Many homosexual couples have turned their backs on the Catholic Church. But there are gays and lesbians fighting for progress from within. The next step should be official blessings.
Queer Catholics are demanding that the church establish an official liturgical format for blessing same-sex relationships.
“We would like to celebrate it with our community, our family and our circle of friends in our own celebration,” said Rainer Teuber, museum educator at Essen Cathedral and member of the #OutInChurch and #lovewint initiatives, the German Press Agency. “We definitely don’t want something like, ‘Okay, we’ll do it, but please don’t shout about it’. This secrecy has to end.”
Around this Tuesday (May 10th) 80 church services will take place across Germany, in which queer relationships will be blessed. Teuber and his husband Karl-Heinz Armeloh were blessed in a service last year, but this was not an individual blessing. Nobody came forward and was visibly blessed as a single couple, said Teuber.
He now hopes that blessing celebrations will be officially permitted as part of the currently ongoing synodal path reform process. “However, I would wish that progressive dioceses such as Essen, Hildesheim, Osnabrück, Hamburg and others would not wait for it at all, but would introduce the blessing celebrations now. If eight or nine bishops from Germany go ahead, I hardly believe that those in Rome will all get fired.”
Teuber said that a large part of the Catholic clergy is not at all able to speak on the subject of homosexuality. “They can’t say ‘a gay couple’, they don’t put it into words. There is often a lack of basic knowledge: What is sexual orientation, what is gender identity? » Sometimes he hears phrases like “You as a person affected by homosexuality”. Even at the Essen cathedral chapter, where Teuber is employed, some find it difficult to say “Greet your husband!” out. Instead, say, for example: “Greetings at home!” These are all just little things, but they document a fundamental deficit in the Catholic Church.
Many queer people have already turned their backs on the Catholic Church, but Rainer Teuber and his husband Karl-Heinz Armeloh are determined to change the Church from within. “We intend to stay, but we both realize the bond is getting thinner.” It was only through the television documentary “How God Created Us” and the #OutInChurch movement that he really realized how deep the injuries went. Bishops and other hierarchs were now fond of talking about recent changes. “But nobody has talked to me about the many years before that,” said Teuber. “No one has come up to me and said, ‘That was really crap, we made a mistake there.'”
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