"Today, Bishop Georg Bätzing of the Diocese of Limburg was elected the new president of the German bishops’ conference. In his first interview after his election, he touched upon the question of the Church’s teaching on sexual intercourse before marriage and on homosexuality. Asked whether he sees some leeway concerning these two topics, he says: 'there is leeway and there are openings in the doctrine.' 'Something has to change' also 'with regard to how we deal with homosexuals and their way of life,' he adds. 'As we have presented it at the synodal assembly,' he further explains, 'we see already changes in John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. The encyclical Amoris Laetitia then opened the door once more far and wide.' It is now important, the bishop adds, that 'we can formulate this teaching in its substance in such a manner' that it becomes 'a knowledge of orientation' and that it is not being perceived as 'this fatal morality of interdictions.' 'And as to how we deal with homosexuals and their way of life,' Bätzing concludes, 'something needs to change.' As LifeSite’s Martin Bürger reported, Bätzing is the head of the discussion forum on sexuality of the German 'synodal path,' whose preparatory document proposes to do away with the Church’s teaching on such important moral matters as contraception, homosexuality, cohabitation, 'self-sex,' and gender theory. On December 1, 2019, the German bishops started, together with the lay organization the Central Committee of German Catholics, a synodal process that aims at questioning the Church’s doctrine not only on sexual morality, but also on priestly celibacy and its acknowledgment of the impossibility of female ordinations. Bätzing was elected after Cardinal Reinhard Marx announced in February of this year that he will not be available for a second term as the head of the German bishops. Bätzing himself holds a whole row of controversial — and heterodox — positions. As one of the first German bishops, he encouraged a working group in his diocese that is working out concrete proposals for a liturgical blessing for homosexual and divorced and 'remarried' couples... Bätzing also shows openness toward questioning the Church’s irreformable position on female ordination. At the end of 2019, he stated in a homily that he wishes for 'changes' with regard to women in ministries of the Church, adding that 'as bishop, I have to take it seriously that the exclusion of women from the ordained offices is being perceived as fundamentally unjust and inappropriate.'... he has positioned himself in the past in favor of a ‘voluntary’ celibacy, of a ‘common last supper’ with Protestants..."
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