Battle Breaks Open
German Catholic bishops and lay persons voted last week to adopt a resolution (168 to 28) to bless same-sex relationships in the national church.
Defying a Church-wide ban on such unions, the proposal emerged amid a lengthy German ‘synod’ aimed at resolving the clerical sexual abuse crisis in that nation.
A noble goal. We need profound house cleaning for the immoralities that drive Church abuses. (Look no further than this horrifying report released this week from the French Church.) May I suggest we repair through repentance, not through granting the homosexually immoral a pass from repentance? The German synod begets a new indignity in its effort to resolve the deep wound of clerical abuse.
One bright spot: at least the Germans are making explicit the truth that many priests there have been blessing same-sex unions for a while. Perhaps owning their practices is a wake up call for us all. Just as we rent the veil over abuse and its cover-up by owning it, so is there a strange benefit in owning other hypocrisies. Let the Germans boast about their misbegotten answers (in the words of one bishop) ‘in our enlightened and freedom-loving society.’
Their ‘answers’ say it all. Nothing new under the sun. The battle that has divided and dried out every mainline Protestant denomination in America has now broken open in the Catholic Church. The Germans fired the first shot by extending cover over same-sex unions.
I pray that such defiance will startle us into clarifying authentic answers to the question of homosexuality. Our take at DSM/Living Waters: Jesus always seeks to love us down to the core of our humanity. He summons a strength and beauty in our sexual personhood that leaves ‘gay stuff’ in the dust.
Church members—high or low—who block such redemption for the sexually disintegrated (all of us, including the same-sex attracted) can no longer be called friends of God. Or of humanity. They violate both the heart of God and the dignity of man. What a strange paradox that violence done against children (a major contributor to same-sex attraction in adults, btw) now gives rise to a more subtle violence against Christians in need of transformation.
Doubtless the ‘enlightened’ Germans pride themselves on their bold compassion. I suggest that such ‘compassion’ is as cruel as death. Perhaps the German Christians help us by making explicit this distinctly non-Christian practice of blessing same-sex unions. Might Jesus use it to provoke every Christian to accompany vulnerable friends along the narrow way that leads to life!
We just returned from Lithuania where we empowered clergy and laity alike to reform the Church from within, beginning with each person’s repentance and renewal. Jesus is faithful through the faithful. Church unity will be preserved by us—a quiet majority whose very lives hinge upon surrender to Jesus, His vision of our sexual dignity, and our reforming love of the Church.
Please join us next Wednesday the 13th as we commence 40 days of prayer and fasting for the ‘Freedom of the Gift’. We will walk together into a deeper grasp of how Jesus reconciles us to our most authentic sexual selves. Through daily reading and prayer, let us become bold and undivided on behalf of our one Church, rich in mercy for all sinners.