In contradiction to 2,000 years of Catholic teaching on sex and marriage, Bishop Franz-Josef Bode, who is the deputy chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, has suggested that the Church come up with a ceremony to bless homosexual unions, as well as divorced and civilly remarried couples (who are thereby living in adultery), according to the National Catholic Register.
Bishop Bode, 66, made his proposal earlier in January at the Frankfurt City Church Forum II, which was attended by 170 Church leaders, said the Register.
"We need to think about how we can differentiate a relationship between two same-sex people,” said the bishop. “Is not there so much that is positive, good and right that we have to be fairer?”
Given same-sex “marriages” in Germany, he said, “We must therefore ask ourselves how we meet those who enter into this relationship and who are also partly involved in the Church.... How do we accompany them pastorally and liturgically? How do we live up to them?”
The Register further reported that Fr. Johannes Zu Eltz, who is a dean of the Catholic Church in Frankfurt and an official in the Diocese of Limburg, proposed "theologically founded blessing cermonies" for couples living outside the Church's moral and theological boundaries.
As the Register reported, "The proposed blessings would be for same-sex couples 'as well as [divorced and] civilly remarried people, as well as people who, in their own estimation, do not consider themselves sufficiently worthy of the marriage sacrament,' according to Katholisch.de, the official website of the German Catholic bishops."
Bishop Bode was one of three German bishops selected to attend the 2015 Synod on the Family at the Vatican.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.' 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." The Church further teaches that "homosexual persons are called to chastity."
As for marriage, the Catholic Church teaches, "Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another: 'It is not good that the man should be alone.' The woman, 'flesh of his flesh,' his equal, his nearest in all things, is given to him by God as a 'helpmate'; she thus represents God from whom comes our help. 'Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.' The Lord himself shows that this signifies an unbreakable union of their two lives by recalling what the plan of the Creator had been 'in the beginning': 'So they are no longer two, but one flesh.'"