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German Bishop recommends same-sex blessingsOn November 2, 2023, Bishop Karl Heinz Wiesemann of Speyer, Germany, issued a letter to all the members of his Diocese. The letter is available in German here and in English (automatic translation) here.
We offer to our reader some excerpts from this letter:
"For some time now, touched and moved by God's humanity, we have been striving in our diocese to provide pastoral care for couples who, for various reasons, cannot or do not want to receive the sacrament of marriage. ...
"That is why I campaigned for a reassessment of homosexuality in Church teaching during the Synodal Way and also voted for the possibility of blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples. I stand by that. ...
"The blessing in the name of the Church witnesses to these believers that they are not left alone by God in their situation, and wants to encourage them to find their way with God in the community of the Church. It is clear that it is not about celebrating a sacrament, but rather about a blessing. ...
"Pastors in our diocese are asked to approach such believers with great pastoral sensitivity and, if they ask, to work with them to find ways that are suitable for them so that they can experience God's blessing for their shared journey through life. No one is forced to have such blessings, but my request also means that anyone who carries out such blessings does not have to fear sanctions.
"On the contrary, it is important to me that we give these believers a clear sign of God's closeness in the community of the Church. It may be that the domestic setting is more suitable for receiving the blessing (possibly also with a blessing of the shared apartment). A blessing ceremony can also take place in the church or at another suitable location. The celebration must differ in words and symbols from a Church wedding and, as an act of blessing, should expressly reinforce the love, commitment and mutual responsibility that exist in the couple's relationship."
This letter by Bishop Wiesemann makes it official to perform this type of blessing for homosexual couples. It comes in the wake of Pope Francis' answers to dubia directed to him by five Cardinals. Both the texts of the dubia and the Pope's answers were published on October 2, 2023, on the eve of the Synod's opening session on October 4. In fact, to one of the dubia regarding the blessing of homosexual couples, Francis affirmed:
It is a question of pastoral prudence to “properly discern whether there are forms of blessing, requested by one or more persons, that do not convey a misconception of marriage.”
“Decisions that may be part of pastoral prudence in certain circumstances need not be transformed into a norm,” he wrote. “In other words, it is not appropriate for a diocese, a conference of bishops, or any other ecclesial structure to authorize constantly and officially procedures or rules for every type of affair.”
We see, therefore, that although the Synod on Synodality did not officially propose anything regarding these blessings of homo couples, Francis had already opened the doors wide for such blessings before the Synod.
It is another landmark in the deluge of moral decay that we have been witnessing since Vatican II.
Posted November 12, 2023