine on sexual morality follows.
'It is an expression of respect for the reality of life and the life choices of people who want to be there for each other. And it gives us the opportunity to bless without demanding anything,' one German bishop said of the new norms for 'blessing' homosexual couples published by the Vatican.
‘In the future, Church-run schools should be able to be recognized by the fact that they give room to deal with the topic of sexuality,’ said Heinrich Timmerevers, who rejects definitive Catholic teaching on homosexuality.
The document names the 'priestly ordination reserved for men' as an issue that cannot be changed, citing John Paul II's 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.'
According to the German Bishops’ Conference's annual statistical report, a record 522,821 Germans left the Catholic Church in 2022, reducing the overall Catholic population to under 25 percent of the nation.
'Christ did not come to explain away and minimize sin by appealing to God's love, but to draw its deadly sting from our mortal being and to enable us to live ‘in true righteousness and holiness’ following Christ.'