Pope Francis also discussed the future of the embattled German Cardinal Rainer Woelki, who has faced intense pressure to step down as head of the Cologne archdiocese.
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The synodal assembly has voted in favor of documents calling for the priestly ordination of women same-sex blessings, and changes to teaching on homosexual acts.
Cardinal Pell Calls on Vatican to Correct 2 Senior European Bishops for Rejecting Church’s Sexual Ethics
Jesuit Cardinal Hollerich of Luxembourg and Bishop Bätzing of Limburg have both called for changes to the Church’s teaching on homosexuality in recent interviews.
Asked if same-sex relationships were permissible, the German prelate replied: ‘Yes, it’s OK if it’s done in fidelity and responsibility. It doesn’t affect the relationship with God.’
In a statement, the head of the German bishops’ conference said the Pope called on the Church in Germany to “help shape the path of synodality” for the upcoming Synod of Bishops for the universal Church.
The Church in Germany is called to follow revealed truth rather than the spirit of the times, George Weigel, biographer of St. John Paul II, has said in response to recent comments defending the “Synodal Way” made by the head of the German bishops’ conference.
The 59-year-old bishop added that this was already a “practice” in Germany “every Sunday” and that priests in his Diocese of Limburg would not face negative consequences if a case were reported to him.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) said in September that the proposal did not do justice to the Catholic understanding of the Church, the Eucharist, and Holy Orders.