Father's Day

German Cardinal Gives Gays His Blessing—Almost

Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich

Voices from within the Catholic Church seem to be stepping away from Pope Benedict’s hard-line rhetoric against queers.  In May a poll indicated that three-quarters of American Catholics support LGBT equality. Then, in July, a Boston priest led a Mass service in support of gay and lesbian Catholics. Now Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich has declared that the Church “has not always adopted the right tone” toward LGBT people and that he would pray for a same-sex couple if asked. Is there something in the holy water?

In an interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany’s largest daily newspaper, Marx said:

“All who want to participate, open up to the Gospel and join the community of the Church, are welcome. I cannot bless a gay relationship, but I can pray for people who request it. It would be a big step if each were integrated, but this has not yet been achieved everywhere.”

His comments come at a time when Germany’s liberal Green Party is calling for full marriage equality after ten years of “registered partnerships” for same-sex couples in the country.  But while the Cardinal stresses gays and lesbians are welcome in the Church, he was cautious not to contradict Church doctrine that sex should remain between men and women who are married. “We can’t simply change that,” he said. “You can’t pick and choose when it comes to faith and the Church.”

At 57, Marx is the youngest member of the College of Cardinals, the clerical institution that elects the Pope. (Jeez, 57 and he’s the newbie?) And he’s something of a liberal voice in the Church—the head of the committee for social issues for the German Bishops’ Conference and a member of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. His 2008 book, Das Kapital: A Plea for Man, suggests that naked capitalism may be is insufficient to “ensure the welfare of the world.”

Now this is a priest we could get behind. (Oh, you know what we mean!)

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  • A.

    no. we shouldnt get behind him.
    there are many congregations that are friendly to lgbt in the church, many “good priests” who look the other way, who dont condemn
    but he was clear – sorry, no sacrament of marriage

    these types of parished encourage persons to stay or join based on this open-ness to change
    an openness that the hierarchy DOES NOT HAVE
    to stay in a church where the sacrament of marriage WILL STILL BE DENIED
    stay or join a church where they are accepted UNLESS OUT OF THE CLOSET

    he’ll pray sure, but no, he’s not going to fight for change. they dont.

    i think, these congregations are WORSE

    because they are selling a catholicism though pretty and comfortable

    is a lie.

  • Chris

    That is insincere backpedaling, a reaction to his word uttered in July that gays’ life plans are an automatic failure in the eyes of the church (itself a revision of his previous comments that gays and divorced people themselves are “failed and broken”).

  • Jim Hlavac

    I don’t know what “naked capitalism” is, but for a guy named Marx to write a book called “Das Kapital”? — oh, that’s right, there already was one — Karl Marx. He’s the man who coined the word “capitalism” and then defined it as “anything wrong with the world.” Who said “have faith in socialism” and then never quite defined what that was, only that it wasn’t “capitalism,” and one must have “faith” that it will work. Then the first Marx said everything should be controlled by society, which turns out to be the government — just like, oh this second Marx and his Church want to control society, with them as the government, as they used to be. The first Marx declared that anyone not liking his ideas is a heretic, an enemy of the people even, and thus expendable. Odd, the second Marx declares that anyone not liking his ideas is a heretic, an enemy of the people even, and thus expendable. Back when the Popes did have armies, they expended a lot of people, slaughtering by the millions. In modern times the first Marx’s ideas brought us the joy of communism, which expended a lot of people, slaughtering by the millions. Meanwhile, whether the wealth is controlled by the individuals who earn it, or the government/church which claims it’s theirs to dispose of, somehow “capital” must be aggregated so that buildings and factories and such are built. Odd, both “capitalism” and “socialism” require “capitalism” — or the gathering of capital in one man’s hands to make decisions with. Meanwhile, “naked capitalism” I supposed, makes people rich, and people always flock to it to make money for themselves, and Marxist Socialism makes people poor — and people leave it in droves for freer shores. Or revolt. No one ever swam to Cuba, but only away from it. No one defected to the USSR, only away from it. Why is that? One could go on, but this current Marx and the old Marx are both just as addled economically — and both are not happy with heretics and have a strong need for “faith” and not reason. Ergo, the new Marx is the same as the old Marx, and they’re both mush heads.

  • MikeE

    If you want to get married, join the United Church of Canada.
    None of this “church doctrine” bullcrap.

    Either you are a Christian church and accept ALL, as Christ told us to, or you are not.

    Absolutely NOTHING in Christianity requires the denying of rights to LGBT people.
    This is all bullcrap dogma that is invented and perpetrated by the small-minded men who run these anti-gay denominations.

    Again, it bears repeating: there is NOTHING in the Bible that forbids homosexuality.
    It isn’t mentioned at ALL.

    Don’t forget that the bibles that these people try to “use against us” are nothing more than loose translations of the originals. And they have perverted the texts by changing the meanings of words. Regardless of the countless contradictions in the original texts, or the primitive world view that it espouses in so many parts, there is nary a word about homosexuality in the original Aramaic and Ancient Greek texts which are its source.

  • Dan Avery

    Also worth remembering that the early Church threw about 75 percent of the rules of the Old Testament out the window (no pork, no work on Sabbath, circumcision, cover your head, etc). So it’s odd that Fundamentalists always turn to Leviticus, an Old Testament book, for proof that homosexuality is sinful.

  • the crustybastard

    “All who want to participate, open up to the Gospel and join the community of the Church, are welcome. I cannot bless a gay relationship, but I can pray for people who request it.”

    How, pray tell, is that “almost” giving a blessing?

    If I say “I cannot pay you back,” would you say that I paid you back, well “almost”?

  • Skeloric

    I think its an ‘evolving” opinion.
    This man’s gentler tone on the issue might one day become the standard for Roman Catholicism. While I’m very much a protestant, mainly for the very flaw shown here in a “Papal System” of church hierarchy in which refused to amend its dangerous heresy back in the day which prompted Martin Luther’s “95 Theses” on all that was wrong with the faith at that time.
    Despite all of that effort on his part, it still became necessary for true Christians to split with the fatally compromised Roman Catholic church.
    One day, Roman Catholicism will finally adhere with proper Christian teachings instead of being a cult wherein the Pope has more power/authority than Christ.

  • Dallas David

    Lots better things to do than beg for admission into a homophobic church.

    After they change their minds, then they can apologize. Then they will have a lot of restitution to do.

    Sort of the 12-step thing.

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