Rorate Caeli

Two new chaplains for homosexuals in Diocese of Limburg

Make sure to read to the end. "Blessings of homosexuals" by more than one priest are already happening. And, if the local church is helping them have "financial security in old age," then there's clearly not an effort to convert them.

From Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung:

New offer by the Catholic Church / First talks about ritual blessing to come

The Catholic Church in Frankfurt is increasing its care of homosexual men and women as well as their Family members: The Jesuit Ansgar Wucherpfennig and the Pallottine sister Helga Weidemann are now available for meetings. The Dean of Frankfurt, Johannes zu Eltz, presented the new programme, which has been approved by the Diocese of Limburg, yesterday. Furthermore, he announced a first exchange regarding ecclesiastical blessing services for homosexuals.

Count zu Eltz said that there had been a ministry to homosexuals for some time already. But with the new offer, the Church would be institutionally committing herself to it. It complements the project "Gay and Catholic“ which is located in Gallus at the Church of Maria Hilf and celebrates its 25th anniversary next year. Wucherpfennig paid tribute to the new project as a sign "that homosexuals have their place in the Church, also as critical members“. Wucherpfennig, who is the rector of Sankt Georgen Philosophical-Theological College, and Weidemann, the provincial superior of the Pallottines in Limburg, have experience in the care of those living a same-sex lifestyle. Topics are fidelity and commitment, financial security in old age and difficulties of relatives, when a family member comes out as homosexual, says Weidemann. It was important to encounter homosexuals in an open and appreciative manner, says Count zu Eltz. Many had already turned their backs on the Church.

The Dean emphasized that the new programme did not predetermine a service of blessing for homosexuals. Nevertheless, it would be discussed at the January local synod. This "question of justice" could not be suppressed. Wucherpfennig said he had already blessed homosexual couples in the past, just like other priests, though not in a public service. To introduce a special ritual required much sensitivity.

For conversations with Weidemann and Wucherpfennig, who can also be approached by ministers unsure about how to treat homosexuals, there is a room at the church of Liebfrauen. [Contact details omitted by Rorate]

Translation: reader