According to the tactic of shelling and occupying the ground, which we see implemented in a war on our doorstep, the president of the German Bishops's Conference (DBK), Bishop Georg Bätzing has stated his desire for changes in Church teaching on sexuality.
Msgr. Bätzing, Bishop of the diocese of Limburg, gave an interview to the newspaper Bunten, on Thursday, March 3, 2022. He spoke in favor of revising the teachings of the Church with regards to sexuality: “We have to partly modify the catechism,” he said.
To the journalist who questioned him, he concedes that “nobody” adheres to the teaching of the Church according to which sexuality should only be practiced within marriage: “It's true,” he admits. “And we have to change the catechism a bit on this issue.” He adds what will serve as his argument: “Sexuality is a gift from God and not a sin.”
Which allows him to answer the question: are homosexual relations allowed? “Yes,” he says, “it is acceptable if it is done faithfully and responsibly. It does not affect the relationship with God.” And he gives an example: “Jens Spahn, for example, is a good Catholic.”
* Jens Spahn: German politician, member of the CDU, elected to the Bundestag in 2002. He was Minister of Health. Of Catholic faith, he lives with Daniel Funke, a journalist with the Bunten newspaper.
Msgr. Bätzing adds, regarding people employed by the Church: “No one should be afraid of losing their job because of their sexuality. How someone lives their personal intimacy is none of my business,” he concludes.
As Martin Brüske, a professor at the University of Friborg in Switzerland, pointed out in an interview with CNA Deutsche, Bishop Bätzing's argument is a (very) gross sophistry: “Georg Bätzing implies that the catechism, and therefore the tradition of the Church, says that sexuality is a sin. But where is such an affirmation to be found in the catechism or the tradition of the Church?”
On the contrary, the Church has always considered such a view to be erroneous. Need we recall the battles of the Fathers and theologians against all those who condemned sexuality such as the Manichaeans or the Cathars. St. Augustine and St. Dominic, to name but a few, stand tall in front of the sophist of Limbourg.
Professor Brüske justly continues: “By contrasting this fallacy with his second assertion, that sexuality is a gift from God, without restriction, the whole question is removed from morality. It is no longer necessary to distinguish the way in which sexuality is practiced.”
On the contrary, we must remember that the Church has always ordered sexuality to conjugal love between a man and a woman. Bishop Bätzing's position justifies the theory of desire, according to which all sexual desire, as long as it is lived in a “faithful and responsible” way, is moral.
Bishop Bätzing also spoke out in favor of the end of compulsory celibacy. “Priests must be able to live marriage and the family, this is not non-Christian. It's just unusual.”
Similarly, he could very well imagine “women entering the ordained ministry, deaconesses would be a first step…. The tradition that it must always be a man no longer holds, I feel it in our communities. We need the strength of women.”
In this second proposal, it is no longer a question of changing a discipline dating back to the Apostles, but of going against a datum of faith. But he doesn't care about that. And Rome continues to be silent.