Catholic women are calling on the Vatican to modernise its views on LGBT+ relationships (Envato Elements)
Five Catholic women’s organisations with a million members are calling on the Vatican to reverse its position that priests cannot bless same-sex unions.
The women, all from German-speaking areas, voiced their unhappiness in an open letter to the Vatican’s orthodoxy office released on Thursday (1 April).
It was signed by the heads of two groups in Germany and one each in Austria, Switzerland and northern Italy’s largely German-speaking South Tyrol region.
“On behalf of around a million women working in the German-speaking Catholic women’s associations … [we demand] that homosexual couples no longer be excluded from the blessing of the church,” they write.
“The church’s mission to be effective as a sign of salvation in the world means countering homophobia and standing up for gender equality, also on the basis of human sciences. These shed new light on the plan for God’s creation.”
The organisations call for “a renewal of sexual and relationship ethics” in the Catholic Church and suggest there needs to be a “recognition of the everyday reality of people in same-sex relationships”.
“God’s love is promised to all people, regardless of their sexual orientation. He doesn’t discriminate. He doesn’t judge,” the letter continues.
“Sexuality is a part of God’s good creation, and responsible, loving sexual relationships cannot be reduced to marriage. Any long-term relationship with love, care and responsibility for one another gives children the space and protection they need for their life and growth.”
The open letter is the latest sign of pushback from the German-speaking world against a document released last month by the Vatican’s orthodoxy office which said Catholic clergy cannot bless same-sex unions because God “cannot bless sin”.
The Vatican acknowledged that some churches have begun offering blessings to same-sex couples due to “a sincere desire” to welcome LGBT+ people into the church, but argued that a true blessing can only be conferred on a couple when they live according to “the designs of God inscribed in creation”.