The president of the German bishops’ conference urged priests to provide better pastoral care to Catholics who are homosexual, but he said, “I think that would not be right” when asked if he could imagine the Catholic Church blessing gay couples.
The German bishops’ conference released an English translation on 7th February of remarks Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, conference president, made during a radio interview on 3rd February.
German Catholic media had interpreted the cardinal’s remarks as moving a step back from a suggestion made by Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabruck in January that the Catholic Church should debate the possibility of a blessing ceremony for Catholic gay couples involved in the Church.
But some English-language media and blogs portrayed Cardinal Marx’s remarks as meaning he “endorses” such blessing ceremonies.
The coverage led Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia to write a blog encouraging bishops to be clear about what they intend or don’t intend to suggest on the subject.
Picture: Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich-Freising, president of the German bishops’ conference, celebrates Mass in 2017 during the opening of the annual meeting of Germany’s bishops at the cathedral in Cologne. (CNS photo/Sascha Steinbach, EPA).