German Bishops Back the LGBT Campaign

January 31, 2022
Bishop Helmut Dierser, Bishop of Aix-la-Chapelle

Many bishops have praised the LGBT #Out In Church campaign. The German Bishops' Conference (DBK) issued its own official statement on January 24, 2022.

Several German bishops have praised the extensive LGBT media campaign involving German priests and church workers, accusing the Catholic Church of advocating “defamatory” teachings on “gender and sexuality.”

The teaching of the Church must change on the issue of homosexuality and gender identity and the German Synodal Path is the right way to achieve this: this was the message of the dioceses and Church associations on January 24 for the #Out In Church campaign.

In the official statement of the DBK, the Bishop of Aachen, Msgr. Helmut Dieser welcomes the LGBT campaign “on behalf of the German Bishops' Conference,” on the grounds that this campaign was “a sign that we are working so that this climate of fearlessness can and must develop in our Church.”

Bishop Diesen also said in the DBK video, “No one can be discriminated against, devalued or criminalized because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

“The Synodal Path teaches us to understand more deeply that sexual orientation and gender identity are part of the person. We have an image of the man who tells us that the person is loved unconditionally by God and on this basis we approach the questions of sexual orientation, of identity, but also the success of sexuality in a new way.”

He also said he was “convinced that we have the necessary space, within the framework of the Synodal Path, in particular in our forum dealing with these questions, to respond in a constructive way, in order to be free from fear.”

The Diocese of Essen announced on the evening of January 24 that it supported the #OutinChurch initiative. Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck “already called on the Church two years ago to 'depathologize' homosexuality,” according to the diocesan statement.

Bishop Franz-Josef Bode von Osnabrück announced that he recognized the campaign as "a courageous step by 125 homosexual employees of the Catholic Church throughout the country.” He also called for a change in the labor law.

The Diocese of Würzburg said the Diocesan Pastoral Working Group set up by Bishop Franz Jung welcomes the LGBT campaign.

Bishop Heinrich Timmerevers of Dresden-Meißen praised the #OutinChurch campaign and thanked the activists for the “impressive testimonies” on his diocesan official Twitter account, for which he is “very grateful.” 

The Archdiocese of Hamburg posted quotations and images on social media, in which Msgr. Hess hailed the LGBT campaign. He further announced on Facebook that the LGBT campaign wants to “review defamatory statements made in Church teaching on gender and sexuality.” Activists have demanded “access to the Catholic sacraments.”

Several German Catholic associations have also expressed their solidarity with the campaign.