Gay Catholics come out, demand the church accept them
More than 120 LGBT priests, teachers and Church volunteers in Germany have launched an initiative – OutInChurch – and demanded that Catholic higher-ups toss away their long-standing disdain for homosexual relationships and grant them greater freedoms within the Church.
The group said they want “to be able to live and work openly as LGBTIQ+ persons in the church without fear,” including to serve in all Church occupations, even while in same-sex marriages or partnerships. They also urged the Church to revise “outdated statements” on gender and sexuality, oppose “all forms of discrimination,” and allow LGBTQ persons to receive holy sacraments. The Church should rectify a wrong by admitting its “institutional history of guilt” toward gay people, the group said in its list of demands published online.
The Roman Catholic Church under Pope Francis has softened its stance on the issue of sexuality. Francis has made headlines by reaching out to priests and nuns who ministered to the LGBTQ community, declaring in 2020 that “homosexual people have a right to be in a family.”
However, the Pontiff clarified that same-sex partnerships should be a civil matter, and that the sacrament of marriage should remain between a man and a woman. In 2018, he called on gay priests to leave the church, saying, “It’s better for them to leave the ministry or the consecrated life rather than to live a double life.”
Moreover, despite rebellious priests in Germany and the US bucking the Vatican’s orders and blessing same-sex unions, the Church’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – the highest source of edicts on Catholic doctrine – declared last year that it is impossible for God to “bless sin,” referring to unions of persons of the same sex.
Francis sided with the congregation’s ruling, stating that it was “not intended to be a form of unjust discrimination, but rather a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite” of heterosexual marriage.